Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Night Out, National Public Lands Day, more....

Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, contact us at   

SATURDAYSept. 28 is National Public Lands Day, and to celebrate, Sarasota County will host a volunteer event from 9 a.m. to noon, at Red Bug Slough Preserve in Sarasota.   
Neighborhood Services and the Englewood CRA have joined forces to host the annual 'National Night Out' event on Oct. 1. There will be free games, food, raffle prizes, entertainment and more. Admission is free, so bring the whole family.
The Phillippi Farmhouse Market at 5500 S. Tamiami Trail will reopen for its fifth season on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
Keep Sarasota County Beautiful is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Volunteer Awards, which will be announced at its annual recognition dinner in November. 
Area school teachers are receiving sprouts for the future this week thanks to a program organized by the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences Extension Sarasota County, in partnership with the Florida Farm to School program.
North Port ranked No. 92 in Forbes' 2013 annual Best Places for Business and Careers, which was released earlier this week. 
Sarasota County Development Services and Code Enforcement will hold its annual free community cleanup for Osprey area residences Saturday, Oct. 5, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.  
One Book One Community is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with the announcement of the 2014 One Book at special events in October. And the winning book this year is...  
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1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34236 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Lake Sarasota to Apply for Neighborhood Grant

The Lake Sarasota Community Group voted unanimously to go forward with a Neighborhood Grant Application that would be used to beautify Mauna Loa Boulevard and create a children's ecological walkway from Mauna Loa to the school crossing at Hand Road.

The group -- a non-profit, all-volunteer association that collects no dues and does not impose deed restrictions -- took the action at its regular Sept. 12th general meeting.

Sarasota County is currently accepting applications for neighborhood grants for up to $10,000. Proposals must be in by November and those that are accepted for funding will hear in early 2014.

The focus on Mauna Loa evolved over the course of a lengthy brainstorming session that considered other options. What made it most appealing was the potential to tie in the planting of attractive trees and plants along the length of Mauna Loa with the prospective new landscaping that the County intends to install along Bee Ridge Road when that road is widened. The idea is to work with the County to find plantings that will be attractive in their own right, and accord -- i.e., match, or be in harmony with -- with the buffered landscaping on Bee Ridge.

Portions of Mauna Loa Blvd. are bare because several trees that were planted by the County a few years back did not survive. One of the LSCG board members who is a Master Gardner said Lake Sarasota's main road could use anywhere from nine to 14 additional trees or shrubs.

Another reason for going with the Mauna Loa plan is the possibility of tying it in with plantings and other work that would create a walkway environment for children who ride bicycles or walk to Lakeview School along the sidewalk from that runs to Hand Road from Mauna Loa. This is an idea that has been floated before, but not in concert with the improvement to Mauna Loa.

The walkway could involve neighborhood children in designing and painting fences along the walkway. Benches and labels identifying trees, plants and flowers might be added along with benches.

Combining the work of neighborhood parents and children along with other residents would help meet the grant specification that the neighborhood "earns" the grant by putting in work equivalent to $15 an hour. For a $3000 grant, that's 200 hours of community service.

Members of the LSCG invite input as they put together the proposal. This description of the grant will be posted on Facebook, and people can also get in touch via This press release contains more information about neighborhood grants.

In other meeting news:

  • The condition of Hina Point Park was noted as deplorable. One suggestion was to have an area business mow it in return for advertising. Another was to remove the broken benches, table, and linked fencing to make it simpler to mow. No action was taken, ideas are welcome.
  • The current Treasury for LSCG amounts to $358.71.
  • Some discussion revolved around placing a neighborhood bulletin board in a location that would be easily accessible and weatherproof. Ideas on this are welcome.
  • FDOT will be resurfacing its portion of Bee Ridge Rd. near the highway. The communities along Bee Ridge have asked the State to try to match the design that will be implemented with the County's design for widening Bee Ridge, which includes 10' sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and lighting. The state has not indicated an interest in matching the County's plan.
A working group will be meeting over the next month to put together Lake Sarasota's Neighborhood Grant application. The next regular meeting of the LSCG is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 12.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

LSCG meeting this Thursday, Sept. 12 UPDATE

There will be a brief September meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group this Thursday, Sept. 12, at 7 pm, at Sarasota Alliance Church. The tentative agenda will include brief updates on Bee Ridge, Hina Park, Neighborhood Grant options. The room is C106. Make a right as you enter, go down the hall, turn left.


  • HINA PARK -. It's overgrown and bench slabs have been broken.

  • TREASURY - Ellie.   


We have a digital version of the site development plan for the Racetrac planned for Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge Rd.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Community Updates from the County

TODAY: Sarasota County staff will host an open house workshop, 5-8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 5, at the Englewood Sports Complex to present a newly completed study that looks at neighborhood flooding due to excessive rainfall.  

FRIDAY: Sarasota County officials will conduct a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Gulf Gate Library at its original and future home, 7112 Curtiss Ave., on Friday, Sept. 6, at 9 a.m.  

Keep Sarasota County Beautiful is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Volunteer Awards, which will be announced at its annual recognition dinner in November. 

Sarasota County Parks and Recreation's Payne Park Tennis Center, 2050 Adams Lane, Sarasota, is offering its popular annual pass for a discounted rate to new customers from Sept. 1-Oct. 15.

Sarasota County Extension Master Gardeners will hold their Ninth Annual Plant Sale and EdFest, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Sarasota County Extension offices at Twin Lakes Park. 

A new interactive "Green Map" of sustainability features is now available online at The interactive mapping tool provides residents and visitors with information on sustainable community resources and aspects, such as ways to find local produce, locate green hotels or check out the solar installations in their neighborhood. 

Whether you're a toe-tapping country fan, pop-the-collar disco junkie or you just want to sway the night away, the upcoming lineup at the Venice Community Center is sure to please. 

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when Sarasota County libraries join the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide to make sure all students have the most important school supply of all - a free library card. 
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1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34236