Need a Wilderness Break?--check out Darryl Saffer's new Field Journal episode: Wyoming Wild

E.O. Wilson explains why parks and nature are really good for your brain: Washington Post

So when the Washington Post asked Wilson what he thought about the mechanism by which these environments relax, rejuvenate and restore people. His answer was simple but pretty sweeping at the same time.

“Instinctively, without understanding what’s happening, they know that in certain wild environments, they have come home.” 

Three miles of Myakka River and 1143 acres of headwaters placed in conservation easement.

Click on picture to read more.

The images below were captured by a trail camera before, during and after a prescribed burn to reduce fire load--note the immediate return of wildlife. 

THANK YOU for Helping us protect this NATURAL LAND LEGACY 

for us, our children, and our children's children during the recent Giving Partner Challenge !!!


Go to the 2015-16 Newsletter to see what your membership, volunteerism and donations accomplished in the 2015-16 season.


Click here for latest additions to 

The Florida Field Journal

by Darryl Saffer

"Carlton" is the name given to the swallow tailed kite tagged in the Reserve June 14. Local Audubon groups and the Friends of the Carlton donated $2000 to help track and these birds as they migrate 10,000 miles through Central America to the rainforests of Brazil.

Click here to read more.



Photo by Will Randall

Carlton Reserve Featured in Sun Gondolier June 2016. Article by Beth Donofrio. 

Go to News Page








What's springing up in the Reserve?

3 photos by Dave Cottrill

Darryl Saffer video news:

The Evil Weevil part 3 now airing on the Education Channel, You Tube

Wildlife Photography: second in a web series  on You Tube.

Notebook sketch of Oscar Scherer State Park: Florida Field Journal

"Not Long Ago," a FL Field Journal video is being screened Feb. 14, 2016 in Gainesville:    Cinema Verde Environmental Film Festival: schedule



Saving the Giant Air Plant 

Bromeliad Weevil Report to Florida Council of Bromeliad Society

by Dr. Teresa Cooper, UF Entomologist 

February 2016 more info





Jean-Louis Dumaine's photo gallery of Sarasota County's 

2016 FIRE FEST at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve 





Friends of the Carlton open meeting: 4:30 p.m.

Tues. April 12, 2016

Picnic Pavilion



Darryl Saffer has given voice to one of our own-- Grandmother Oak located in the Carlton Reserve



Darryl Saffer video essay on MRSP

 Not Long Ago



Guess who turned up for the first time (confirmed) in the history of the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve ? CLICK HERE

Dr. Mary Jelks on Myakka River State Park

oral history project   Slideshow


 Groups move to protect state parks  

Petition: PARKS IN PERIL            video:Payne's Prairie    


Evil, The Weevil! part 2 

Mexican invasive insect threatens bromeliads

see Darryl Saffer's latest FL Field Journal filmed in the Carlton Reserve

Starring Donna Day, Dr. Theresa Cooper and Mike Owen,  click here


Photo by Darryl Saffer: Hummingbird Clearwing


Beauty from the ashes--new photo by Debbie Blanco


You never know what's waiting for you in the forest. . .Check this out


Carlton Reserve featured in Harbor Style magazine: Seeking Serenity p. 78-88

 (Excellent article overall but here are some corrections/clarifications)


Need a natural escape vacation? check out Florida's Coastal Dune Lakes


2015 FIRE FEST Photos by Jean-Louis Dumaine


Teaching Cats To Dog Paddle? or Crossing the Caloosahatchee 


Drone "Overview" of Piggy's Revenge Biking Event 2015


Debbie Blanco on recent panther sighting in Carlton--TV 10 news





County Administrator Tom Harmon with wife Dee Dee bike the Carlton Reserve with Scorr riders Steve and Linda Christian--on a hot and humid June day. Russ Johnson was ready in the cabin with cold water. Steve writes:"This morning we added a couple of new riders to the ranks of Scorr Rider. Tom Harmer, Sarasota County Administer, and his wife Dee Dee joined Linda and I for aride at the Carlton Reserve. The weather cooperated by providing a cooling cloud cover and only a few sprinkles. It was Tom and Dee Dee's first experience on off-road bikes. Thanks to Real Bikes Venice for providing a full-suspension Giant Lust to smooth out the bumps for Dee Dee's ride. We Boldly went but we did not Boldlygo." 



