Category Archives: Announcements

FLT Donates Trail Counter to County

by Steve Martin

Friends of The Legacy Trail has donated a new, more accurate, trail counter to the County Parks Department to monitor traffic on The Legacy Trail.  Pictured, Jon Robinson, Division Manager, Natural Area Parks, Preserves and Trails (left), receives the counter from John League, President, Friends of The Legacy Trail (right).

FLT has performed two surveys in the past year to evaluate trail usage and user characteristics.  The results of these surveys and analysis were recently used to increase the calculated trail usage from 120,000 to 175,000 users per year.  Another finding from these surveys was that the currently-used trail counters are significantly under-counting trail usage.  An investigation of alternative counting devices and technology led to the selection of the more accurate Eco-Counter device donated by FLT to the county.

Having accurate data to demonstrate the popularity of The Legacy Trail is very important in seeking financial support for the trail and the trail extension to Sarasota.  This activity is currently being performed by both the County Parks Department (Thanks Megan!) and members of FLT.    In the trail business the saying is “If we don’t count, we don’t get counted.”

OJT Park Cleanup – Part 2

by Mark Malkasian

Update:  The next OJT cleanup is scheduled for Thursday, January 12, 2017 from 8:30 AM – Noon.

It’s been over six months since our first rounds of landscaping work at Osprey Junction Trailhead Park and overgrowth again threatens to obscure views of the main building that has been nicely re-painted by the County since we last worked the site.

ojt-1038x577Now that the humidity has moderated this is a call for volunteers for renewal of the “Cut, Rake, Haul & Manicure” effort at our planned Visitor Center. We’re happy to have as our guide, Megan Donoghue our Parks & Rec. Specialist, who has been stocking up on tools and equipment to better arm us for the effort. You are certainly free to bring your favorite landscaping implement and we’ll throw in the camaraderie to make it a fun morning on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 from 8:30 to Noon.

ojt5Suggested personal items are sunscreen, work gloves and protective clothing.  Water, coffee and snacks will be provided. The proposed Visitor Center will be open for viewing and any suggestions for its transformation will be welcome.  So come by, grab a tool and join in for a rewarding morning of giveback to what we hope will be a key feature of the Trail experience. Osprey Junction Trailhead
is at the east end of Bay Street in Osprey next to The Legacy Trail just north of Oscar Scherer State Park. Please contact Mark Malkasian via our contact form or at 941-445- 2890 to confirm participation or if you have questions.

Bike Repair Stations Coming to the Trail!

repair-station-1Sarasota County will be installing four bike repair stations on the Legacy Trail and more at other locations in the county. The four proposed locations on the Trail are: Osprey Junction Trailhead, Venice Train Depot, Laurel Park and Central Sarasota Parkway. Installation will begin in November. 

The stations are the Bike Fixation Deluxe Public Work Stands.  They provide a full complement of repair tools and a bicycle pump with both Schrader and Presta valve connectors.  As shown in the picture above, there a two ways of supporting your bike while working on it.

repair-station-3Special thanks to Patrick Lui, County Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Coordinator, for initiating and making this idea happen.  Also, thanks to Megan Donoghue, Parks Department, who will be assembling and installing the stations.

The new stations for Sarasota County have arrived and one was on display at the recent Florida Neighborhood Conference held in Venice on October 13:

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The last two photos were provided by Darryl Lang.  Previous images were from the Bike Fixation web site.

Tripadvisor Gives The Legacy Trail It’s Certificate of Excellence

by Andrea Seager

Very quietly, without much fanfare, The Legacy Trail has become one of Sarasota’s most important tourist attractions. TripAdvisor.com, one of the world’s largest and most influential travel websites with 375 million monthly visitors has awarded a Certificate of Excellence to Sarasota County’s multi-use Legacy Trail.

Enjoyed by over 120,000 people per year, the trail has been reviewed 335 times with the vast majority of TripAdvisor members granting four or five stars to the 10.6 mile paved path that starts at The Venice Train Depot. Travelers from as far away as Moscow, Jerusalem and London extol the virtues of the flat, easy terrain. Andre D. from Concord, New Hampshire’s comments are typical: “We rented bikes at Real Bikes in Venice right next to the trail. Very reasonable and nice bikes. The trail is fantastic. We had a great ride 20 miles up and back. Plenty of places to rest and get shade. Enjoyable for all levels. Excellent construction of the trail.”

