Friends Of Carlton Reserve

Friends Of Carlton Reserve 

3/18/24 Minutes, Richard Hullett, Secretary 

Carlton Reserve Cabin at 4:00 p.m. Attendees were guest speaker Andy Polaszek of FWC, members and guests Jim and Joy Bencivenga, Jeanne Berkley, Heidi Bodor, Paul Carlson, Rob and Kelly Carter, Bill Gipp, Jan Halse, Dan and Janis Hamari, Richard Hullett, Linda Lovallo, Tom Moralee, Melissa Mulloy, Ken Pruitt, Terri and Steve Roberts, Joe Shellhaas, Sherm Stratton, Ed and Jackie Tresedder, and Kevin Walgreen.

President Linda Lovallo led the meeting and asked officers and those in attendance to introduce themselves.  

Treasurer’s Report: Dan Hamari presented the Treasurer’s report. The fiscal year began October 1, 2023 with a balance of $13,763 and currently available funds are $23,535.51, reflecting the financial health of our organization. 

We acknowledge with much gratitude a donation of $10,000 from a party who wishes to remain anonymous.

Dan also reminded everyone of the Giving Challenge which will take place from noon April 9 to noon April 10 only. During this period, the Patterson Foundation matches at 100% any donation between $25 and $100. Thus, any donation doubles your financial impact.  In addition, FCR will give you a two-year membership in FCR. Please let treasurer Dan Hamari know if you donate.

To donate, go to

Click “SEARCH PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS”. Enter “Friends of Sarasota County Parks”.

• In the Friends of Sarasota County link, click “View”.

• Scroll down the list of the 20 fundraisers to number 10, “Friends of Carlton Reserve”.

• Click on “Donate”, then enter the dollar amount of your donation and your credit card information.

• Click “Donate”.

We will be sending more reminders as the giving date approaches. 

If you do not wish to participate in the Giving Challenge, regular membership recommendation is $15 per year.

The officers will also be manning a table at Sharkey’s on April 9 to solicit memberships and donations from the public.

 Linda Lovallo, President, provided an update on volunteer accomplishments, including painting of the bathroom ceilings and the entrance gate by the horse lot. Also, the new shed just had electricity supplied so can now be used to store our tools, paint and other supplies used for trail/marker/wellhead maintenance and other tasks.Linda conveyed the appreciation expressed by Land Manager Meghan Meyer for all the contributions of our volunteers. Meghan was not able to attend our meeting due to being at a prescribed burn.

Camera program: Sherm Stratton discussed a proposed program in which Friends group will purchase six cameras at a cost of $2,600 for use by Sam Aungdin of the Department of Agriculture in reducing the invasive feral hog population in the Carlton. Sherm advised that these cameras will help maximize Sam’s efficiency (Sam has recently dispatched 600 hogs in three months). The presence of hogs impacts the health of other wildlife including deer, ground-nesting birds and reptiles. There have already been increased sightings of species, including some not seen for years (cara cara, quail, meadowlarks, turkeys, twin whitetail deer fawns and diamondback rattlesnakes). The cameras will also help Sam in identifying and reporting to law enforcement any illegal acts such as poaching. This will be a one-year pilot program. Friends will retain ownership of the cameras. After allowing time since the meeting for attendees to offer suggestions and raise questions, the purchase of the cameras and equipment has recently been approved by the board and installation has been completed. Improved benefits have already been realized, with large numbers of hogs having been observed and eliminated.The meeting was adjourned to enjoy refreshments provided by Terri Roberts and Kevin Walgreen.

