Aug. 18, 2020,  Minutes by Secretary, Russ Johnson

In my last memo I told you of the need for Rick Storsberg to have a lung transplant.  A lung match was found, the surgery was performed, and Rick is now recovering.  His daughter reports:

“Dad is still progressing well.  He is out of the ICU and has been moved to a regular room.  His numbers are looking good and he did his walking a little faster yesterday, so his nurses are pleased. He has been cleared to eat some liquids (Jello, popsicles and broth), he does still have a feeding tube so they can give him additional nutrients… Overall the doctors are pleased with his progress.  Thanks for everyone's support.  Sasha”

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that Debbie Blanco has submitted her letter of retirement for October 30th.  Donna Day was able to set up a Zoom conference with a small group of volunteers (Jim Courtright, Donna Day, Russ Johnson. Linda Lovallo, Martin Siesta, Art Smith, Sherm Stratton and Ernie Winn) yesterday with Debbie.  With Covid-19 and the time of the year (the Carlton is often flooded at this time of the year – currently it has bad spots), no formal meeting was possible.  We discussed the need for any urgent actions.  Fortunately, the park is in good shape generally.

The Wildlife Monitoring Program is changing direction.  In the past, a database was created of what animals were photographed and where the pictures were taken.  The need for continuing to increase its now-huge size was felt to be past.  The cameras will continue to be operated and the pictures reviewed regularly.  The emphasis will now be on spotting endangered species (e.g., panthers, Florida black bears), animals with diseases or other problems, and fluctuations in numbers that may indicate a problem or concern.

A replacement of marker posts and the addition of “You Are Here” signs will continue based on the weather and trail conditions.  Fire Fest will likely be some sort of “virtual” event rather than a large crowd event.

Otherwise, the park is in good shape.  We are really waiting for the Covid-19 crisis to pass.

I just wanted to bring you up-to-date.


Nov. 5, 2019,  Minutes by Secretary, Russ Johnson

The November 5, 2019 meeting of the Friends of Carlton Reserve (FCR) was attended by Joyce Adams, Debbie Blanco, Donna Day, Dan Hamari, Russ Johnson, Jim Lombardi, Linda Lovallo, Guenter Maurer, Hans Mooyman, Bob Oliphant, Ted Samuael, Art Smith, Sherm Stratton and Ernie Winn.

Bob Oliphant led the meeting and asked us all to introduce ourselves.  Debbie Blanco then reviewed her ideas for providing storage space for the volunteers and their equipment.  The two small buildings (garage and tool shed) are scheduled to be painted.  She thinks converting one of the three sections of the pole barn to an enclosed facility would provide adequate additional storage.  No plumbing or air conditioning is needed, but some electric lighting and outlets would be necessary.  The type of construction would be classified as “agricultural” and not meet the standards of homes.  None-the-less, an approved plan of construction will be needed.  She hoped to have a contact name in the County for us before the end of the week.  FCR has indicated that it will help with financing.  If properly designed, the volunteers may be able to do the majority of the labor

 Art Smith reviewed the “You Are Here” map program that was started over a year ago.  At six key spots in the park, maps are placed that identify where this spot is located on the map.  Due to the fact that the maps face south (so that the reader can more easily orient directions reading the map), the maps are beginning to fade.  Debbie also wants to make some changes in the maps.  Art want to replace the standard printed maps with maps printed by a sign maker using sun-resistant pigments.  Also, a “sun-shade” will be added to help resist the sun and to make the sign more prominent to passers-by.  Sherm added some comments about helping lost individuals in the park.  He thought a few arrows and “to parking” signs should be added.

 Donna Day and Ernie Winn reviewed the Wildlife Monitoring Program.  The most significant improvement has been the considerable addition to the database of descriptions by Martin Siesta.  There were now 15,476 entries covering 33 species and records entered going into the year 2017.  We discussed the 10 cameras being used.  A motion was made and unanimously passed to spend up to $1,000 on new and replacement cameras and equipment.

 The Saving the Giant Air Plant Program is cruising along.  No new cages are needed.  However, the nationwide program has seen an 80% decline in GAPs.  Research seems to have located a variety of the plant that is resistant to the Mexican Weevil.  So, there is hope for an alternative solution.

 Debbie said that Fire Fest is scheduled for 1/25/20.  The Boy Scouts are handling parking, and the Fire Department is handling food.  FCR volunteers will be needed for only certain specific assignments.  There will be a Trail Run on 12/1, and Equestrian Event on 12/8, and Piggy’s Revenge will occur on 1/5.

Bob said that the Wednesday Work Crew will start up on 12/4.  The list of assignments is the same as always – clearing around trail markers, clearing trails, getting fire-load out of the public area and cleaning up the public area generally.  Bob thought that the County crews had done a good job of getting the park ready after the rainy season.

Sherm said the Carlton website and Facebook websites were being kept current and were seeing good activity levels.  Art Smith was complimented for his contribution of great pictures of flowers in the Carlton.

 No future meeting has been scheduled at this time.  It was felt that there was no need to meet again before Fire Fest.

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Information & Website


Park Naturalists:

Meghan Harris

         Art Jensen




Sarasota County

Field Guide

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Counter set 03/24/2015

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