Saturday, January 14, 2023, 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Join us in celebrating environmental & community health! A paddle cleanup (BYO – bring your own kayak) of Whitaker Bayou and workday at Orange Blossom Community Garden will be followed by a free BBQ, the Newtown Farmers Market, & community resources in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park.

Whitaker Bayou Healthy Communities Flyer

PLEASE READ:

The event this year will take place at two different locations in the morning. Please meet at the location associated with the cleanup/workday you register for:

PADDLE CLEANUP (BYO-BRING YOUR OWN KAYAK OR TOPSIDE HELP) PARTICIPANTS:

Kayakers: We will be launching kayaks from the Ringling School of Art + Design campus. Unload at the gravel parking lot off of Old Bradenton Road – 2430 Bradenton Rd, Sarasota, then park in the areas marked in RED on this map. To avoid congestion, we will have someone at the drop off to help you unload starting at 9:00 AM.

Topside Helpers: Don’t have your own kayak? You can still help! We need several people to help transfer and sort trash as kayakers bring it in. Meet at the Ringling shell lot off of Old Bradenton Road – 2430 Bradenton Rd, Sarasota. Park in the areas marked in RED on this map.

Please note: The kayak launch area requires stepping down to get into the kayaks, so if you have trouble with stairs, we suggest you sign up for the land cleanup and/or enjoy activities in the park. After the cleanup, kayakers and topside helpers can walk across the bridge for lunch and activities in Dr. MLK Jr. Park.

LAND CLEANUP/WORKDAY PARTICIPANTS:

Meet at Orange Blossom Community Garden – 1822 N Orange Ave. Sarasota. There is parking onsite. Afterwards, you can either walk (0.8 mi/15min), bike, or drive over to Dr. MLK Jr. Park for lunch and activities. Click here for a map.

The BBQ, Newtown Farmers Market, and organizations offering community resources will be in Dr. MLK Jr. Park – 2601 Cocoanut Avenue, Sarasota.

Zero Waste

We are trying to encourage zero waste at all of our volunteer events. Please consider bringing your own reusable water bottle and plate for lunch. Feel free to bring tupperware if you’d like to bring home any leftovers! We will have compostable items either way, but your support for this effort would be much appreciated!

Local Sourcing

We are sourcing BBQ meat from Blackbeard’s Ranch located in Myakka City. The ranch sits near the head of two waterway systems, called sloughs, that flow into the Myakka River. Over the years, they have worked with several environmental groups to study and protect the native habitats and ecosystems that exist throughout the ranch. Blackbeard’s sets an example for responsible ranching and integrates land stewardship best practices, like prescribed fire, into their overall operations. They’ve also placed the headwaters of Deer Prairie Slough and adjoining wetlands into a conservation easement, which means that land is permanently protected so it can continue storing and cleaning water for people downstream.

About Whitaker Bayou

Whitaker Bayou winds through and connects many of the neighborhoods in North Sarasota. In addition to people, many animals enjoy the bayou, including fish, birds, and even manatees! Yet multiple challenges face the creek and surrounding areas. Join the rejuvenation effort on Saturday! Learn about how your health and wellbeing is connected to your local environment. Click here to learn more about Whitaker Bayou on the Water Atlas. 

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