Presentation by Andy Polaszek of FWC, “Alligators”:Summary:  

Andy’s presentation was very informative and greatly enjoyed by everyone. It appears we all have a lot of curiosity, some misconceptions (and fears?) of our native reptiles. Here are the highlights of what we learned:There are two species of alligators, American and Chinese. Crocodiles, though rare, are also present in our area. Distinguishing features are that the alligators’ snout is more rounded than the pointed snout of crocodiles, and they are black in color while crocodiles are dark gray. Despite there being an estimated 1.3 million alligators in Florida, they are still a protected species. Hunting season for them, by permit only, starts in August each year and runs for a few months. Alligators are omnivorous and opportunistic feeders who typically drown their prey. They cannot chew, so they swallow smaller prey whole, and tear larger prey into pieces by rolling violently.Females are rarely over ten feet in length, while males are larger. Sexual maturity is reached when the female reaches six feet, which usually takes ten years or longer; and when the male reaches seven feet, which usually takes 8-12 years. Mating season is in May and June, and marked by the bellowing mating calls of the males (there is a great video of this taken by Kevin Walgreen posted on our website: and increased traveling in search of mates. The female lays an average of 38 eggs near water and covers them in a large mound of mud and vegetation, the decaying of which serves to provide the heat to incubate the eggs. Eggs can be harvested by permit and are used for propagation and farms.

Newly hatched alligators are about 9 inches long. About 10 of a hatch survive the first year and about 5 survive to maturity.

Trapping and relocation of nuisance alligators is usually done by FWC or licensed trappers. Trappers must have permission of the owner to go onto private property. Trappers can relocate for breeding and hunting camps. Both FWC and licensed trappers can exterminate alligators determined to be a possible threat. Andy said a rule of thumb is that an alligator that does not flee when approached within 30 feet is a threat. 

SNAP (Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program) allows the public to report nuisance alligators which are at least 4 feet in length. Florida state officials receive approximately 14,000-15,000 alligator complaints per year. About half the calls result in a response and relocation. SNAP uses qualified nuisance alligator trappers to remove problem alligators. FWC wants to know about ALL alligator bite incidents. For more information about this program, please see:

There are many laws pertaining to alligators, including that killing, possessing or harming one without a permit is a third-degree felony. An exception is that skulls can be kept without a permit if the alligator was found dead.

01/15/24 Minutes, Richard Hullett, Secretary 

Carlton Reserve Cabin at 4:00 p.m. Attendees were guest speaker Chris Oliver, members Jim Bencivenga, Jim Courtright, Dan Hamari, Richard Hullett, Jim Lombardi, Linda Lovallo, Jeff Povolny, Maryse Povolny-Loertscher, Terri Roberts, Steve Roberts, Lynn Scott, Randy Scott, and Sherm Stratton.

President Linda Lovallo led the meeting and asked officers and those in attendance to introduce themselves.   

Treasurer’s Report: Dan Hamari, Treasurer, presented the Treasurer’s report by recapping expenditures for Cub Crawl signs and maintenance tools. The balance of available funds is $13,416.99.

Dan also discussed the Giving Challenge which will take place from noon April 9 to noon April 10 only.  Tax-free donations must be made online at During this period, the Patterson Foundation matches at 100% any donation between $25 and $100. Thus, any donation doubles your financial impact.  In addition, FCR will give you a two-year membership in Friends. Please let treasurer Dan Hamari know if you donate.


Between Noon & Noon,  Tuesday & Wednesday, April 9-10, 2024


Go to 

1. Click on: Search participating Organizations 

2. Organization Name (on top left): type in "Friends of Sarasota County Parks"

3. You must type in Friends of Carlton Reserve” on the memo line.  

Thank you.


You may make multiple donations to your favorite charities.

You can use multiple credit cards if you wish to donate more than  $100 to maximize matching funds.


We will be sending more reminders as the giving date approaches. 


If you do not with to participate in the Giving Challenge, regular membership recommendation is $15 per year.

Cub Crawl: Linda recapped the January 6 Cub Crawl event. Despite heavy rains still had 37 attendees including 24 kids. Be sure to visit the Carlton website to view photos of this fun and educational experience, and once again many thanks to all the volunteers.

Fire Fest on February 3: volunteers must fill out a Smartsheet task/duty form online. Contact Linda if you need a link for the FireFest form. 

Officer Elections: A motion was made by Jim Courtright, seconded by Lynn Scott, and passed by unanimous vote to retain the current officers. The officers remain Linda Lovallo, president; Terri Roberts, vice president; Dan Hamari, treasurer; and Richard Hullett, secretary. The officers wish to express appreciation for your support and confidence in us.

The meeting was adjourned to enjoy refreshments provided by Terri Roberts. 