The Friends of The Legacy Trail website includes maps showing parking areas, rest stops, bicycle rentals and a wealth of other information about the Trail. If you haven’t explored it yet, now might be the perfect time to check out Sarasota’s “excellent” Legacy Trail!

Oakwood Manor Presentation

Friends of The Legacy Trail will be presenting a program on The Legacy Trail at the Oakwood Manor Home Owners Association (map here) at 1 PM on February 13th, 2016.  This presentation should be of particular interest to residents of northern Sarasota County because of the planned extension of The Trail through this area.  Everyone is invited to attend.  Although this is a gated community,  the guard will allow you entry for the presentation.

Click Map to Enlarge

As the above map shows, the planned route along the existing railroad right-of-way will pass near the communities of Oakwood Manor and Pinecraft.  In addition, the extension would create the potential for a connecting route to Nathan Benderson Park and the The Meadows trail system using the existing Circus Trail.

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!

Welcome to the new FLT web site!

Welcome to www.friendsofthelegacytrail.org, our new web site!  Our previous web site, www.legacytrailfriends.org has served us very well.  However, it has been in existence with little structural change, and minimal enhancements, for over four years – ancient history by internet chronology.  The site was built using a great deal of custom coding under the hood, which was typical at the time the site was built.  Unfortunately, that required us to pay a contractor to revise seemingly elemental portions of the site.  It’s time for a change.

This new site has a contemporary, flexible,  blog-focused design.  It offers a more attractive, visually oriented, magazine style layout with cascading sub-menus for easier navigation.  We will  prominently display several items as featured content at the top of the homepage.  Content and organizational structure are easily modified to accommodate future needs without resorting to custom HTML coding.  We can confidently incorporate software updates as developers offer bug fixes and capability enhancements.  The site will properly display content across the full range of screens sizes, from desk top to mobile devices, and allow users to connect to social media.  Yes, we will be incorporating social media links in the future.  We have incorporated a Google maps feature that will in the near future display trailheads, toilets and water stops,  It will also allow you to enter an address and receive turn-by-turn directs.  The site will easily allow video and photo galleries.

FLT volunteers developed this web site at minimal cost,  We will operate and maintain the site without the need for contractor support, at a considerable savings.  Should we encounter challenges, there is a large, diverse user base on the internet to help resolve issues.

Please look around the site.  We have migrated all the pertinent content from the old site.  We are working to smooth transitional anomalies, and get comfortable with the new capability at our fingertips.  Contact us if you encounter any issues, or would like to offer suggestions.  We will retain the old site online for the near future, but all new content will be posted exclusively on this new site.

The FLT are very fortunate to have a growing, dedicated cadre of volunteers with extraordinary skills.  We are deeply grateful for the time, energy, enthusiasm and professional expertise FLT volunteer Stephen Martin provided in developing this new site.  Thanks Steve.  You have a reserved, front-row seat when the conductor calls “All Aboard……Next Stop, Downtown Sarasota.!

 

 

Fill the Seats with Yellow FLT shirts @ Apr 1 County Commissioner’s Mtg

The Sarasota County Commissioners will discuss the results of the Feasibility Study to Extend The Legacy Trail to Downtown Sarasota  at their April 1st meeting.  We hope that discussion will lead a decision on how best to move forward.  It is important for everyone that supports the Trail Extension to attend this meeting and show your silent but support by wearing your yellow Trail Extension shirt. We want the Commissioners to see a lot of yellow in the audience!
The Feasibility Study discussion is scheduled for the morning session which begins at 9 am Wednesday April 1 at the Commission Chambers – First Floor – County Administration Center – 1660 Ringling Blvd – Downtown Sarasota.  There will likely be numerous items on the agenda, and we will not know the order of topics, so please plan to be there for the 9 am start.
We hope the County Commissioners will take the next step forward, which we believe centers on commissioning an independent property appraisal of the rail corridor with CSX Corporation (the current property owner), and the Trust for Public Land (negotiated the 2004 sale of the rail corridor from CSX to Sarasota County that became The Legacy Trail).
If you need to buy a yellow Trail Extension shirt please contact MJ Rouvet (Venice area) 941-484-8964 mjrouvet@verizon.net or Chuck Butterfield (Sarasota area) 941-408-3979 gulfman8@comcast.net $15 short sleeve $20 long sleeve.  We will also have shirts available outside the meeting room.