OJT House Cleanup

by Mark Malkasian

The County Parks Department has given FLT the green light to work on a proposed plan to remodel the house at Osprey Junction Trailhead (OJT) into a Visitor Center. (map).  The first phase is developing a proposed plan to remodel the house at Osprey Junction Trailhead Park into a Visitor Center. The plan will then be presented to Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources for review and approval.  While the remodel planning wheels are turning for the first phase of the project, we have started an initial cleanup of the landscaping.

On a perfect Tuesday morning, January 19, a team of 18 volunteer members attacked the first round of landscaping improvements at OJT.  Lead ably by Ed Wolfenbarger, the vegetation around the main building that we hope will be home to a future Visitor Center was given a thorough, verging on radical, haircut.


We were surprised and pleased to have the former property owners, Mary Ann and Dennis Marlin, join us and enthusiastically contribute. Mary Ann helped in discovering original paths and walkways well hidden under years of detritus.  Dennis repaired and re-activated the long dormant water system in the house. We offer a hearty thank you to them both and surely to our Stalwart 18!


More exterior work needs our attention so another volunteer work morning has been scheduled for February 11 from 8:30 to noon.  Again, tools will be provided but feel free to bring your favorite landscaping implements.  Suggested personal items are sunscreen, work gloves and protective clothing.  Water, coffee and snacks will be provided. The house will be open for viewing.

Please contact Mark Malkasian here to confirm participation or if you have questions.

Members of the Stark County Bicycle Club Visit The Legacy Trail

Welcome to members of the Stark County Bicycle Club who are currently staying in Venice and enjoying riding The Legacy Trail and and other trails in Sarasota County!  The club has been a strong supporter of our efforts to extend The Legacy Trail into downtown Sarasota by collecting signatures on our petition and becoming an Organizational Member of Friends of The Legacy Trail.

Here is a note we just received from Dave Cardarella:

Just a note to let you know Stark County Bicycle Club has been in Venice for more than a week.

We are making an economic impact on the area.

This is the clubs 10th anniversary of visiting Venice in January.

We have 40 members in 20 rooms at the Island Sun Hotel, most of us are staying for 2 weeks.

We are eating in local restaurants every day.

And we are shopping at local merchants.

And of course, we are greatly enjoying the great bicycle riding infrastructure of Sarasota County, including the Legacy Trail.

Attached is a group photo.

Dave Cardarella

SCBC Newsletter Editor

Thanks Dave and all the members of SCBC  and hope you have a great vacation this year.  We really appreciate your support!

Legacy Park Dedication

See Also:
A Jewel Arises Along The Legacy Trail,” by Roger Normand

Press Release

The Dedication Ceremony for Legacy Park will be held on Monday, February 1, 2016 at 10 a.m. The newly constructed Legacy Park is located at 395 E. Venice Avenue, Venice, FL, next to the historic Venice Train Depot. Legacy Park and the restored train are located at the junction of junction of two multi-use paved trails: the 10.6 mile The Legacy Trail and the 10 mile Venetian Waterway Park (5 miles long on each side of the Intracoastal Waterway).

Legacy Park offers multi-use recreational opportunities. A kayak/canoe launch allows access to the wide expanse of the Intracoastal Waterway as well as the more intimate confines of Hatchett Creek. Opting for the latter, paddlers will feel transported back in time as they travel through a dense canopy of native white, red and black mangrove trees and view other natural Florida landscape features. A two station kayak/canoe wash station provides a quick cleanup at journey’s end. There are pervious parking areas for vehicles and boat trailers. The design provides parking spaces while still allowing water infiltration and reducing surface water runoff into the creek.

A wildlife observation platform built next to Hatchett Creek provides up-close viewing opportunities of creek inhabitants and shoreline wetland restoration habitat. Sheltered picnic pavilions are available along with a public restroom and drinking fountain. A handicap-accessible 1/2 mile asphalt nature trail winds through the park with periodic benches along the trail. Stormwater retention ponds are surrounded by native vegetation provide habitat for wading birds and small mammals while improving the water quality flowing into the creek. Visitors are likely to see a diverse mix of birds such as snowy egrets, great egrets, blue heron, tricolored heron and osprey. Picnic pavilions are also available

The city of Venice acquired the ten acre abandoned industrial cement plant site in 2008 for $7.4 million using funds from the voter-approved one-cent sales tax surcharge and a grant from the Florida Communities Trust. The city developed a comprehensive redevelopment plan in coordination with Sarasota County during the intervening years and demolished all the buildings on the site and restoration of the Hatchett Creek shoreline.   Just over $2 million was spent on design, permitting and construction of the new park using funds from Sarasota County, Park impact Fees; Land and Water Conservation Fund, Recreational Trails and Florida Coastal Management Programs. Future plans include a train themed covered playground and additional landscaping. Sarasota County will assume all future operations and maintenance needs for the city owned Legacy Park though an inter-local agreement.

Why I Love The Legacy Trail 1

by Roger Normand

I am a frequent rider on The Legacy Trial and am always amazed at the diversity of users I encounter.  The other day I was just short of my planned turn-around point at the Venice train depot when I did a double take on a low-slung trike going in the other direction.   I got to the depot, turned, and started heading north. 

dick-2-672pxI caught up to the triker, and we started chatting for the next several miles.  “Nice rig you’ve got there” I said.  Dick said he enjoys the exercise and freedom that cycling provides.  As for the walker carefully attached to the back of his trike, well, he said, you do what you gotta do.  Dick told me he was in the middle of a planned 30-mile ride, and that he really appreciates the safety afforded by The Legacy Trail and Venetian Waterway Park compared to riding on roads.  I asked Dick if he minded my taking a picture of him riding his trike.  Sure he said with a big smile.  Later, as we parted ways, I told him that seeing him riding his trike made my day.  Thanks he said with that big grin. 

The sun was shining, the sky was a deep blue with few clouds, and the wind was now in our back.  Another great day riding on The Legacy Trail.  But what I will remember most about this ride was meeting Dick with the big smile on his trike with the walker on the back.

2016 Piggy’s Revenge Video

Piggy’s Revenge – A race sponsored by Sarasota County Off Road Riders (SCOOR) – Jan 10th, 2016


Once a year the members of SCORR host an endurance race on the trails of the T. Mabry Carlton Reserve.Riders get to choose the 20 or 40 mile mountain bike route or the 60 mile epic endurance race. The race courses have varied terrain, are well marked and the MTB path includes 8+ miles of twisty singletrack. This race takes place during the winter season allowing travelers to escape the cold. All racers receive an event t-shirt. Everyone gets to enjoy homemade bratwurst, snacks and cold drinks