Commissioner Christine Robinson bicycles the Carlton Reserve with Steve Christian to check out the new SCORR off road bike (and hike) 9.3 mile loop trail as well as the proposed biking link to North Port via Myakkahatchee Creek Preserve.


Read more:



Check out Ed Wolfenbarger on the Weather Channel

featuring Legacy Trail and Train Station: 130,000 (est.)users


It's Gone!! The Tucker's Camp Trailer retires.

Click here for gallery. Russ organizes Sarasota County volunteers to help Bill Lemons and his crew remove (permanently) Tucker's Camp trailer for restoration in Indiana.

Caught on camera in Carlton Reserve Dec. 2001 Track cast on display in visitor's cabin
Caught on camera in Carlton Reserve Dec. 2001 Track cast on display in visitor's cabin
Carlton Feb. 2010, View footprint in visitor's cabin
Carlton Feb. 2010, View footprint in visitor's cabin

     We are a 501(C)3 community support organization whose mission is to support the parks and natural lands of Sarasota County, Florida.

      With 24,565 acres  on the state protected "wild and scenic" Myakka River, the Carlton Reserve has over 90 miles of trails and nearly 40 square miles for wilderness recreation:



  • hiking
  • biking
  • paddling
  • horseback riding
  • reserved camping on a limited basis at designated sites.

The Carlton Reserve is wilderness habitat/environmentally sensitive land:  

No pets     No hunting 

Ordinances, Resolutions and State Laws Protecting the Carlton


Economic Benefits of Wilderness: US Fish&Wildlife Service

     $4.87 economic benefit for each tax dollar spent on wilderness Click here 

     75% from passive recreation: hiking, biking, picnicking Click here

Global Forest Change Map: zoom in to view Florida and Carlton

Threatened Native Bromeliad Found in Carlton Reserve Picture here

Friends of the Carlton receive Microsoft grant Click here

Fall 2012 Newsletter Click here


Guide and Maps of Invasive Species  Click here.



Florida Field Journal: Crowley Museum and Nature Center: video

Florida Field Journal: Selby Gardens 1, by Darryl Saffer video

FL Field Journal: Fire and Flood, Myakka RSP by Darryl Saffer video

Recommended streaming video: Great Plains Episode 1   Episode 2

Monitor Poaching in Africa, Sri Lanka on iPhone:Instant Wild

Photo of the Month: Stewards of the Land, the Next Generation

Leucistic Buck caught on cameras in Carlton over 5 years: click here

Sierra Club lawsuit to protect panther habitat from Off Road Vehicles

Nature Conservancy Buys Critical Panther Corridor: Click here.

Florida Field Journal: Baby Birds, Save Our Seabirds,by Darryl Saffer:video

Florida Field Journal: Celery Fields-Jeanne Dubi: by Darryl Saffer:video

Gators Gather at Deep Hole: video

Great Backyard Bird Count Feb. 17, 2013. View here

Cornell Ornithology Lab Project Preview: BIRDS OF PARADISE

World Heritage Sites   360˚ aerial views



PantherTalk and Natural Lands

Panther Breeding Territory Expanding Northward? Herald Tribune, Oct.12

Panthers May be Moving North St. Pete Times Jan.04

Panther Habitat Facts Tampa Tribune

Panther Habitat Protection in Florida Sierra Club

Lawsuit Over Panther Habitat Protection Sierra Club

 Friends of the Fakahatchee Trail Camera Gallery

The Wanderer, Panther No. 62 Craig Pittman

Paving Paradise Craig Pittman


Use top bar to navigate this site.



Information & Website

 Park Naturalist:

Debbie Blanco


Next Meeting: 4:30

2nd Tues. Nov. 8, 2016

Picnic Pavilion

1. Type in your location,

2. Click map marker

3. Click calculate

4. Expand map + 


Sarasota County

Field Guide

to Conservation Lands

(download 64pp. PDF)

 Sarasota County Natural Lands

Friends of the Carlton

is a chapter of  FOSCP   

not for profit corp.

Counter set 03/24/2015