Presentation by Chris Oliver, Environmental Specialist II, Myakka Wild & Scenic River Program, FDEP/FPS District 4 Administration VIDEO

Summary:  Chris gave a very informative presentation on his past and current work in preserving the Myakka as a designated Wild and Scenic River. From his presentation and answers to our questions, it was obvious that Chris is both knowledgeable and passionate in his work. 

Chris’ background includes a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah. He has worked with the District since 2013. His office is in Oscar Scherer State Park. The District includes 35 parks in southwest Florida. His focus is on Aquatic Systems, which includes restoring native marshes, water usage, and Clean Water Act compliance. 

Slides were presented by Chris on how the Myakka came to be designated as a Wild and Scenic River after an extensive study was completed and a plan developed in July 1984 by about 24 groups of interest on the state and federal level. Initially, 12 miles of the Myakka were immediately designated for preservation under state oversight. Myakka thus became one of only three rivers in FL given the designation of a wild and scenic river. In 1990, this designation was given to all 34 miles of the Myakka within Sarasota County. 

Chris spends about 70% of his time monitoring river conditions, including native and invasive plants and grasses, recreational activity both legal and illegal (such as jet skis and fossil hunting), dams,  construction near the river and  the health of wildlife.The entire river is a protected manatee habitat. Since Hurricane Ian there has been a significant decrease in the number of wood storks.,. 

Chris’s current projects include dam removal (a weir was removed in March 2022),  methods to control a significant increase in speeding vessels,  enforcing the now total ban on fossil hunting, restoring hydrology to encourage native plant growth, removing invasive plants like cogon grass and para grass that was  brought in to feed cattle and decimated native grasses.He is also updating a comprehensive management plan last updated in 2011 and facilitating a National Wild and Scenic River designation which would provide federal funds of up to $200,000 annually while still allowing the state to retain administrative oversight.


12/18/2023 Minutes, Richard Hullett, Secretary

Carlton Reserve Cabin at 4:00 p.m. Attendees were Joyce Adams, Jay Bailey, Jim Bencivenga, Jim Cranston, Jean-Louis Dumaine, Dan Hamari, Richard Hullett, Jim Lombardi, Linda Lovallo, Meghan Meyer, Terri Roberts, Steve Roberts, Lynn Scott, Randy Scott, Sherm Stratton, Jimmy Van Sise.   

The business portion of the meeting, including the Treasurer’s report, was shortened to allow sufficient time for Jay Bailey’s presentation. 

President Linda Lovallo led the meeting and asked officers and those in attendance to introduce themselves.   

Cub Crawl: Linda and Dan showed everyone the new signs for the Cub Crawl obstacle course stations, which were well received. Each sign consists of a creature’s photo and a fun fact (such as otters have the thickest fur in the animal kingdom) mounted on wire H frames for ground placement. Cub Crawl will be at Carlton on January 6, 2024, for kids aged 3 through 9 and is free. Kids must be pre-registered online. Participants will receive certificates as well as a stuffed animal. Registered volunteers wishing to help with Cub Crawl Jan. 5 or 6 need to contact Linda. 

For Fire Fest on Feb. 3, volunteers must fill out a Smartsheet task/duty form online. Contact Linda if you need a link for the FireFest form. Volunteers are still needed for both events. 

 In response to Jim Lombardi’s wish to leave the role of vice president to concentrate on volunteer tasks and Dan Hamari’s suggestion to return to 4 officers as allowed in the FCR bylaws, a motion was made and seconded to designate Terri Roberts as interim vice-president and Richard Hullett as interim secretary until the next election. The motion was unanimously approved. Linda Lovallo and Dan Hamari will remain as president and treasurer, respectively. 

Meghan Meyer, Land Manager, reminded everyone to log their volunteer hours. She also reminded everyone that she needs the number of participants in all events. 

The meeting was adjourned to enjoy refreshments provided by Dan Hamari. 

Presentation by Jay Bailey, Sarasota County Fire Department, “Prescribed Fire” 

See YouTube excerpts: Jay Bailey 


Jay gave a very informative presentation on the history and use of prescribed fire (formerly called controlled fires or burns) in Sarasota County. Jay was born and raised in the county and has been a firefighter for 25 years.  He and one other manager oversee prescribed burns for all of Sarasota County. 

