We hope this finds you and your family safe and healthy.
Friends of the Legacy Trail (FLT) and Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club (SMBC) have been working hard to determine what the best next steps are for this year’s postponed March 22nd Tour de Parks (TdP). We have surveyed Sarasota County leadership, vendors, volunteers, and riders, and we recognize that many people are not here in Sarasota during the fall. As a result, we have decided to move the event to its regularly scheduled weekend date of March 21, 2021. This will allow the maximum number of riders and volunteers to continue to make this event the exceptional tradition that it has become.
We realize that not all of us know if we will be able to ride next year, but hope that the majority of riders will be able to. We are proposing that all 2020 registrants roll this year’s registration over to next year’s event, and guarantee those who do so will get a shirt at next year’s ride. Please note that we will be using the 2020 t-shirts for the 2021 ride. The t-shirts cost more than $6,500, and as a non-profit, we cannot just toss them and start over.
If you do not want to keep your current registration and would like a refund now, all registrants can receive the $45-$55 TdP cost (depending on when you registered). (Note that we are unable to refund the added processing fees that were paid to Active Network.) If you later determine you are unable to ride on March 21, 2021, you may submit a refund request by March 1, 2021, and we will refund your money after the ride. Please contact Michelle Stanley at email@example.com to submit a refund request.
Another option is to donate your entry fee to FLT/SMBC. Both groups do important work to promote and sponsor biking in the area. If you would like a tax letter noting this donation, please contact our treasurer, Michelle Stanley, at the above email address.
Thank you for your patience while we sorted out these details and thank you for supporting cycling in the Sarasota County area. Please stay safe.
Double or Triple Your Donation to Support The Legacy Trail
Once every two years this unique 24-hour event enables all donors to maximize the value of their contributions to Friends of The Legacy Trail.
Every donation of $25-$100 is matched by The Patterson Foundation. In addition, two FLT board donors will also match all $25-$100 donations up to a total of $2000. Therefore the first $2000 in donations will then equal $6000!
If you have been thinking of making a donation to support The Legacy Trail, please take advantage of this opportunity to leverage your donation.
As we approach the event date we will provide more information and a link to the donation site.
After discussion with management of Sarasota County Parks, FLT has purchased and donated to the county a Stand-On Debris Blower for use on The Trail. Mowing & storms cause The Trail to be littered with debris. This will help to make the trail safer and also help to prevent flat tires.
Check out this video to see this amazing machine in action!
A celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony were held on Friday November 15 to mark the official opening. We hope all trail users will enjoy this new trail amenity sponsored by the Jelks Foundation and Friends of The Legacy Trail. See map here for location.
10th Annual Tour de North Port, Sunday, October 20.
Registration – now open for this annual fun, organized, on-road scenic bicycle ride with routes of 15, 35, or 65 miles. Travel through some of North Port’s most beautiful, natural settings: Florida pine flatwoods & parks that border the Myakkahatchee Creek –each route has its own color-coded road markings. Sponsored by People for Trees. More info and registration here.
On your mark…get set…GO! Officials from Sarasota County, City of Sarasota, City of North Port, and other honored guests kicked off the “Race to Completion” of the Legacy Trail with food, speeches and interactive exhibits.
This special event marked the County’s acquisition of the right of way for the Trail extension from the Culverhouse Nature Center, just south of Clark Road, north up to Fruitville Road. Attendees enjoyed a lovely summer morning in Payne Park while receiving the latest information on the property acquisition as well as construction plans.
Sarasota County Commission Chair Charles Hines told the assembled crowd that “the Trail offers a chance to commune with nature, it builds a sense of community, and it honors the rich history of our County… that’s why we voters overwhelmingly approved the bond referendum. It showed us … that [the Trail] is just as important to our community as anything else…It is paramount to our Board to get this project up and running as quickly as possible.”
Sarasota County Director of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Director Nicole Rissler added that “Since the passing of the referendum, Sarasota County staff have worked tirelessly – and I really mean tirelessly – to bring the Legacy Trail extension to life…when complete, the extension will create nearly 30 miles of continuous, non-motorized, paved, multi-use trail enhancing connectivity from North Port through Venice to downtown Sarasota and include improvements such as crossings and overpasses at Clark Road and at Bee Ridge, amenities, and increased accessibility.”
Friends of Legacy Trail (FLT) has played an integral part in this process, and we participated in the “Race To Completion” kickoff by sharing information and handouts with attendees. FLT President Louis Kosiba noted that “this is a great day for the Legacy Trail. The County has now acquired the land we need for the extension into downtown Sarasota, and it won’t be too long before Trail users can travel directly from North Port through the Venice Train Depot to Payne Park. Our early vision from way back in 2008 is growing clearer and closer to reality.”
I’d like to take a moment to thank the FLT Board members for their amazing passion, insight, and drive to support our beloved Legacy Trail in the last year. We achieved an incredible victory with 71 percent voter support to spend $65 million to extend the Legacy Trail to downtown Sarasota and better connect the city of North Port to the Legacy Trail. Extension efforts are well underway!
The FLT board has embraced new long range goals. We have contributed substantial improvement to the existing trail, e.g., a new water fountain at Osprey Junction Trail head, funded relocating the Legacy Trail road sign from Laurel Road to Bay Street, planning and funding a new rest stop by the trestle at Oscar Scherer, reduced our operating costs by eliminating the need for rented storage space.
I also want to thank all the FLT members and volunteers who support our organization with their funds and volunteer their time to support the trail. As a six-month snowbird from Maine, it is very challenging to remain engaged in all the FLT moving parts from a distance of 1,600 miles away. Our Vice President, Louis Kosiba has agreed to assume the role of President, and I will take his position as Vice President.