Category Archives: Past Events

Sharky’s Giving Challenge Fair

On Tuesday, April 9, 12–7 p.m., the Venice Pier Group (including Sharky’s and Fins) will be hosting a Giving Challenge Fair to help maximize donations to 26 nonprofits — including FLT — during the Giving Challenge.

Come visit the FLT booth and enjoy the following incentives that the Venice Pier Group has generously developed for this event.

  • A free dessert for anyone who donates $100.
  • Free lunch for two people at Sharky’s for anyone who makes five $100 donations (total donation of $500).
  • Free dinner for two people at Fins for anyone who makes 10 $100 donation (total donation of $1,000).
  • Each $100+ donation also gets entered into a chance drawing to win a big prize.
Click on image to enlarge.

Giving Challenge

Save the date for this year’s Giving Challenge on April 9 and 10. Each year the Giving Challenge raises funds for FLT and other local organizations that are working to strengthen our communities. The 2024 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation. More information on the Giving Challenge can be found here.

Tour de Parks Press Release


Annual Tour de Parks Bike Ride Set for Sunday, March 17, 2024

Sarasota, FL ( March 9, 2024 ) — The annual Tour de Parks bike ride is set for Sunday, March 17, 2024. It is coordinated and staffed by Friends of The Legacy Trail, Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club and Sarasota County. The ride is a fundraiser for the Legacy Trail, a Sarasota County Park, and its trail connectors.

The ride starts and finishes at the historic Venice Train Depot, 303 East Venice Avenue, in Venice. Participants have the option to ride a 21-mile, 35-mile, or 62-mile route along The Legacy Trail connecting to other parts of the county. The rides go through or pass up to12 parks and provide a beautiful, scenic experience for cyclists of all levels.

“This immensely popular ride gives cyclists an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, get to know the cycling routes in the area, and raise funds for an important cause,” said Sara Reibman, joint committee chair and director for the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club.

This is the twelfth year of the ride, which raises funds to support amenities for The Legacy Trail and build connectors to such locations as the Bobby Jones Golf Club; Nathan Benderson Park; and, the future Mote SEA. Monies raised have already been used to obtain federal matching funds for a bifrucated trail between Beneva and Shade. It will prove a parallel walking trail improving safety as it separates cyclists from others.

The Title Sponsors of this year’s event are Maurice Menager & Lin Dunn ( Team Dunn of Michael Saunders & Company’s Siesta Key office ). Other major sponsors are: Gulf Coast Community Foundation; Benderson Development; Trust for Public Land; Neal Communities; Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP; Ear Research Foundation and Crescent Communities.

Participant package pickup and SAG support are provided by Bicycles International, Real Bikes and Sarasota Cycle. WC Sounds will provide audio equipment. And, as in past years, Wes Culpepper of Bicycles International will serve as announcer and master of ceremonies. Breakfast and Shark bars will be provided by Sharky’s on the Pier.

Friends of The legacy trail, Inc. ( FLT ) is an all volunteer 501( c )( 3 ) nonprofit organization based in Sarasota County. It has over 1,000 individual, family and business members.

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.