Prescribed burns first began to be routinely used in Sarasota County in 2002 as an effort to avoid uncontrolled wildfires, mostly started by lightning. Florida leads the world in lightning strikes, one of which ignited the Memorial Day 2021 fire in Carlton. Prescribed burns reduce the risk of such wildfires by removing the buildup of fire load from overgrown brush and forest litter.   

Sarasota County’s goal for Carlton is to conduct burns on 6000-7000 acres annually. In the entire county, the goal is about 60 burns annually, which is the highest of any county in the U.S.  Sometimes natural fires are allowed to burn if they aren’t a danger to the public. 

Jay oversees these prescribed burns. They are conducted to mimic lightning fires. In old Florida natural fires typically occurred 2 or 3 times per 5 years on a given parcel. Preparation includes a multi-page document, checking ground and weather conditions, particularly wind and humidity.  

Once Jay has decided to proceed with a burn, he must get approval from the FL Forestry Service and finally from Meghan, who has final approval.  

Benefits of prescribed burns include releasing nutrients back into the soil, contributing to the ecological health of the environment and the diversity of flora and fauna.  

11/13/2023 Minutes, Dan Hamari, Sec./Treas.  

Carlton Reserve Pavilion at 4:00 p.m. Attendees were: Joyce Adams, Jim Bencivenga, Paul Carlson, Jim Cranston, Dan Hamari, Richard Hullett, Randy Hurley, Linda Lovallo, Meghan Meyer, Tom Moralee, Tom Obermeier, Jeff Povolny, Terri Roberts, Steve Roberts, Lynn Scott, Sherm Stratton, Jimmy Van Sise, Danny Williams. 


Linda Lovallo led the meeting and asked officers and all those in attendance to introduce themselves.


Treasurer’s Report. Dan Hamari (Secretary/ Treasurer) reported the fiscal year end balance of the FCR was $13,763.13. This represents an increase of $167.03 over the previous year. Expenditures were $1,540.49 and were primarily for paint (field markers and bathrooms), office supplies, kiosk repair, and purchase of battery powered landscape tools. Revenues was $1707.52 and consisted of $1307.52 of dues and miscellaneous donations and $400.00 from the donation jar at the visitors cabin. Dan Hamari discussed a possible change in our dues collection schedule to coincide with the Giving Challenge which is held every other year and matches all donations between $25.00 - $100.00. We would ask members to donate a minimum of $25.00 every other year during the Challenge. This would cover the members dues for two years, reduce the amount of time soliciting and collecting dues, and potentially double the amount raised by FCR. It was agreed we should proceed with this change and the Board will finalize details before the Giving Challenge in April, 2024. 


Tom Obermeier and Randy Hurley from SCORR (Sarasota County Off Road Riders) gave an update on the single track trails in the Carlton Reserve. As of November 13th the Boldly Go trail has been mowed and cleaned up. There is a work day scheduled for Saturday Nov. 18th on the trails in the Lincer Preserve. Linda will email FCR Members for volunteers. The annual Piggy’s Revenge ride is scheduled for January 28, 2024.


Nathalie Smith of Sarasota County Parks and Recreation gave a presentation on Cub Crawl 2024 scheduled for January 6, 2024 at the Carlton Reserve. This event is aimed at children (aged 3-9) and families. It features an obstacle course and fun animal facts for the children to learn. She asked for volunteer and financial support for the event to cover signs and stuffed animals for the participants and assistance during the event. Sign estimate is $234.00 for 2024 and they will be reusable for future events. Nathalie has already procured the stuffed animals for this year. It was moved, seconded and approved that the FCR pay for the signs and further additional expenses up to $1000.00 total as necessary per Board approval. Natalie reconfirmed she was NOT ASKING for funding except for the signs for 2024 ($234.00). Last year she provided "Certificates of Participation", but she didn't indicate a need for those supplies this time. 

She will provide us with a budget proposal for future events, with the caveat, mentioned at the meeting, that the costs of stuffed animals may change significantly from year-to-year.President’s note: Cub Crawl 2024 needs $234. (The actual cost of the signs. Excess will be held, this season, in case of incidental expenses.)


Sherm Stratton gave an update on the FCR website and indicated we continue to have good traffic with over 1000 visitors in the last 30 days and a yearly average of 22,500 visitors. He indicated the website name registration and site hosting are both coming up for renewal and asked for approval of approximately $250.00 for a two year renewal. A motion to fund these expenses for two years was made, seconded and approved.


Linda Lovallo gave a quick recap of FCR and volunteer accomplishments over the last year and the different roles each group plays. The FCR acts as a funding organization for Events held at the Carlton Reserve and acquires necessary equipment. Since 2004 the FCR has spent over $33,000.00 along with thousands of hours of volunteer work. A motion was made to establish a discretionary fund of $2,000.00 per individual item that the Board could approve and spend. The motion was seconded and approved. President’s note: Tools for Volunteers, requested $1000. (Again, excess will be held, this season, in case of incidental expenses,)


Meghan Meyer updated attendees on some of the current issues at the Carlton Reserve along with scheduled events. The burn schedule is being posted on the Sarasota County Emergency Services website. There is concern being expressed about air quality in areas adjacent to prescribed burns. This may have an impact on future ability to conduct burning. Many of the trails are being mowed currently with fire lanes being plowed also. The plow disc line is being kept off to the side as much as possible. Boundary lines are also being put on all preserves. Meghan is also hoping to have the PowerLine Road resurfaced this year. The Carlton Reserve has received some funding for exotic plant removal. All are asked to report any exotic plants found in the Carlton to Sherm Stratton who will relay to Meghan. Event Registration for Sarasota County Parks and Recreation is now online and has a searchable function which allows visitors to more easily search the website.


Questions and Comments Discussions included Border Road access in the Reserve, the need to replace the wooden bridge to Lincer Preserve, and whether hunting in Preserve areas is considered Resource Management or Extraction. 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.



Several attendees have indicated they did not have enough information to make fully informed decisions BEFORE voting on motions. I should have limited the number of Agenda items for our first meeting and postponed significant financial decisions until members had time to review them in the context of our income which is typically about half of what was proposed at this meeting. In the future each Agenda item will be given adequate time for questions and discussion for consensus.


To clarify, FCR’s practice has always been to present funding requests to members at regular meetings, except for fund requests outside of “season”(i.e. office supplies, PO Box rental, replacement tools for volunteers). A General Fund, discretionary account already allows officers to accomplish this task or deal with emergencies.


Re: Agenda Item #4, Nathalie Smith: In October, Natalie and Meghan requested FCR to pay for reusable “Cub Crawl” signs. The officers agreed to support the event subject to approval by the members at our first meeting. H&H Signs estimated the cost: $234.00 for 11 signs with “H” frames. A motion was made for up to $1000. Nathalie reiterated that she only needed funding for signs for Cub Crawl 2024, so we will reserve the rest for potential incidentals.


Re: Agenda Item #6, Linda Lovallo: Due to the 2021 Memorial Weekend wildfires, the sheds, tools and Kubota were all destroyed. Hurricane Ian further delayed the opening of the Reserve until Jan 3, 2023! A new shed was delivered in February, 2023, but is not yet available to us. In order for volunteers to complete important recurrent marker replacement/maintenance tasks that Meghan requested last spring, FCR purchased some tools. I asked for up to $1000 for more tools, but there was a motion to approve $2000 per “line item.” The officers are not comfortable exercising that kind of discretion because the amount approved is more than our average annual income.


RECAP: Cub Crawl 2024 only needs $234. The excess will be reserved for incidental expenses. Tools for Volunteers: requested $1000. Excess will be held for incidental expenses. In future, members will receive more complete details of funding related agenda items.


Respectfully submitted, Linda FCR president 


4/18/2023 Minutes by Secretary/Treasurer Dan Hamari

Subject: FOC Meeting and Boyce Blackmon presentation

Thank you for being such a rapt audience! In my zeal to give Boyce Blackmon as much time to talk with us as possible, I failed to follow a "normal" meeting agenda. And, although we'd intended to have a really short meeting to simply say,"Thank You!" to staff, volunteers and FCR members/donors, I still should have asked if any of you had input, questions, and/or "new business to table until the Fall" with a formal adjournment...


Please accept my sincere apologies! Also, please contact me, Dan Hamari and/or Jim Lombardi with any questions, input, concerns, and yes, "new business". We'll answer your questions as much as possible and send out a compilation email in the next two weeks with everyone's comments (kept anonymous) for your input and summer consideration.

 Thank you again for your kind support! Best regards and a happy summer to you all,



1/12/2023 Secretary/Treasurer Dan Hamari

Carlton Reserve Pavilion at 3:00 p.m. Attendees were: Joyce Adams, Jim Bencivenga, Karen Courtwright, Jim Courtwright, Valerie Cribb, Jean- Louis Dumaine, Dan Hamari, Jim Lombardi, Linda Lovallo, Meghan Meyer, Kevin Miller, Tom Obermeier, John Page, Kay Page, Terri Roberts, Steve Roberts, Sherm Stratton, Danny Williams.


1.) Linda Lovallo led the meeting and asked officers and all those in attendance to introduce themselves.


2.) Treasurer’s Report. 

Dan Hamari (Secretary/ Treasurer) reported the fiscal year end balance of the FCR was $13,596.10. This represents an increase of $1,653.68 over the previous fiscal year. Primary sources of income for the FCR are member dues and donations, cabin donations, and the Giving Challenge which is held every other year.

In 2022 the Giving Challenge resulted in $1924.58 in total income with fourteen checks representing eighteen individuals.

Expenditures  booked in fiscal 2022 were $2,215.86. These were in support of the Giant Air Plant program ($147.28), the Camera Program ($1,660.98), Carlton website ($220.00), Mailings, stamps, Misc. ($182.70).

Dues Reminders for 2023 have not been sent out yet but will be mailed shortly.


3.) Meghan Meyer updated everyone on the current status of the Carlton Reserve and upcoming events. The Cub Crawl is scheduled for January 21, 2023. Several members indicated information regarding this event was difficult to access on the internet which may be limiting potential attendance. FireFest is scheduled for January 28, 2023 and will again be held in the fields adjacent to the entrance road. Anybody still interested in volunteering should contact

Meghan thanked all volunteers who helped get the Carlton open on January 3rd. She indicated most of the major clean up was completed in the public access area but that work in the remote area would be ongoing for awhile. The kayak/ canoe launch on the Myakka River remains closed due to hazardous broken trees and limbs and restrictions on removal of those hazards from a Wild and Scenic River.

Meghan also addressed questions about electric bikes in the Reserve ( There are no restrictions except a speed limit of 15 mph). Several members indicated they preferred that there be no restrictions and that all bikers regardless of mode must be courteous and aware of the impact on their surroundings. The USDA program of pig removal through authorized shooting continues. Meghan indicated there may be an aerial shooting event in February that would force the closing of the Reserve for several days.  She would like to limit the area closed but a final decision has not been made.


4.) Linda suggested the Current Officers continue for an additional year if there were no objections or members who wanted to run for an office. There being no objections and no members in attendance who desired to run it was unanimously voted to have the current officers continue in their positions.


5.) Linda recapped volunteer activities within the Carlton and presented Certificates of Appreciation to those volunteers who were present who had helped in expediting the opening after Hurricane Ian.

Volunteer and FCR highlights were coordinating with SCORR for trail cleanup bathroom cleaning and repainting. Other accomplishments were cabin cleanup, zigzag Bulletin Board rebuilding, painting of signage, traffic stops, trip lines, gates, posts and bollards throughout the park, assisting in monitoring illegal activities on Myakka River, documenting invasive plant locations and documenting status of endangered Giant Air Plants within The Carlton. Also noted was the addition of 12 new members for FCR and 12 new volunteers.


6. Tom Obermeier from SCORR updated the Piggy’s Revenge Trail Ride to be held in the Carlton on January 29, 2023. The event is completely sold out with 350 participants. Tom indicated SCORR was looking for ways to spend the proceeds for improvements within the Carlton.

He also stated all single track trails were open but there was further maintenance work which needed to be done. Additional volunteer collaboration workdays with SCORR will be held.


7.) New Business

Sherm Stratton asked that we recognize the significant contributions the SCORR group made that resulted in the reopening of the Carlton on January 3rd. He also asked we recognize Meghan Meyer for her hard work and assistance in coordinating the volunteers work.

Linda asked that everyone think about the two programs we currently fund (the Giant Air Plant and Camera Programs).We are looking for ways to make these programs even more successful with greater impact.

A date for the next meeting has not been scheduled.

There being no more business the meeting adjourned at 4:30.



4/15/ 2022 Minutes by Vice President, Jim Lombardi

Emergency/Special meeting of the Friends of Carlton Reserve was attended by Jim Bencivenga, Beth Branson, Jean-Louis Dumaine, Dan Hamari, Jim Lombardi,  Linda Lovallo, Steve Roberts, Terri Roberts and Sherm Stratton. (Jim Lombardi acted as secretary. A quorum was present.)


The only item on the agenda was to have an election to re-fill the position, after resignation, of FCR Secretary/Treasurer.


Dan Hamari had offered to step into the office for the rest of this term.

A short discussion followed including the need for FCR officers to meet with Meghan as soon as possible, an eventual review/revision of FCR’s By-laws and the upcoming Giving Challenge from noon, April 26th until noon, April 27th.


A motion was made to elect Dan Hamari as FCR Secretary/Treasurer. He was voted into office unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 am.

The next regular meeting of FCR will be in the Fall of 2022.


Thank you for your continued support! 

Linda, Jim and Dan


Friends of the Carlton Reserve Officers:

Linda Lovallo - President, 

Jim Lombardi - Vice-President, 

Dan Hamari - Secretary/Treasurer


3/15/2022 Minutes by Secretary/Treasurer,  Martin Siesta

The March 15, 2022 meeting of the Friends of Carlton Reserve (FCR) was attended by Jim Bencivenga, Paul Carlson, Jim Courtright, Donna Day, Jean-Louis Dumaine, Russ Johnson, Jim Lombardi, Linda Lovallo, John Lunger, Sally Meyers, Jeff Povolny, Chris Rioux, Steve Roberts, Terri Roberts, Martin Siesta, Art Smith, Sherm Stratton, Robin Switzer, Danny Williams and Ernie Winn.


Jim Courtright led the meeting.  Because of an active fire, Meghan Meyer was unable to attend.


Art Smith reviewed the “You Are Here” sign program.  The current number of 12 maps is being increased to 18.  The request for six more electronic files of maps has been submitted to County GIS and is in process.


The election of officers then began.  Linda Lovallo asked that her name be added to the list of candidates as President and that she be allowed to make a short presentation.  After the short presentation, paper ballots were distributed and subsequently tallied.  The results are as follows:


President – Linda Lovallo

Vice President – Jim Lombardi

Secretary/Treasurer – Martin Siesta


The Wildlife Monitoring Program (Camera Program) is running well.  However, the equipment is aging, and new features make replacements desirable.  A motion was made and unanimously approved to authorize spending up to $1,500 on needed new equipment.


Donna reviewed some aspects of the Giant Air Plant program.  In general progress is being made.  Previously, $2,000 had been approved to replace the cage lost in the fire.  The holdup has been in finding good plans for the next cage.  It was agreed that FCR volunteers would create such a plan for the next cage.  When the plan is agreed upon, regular FCR volunteers, paid carpenters or volunteer schools or boy scouts might build the cage.


Art said that the Tuesday Tasking crew had worked to minimize pig damage on the trails.  There is no major problem to attack right now.  The County (particularly Igor) had more than stayed on top of day-to-day issues.  With limited tools to use and the rainy season coming, each week will be questionable for the Tuesday Tasking crew in the near future.


Sherm also complimented the County on its work in the Carlton.  The volunteers and visitors provide eyes on problems.  When those problems are identified, they are passed on to the County and usually handled quickly.  Sherm passed out a packet of seven pages of pictures and activities listing accomplishments.  The teamwork is producing results.


After the regular meeting, Linda was asked if she had anything to add.  She said that she had been working on the “Z” bulletin board in front of the cabin.  Moisture inside the bulletin board (likely caused by condensation and not a leaky roof) had destroyed the cushions on the stick pin side.  The corrective plan for the entire unit would include buying thin carpeting in rolls.  A motion was made and unanimously passed to spend up to $500 on supplies for repairing the bulletin board.


No future meeting was planned at this time.


11/22/21  Minutes by Secretary, Russ Johnson 

The November 22, 2021 meeting of the Friends of Carlton Reserve (FCR) was attended by Pam Cooper, Dave Cottrill, Mary-Ann Cottrill, Jim Courtright, Jim Cranston, Donna Day, Jean-Louis Dumaine, Dan Hamari, Russ Johnson, Brooke Langston, Jim Lombardi, Linda Lovallo, Meghan Meyer, Martin Siesta, Steve Simon, Art Smith, Sherm Stratton, Robin Switzer and Ernie Winn.

Jim Courtright led the meeting and asked us all to introduce ourselves.  Meghan Meyer then brought us up to date on repairing the fire damage.  The Kubota shed, the tool shed and the GAP storage cage between them as well as the pole barn were all completely destroyed by the fire that was started by lightning.  The pole barn will not be replaced.  A single new building having a footprint roughly the same as the combined previous buildings is planned.  It will be separated from trees by the space that was occupied by the pole barn (plus some tree cutting) and be a sturdier building.  The Kubota has been replaced as well as some of the tools.  They are currently being stored at the maintenance shed on the Wellfield Road.  There is also some minor sign, bench and culvert damage to be replaced.

With respect to damage caused by traffic in connection with Brian Laundrie, time and Mother Nature have pretty much solved the problem.  Planning is underway for Fire Fest on 1/29/22.  The Fire Department is bringing the pre-packaged food (following Covid protocols).  The location will be the overflow parking field.  A discussion followed regarding the reduction of pigs in this park and other parks.  Today, the USDA prohibits marketing products obtained from wild pigs.  Therefore, the pigs are slaughtered and their remains left to decompose at secluded spots.  This process occurs in just a few days.

Art Smith reviewed the “You Are Here” sign program.  It has been very popular and successful in helping people find their way in the park.  He was looking at five or six more spots for signs.  A motion was made and unanimously approved to authorize spending up to $1,000 on such additional signs.

The Wildlife Monitoring Program (Camera Program) was affected by the Brian Laundrie search.  All memory storage cards in cameras were turned over to police.  The cards were then returned, contents saved, and clean cards returned to the eleven cameras.  Donna and Ernie used the new Kubota to do this work.

Donna brought a mature Giant Air Plant to show us how big and healthy they can be.  The process of saving the plants is complex.  One of the cages was lost in the fire, and other improvements may be necessary.  A motion was made and unanimously approved to authorize spending up to $2,000 on needed cage(s) and equipment.

Art explained that the Wednesday Crew (trail maintenance and other park support) has been delayed by the loss of the Kubota and tools.  He tossed out some ideas for additional projects including a Native Plant Demonstration Garden in the Public Use Facility (PUF).  The County has several assignments on Wednesdays.  Tuesday is a better day for such a support team, and Art will consider making the team a “Tuesday Tasking” crew.

Sherm reviewed the website status.  The search for Brian Laundrie can only be described as “explosive” as far as the website is concerned.  He read off numbers of “hits” and how they grew.  There still is residual activity.  Actually, there are two websites – and

With respect to the election of officers for FCR, a nominating committee will be formed, and a slate of candidates will be submitted for members to vote on at the January 2022 meeting.


Our next meeting is anticipated to be prior to Fire Fest on 1/29/22.




Minutes archive 2002-2022.pages
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 1.0 MB





Website & Info:


Park Naturalist

Meghan Harris Meyer



Link to searchable U.S. map resources with parks, trails, campgrounds, historical sites, marinas, etc.



Sarasota County

Field Guide

to Conservation Lands

(download 64pp. PDF)

Field Guide.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 3.8 MB



Friends of Carlton Reserve

is a chapter of  FOSCP   

not for profit corp.