It is with great sorrow that I share the news that UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County's esteemed Environmental Horticulture Agent Annemarie Post passed away on Friday, May 31. Annemarie was well known in Sarasota for her expertise in Florida-Friendly Landscaping, community association horticulture education, work with Master Gardeners and the Florida Yards and Neighborhood program, and service in protection of Florida's coastal ecosystems. Annemarie's leadership in the UF/IFAS Extension system was manifest through numerous professional association awards, a long-standing partnership with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, her service as Interim County Extension Director of UF/IFAS Sarasota County, and her popular teaching on snakes, mangroves, and medicinal plants. Annemarie was very active in Sarasota's horticulture community, and worked extensively with groups including Selby Gardens, the Sarasota Garden Club, and the Native Plant Society. Most recently, her work with the Florida Friendly Landscaping program was recognized as contributing to the removal of Roberts Bay from the Clean Water Act list of impaired waters. Annemarie was a devoted educator, horticulturalist, and friend. Her contributions to the community and her extraordinary spirit will be dearly missed.
Evangeline Linkous, PhD, AICP
The Extension team has organized two efforts in Annemarie's memory, and we invite you to participate.
First, on Thursday, June 13 from 4-6 p.m. we will hold an Open House at the Twin Lakes Park Green Building (6700 Clark Rd.). We will be honoring Annemarie with the dedication of a plaque and bench under a memorial oak at 5 p.m. Guests are invited to bring hanging wind chimes, potted orchids, photos and other items for temporary display, which will later either be gifted to Annemarie's family or remain in the landscape at the discretion of Extension. Light refreshments will be provided.
Second, in recognition of Annemarie's commitment to horticulture and education, the Extension team will dedicate the planned demonstration garden at Twin Lakes Park to her. The working title for the garden is "Annemarie's Garden: A Florida Friendly Landscape." Conceptual plans for the garden will be on display at the June 13 Open House. Memorial gifts may be given in support of Annemarie's Garden by making checks payable to the UF Foundation, Inc. and noting on the check that the gift is for Annemarie's Garden. You may also mail your gift to the IFAS Development Office, PO Box 110170, Gainesville, FL 32611-0170; or you may give online here.
For more information on this or other gift options, including memorial endowments, call Carré Saunders, UF/IFAS Development Office, at 352-392-1975.
New Research to Fight Citrus Greening
A major research initiative designed to fight the virulent disease huanglongbing, also known as HLB or "greening," that has devastated Florida's citrus industry, is expected to receive major funding from the state legislature during its current session. The House has designated $8 million in its proposed 2013-14 budget and the Senate has recommended $7 million. "This disease is threatening the livelihood of thousands of individuals in this state and the very existence of Florida's signature citrus crop," Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said. (Highlands Today, 4/24).
A Fresh Name for Landscape Help
Beginning on Wednesday, May 1 the Sarasota County Extension Master Gardener Help Desks began using the name "Plant Clinic" and the primary location at the Sarasota County Extension office transitioned to Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. operating hours. At this location as well as satellite services throughout Sarasota County, trained Master Gardener volunteers respond to lawn, landscape and pest management questions with research-based solutions from the University of Florida. "Similar services offered by Master Gardener programs across Florida and elsewhere in the country commonly use the 'Plant Clinic' name to provide greater clarity about the resources offered by this service" said Commercial Horticulture/Integrated Pest Management Agent, Erin Alvarez. "This represents a best practice that will help to promote awareness of this valuable program." Click here for more information, including a complete list of Master Gardener Plant Clinic locations.
2012 Annual Report
Our 2012 Annual Report is now posted in both PDF and a "flippable" Flash Page Flip format. This document describes UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County's strategic framework, summarizes a number of accomplishments and provides an at-a-glance snapshot of how Extension impacted the community through the year. Take a look for yourself and then let us know about your Extension success story!
Extension welcomes New Volunteer Coordinator!
On May 6 Extension welcomed Katherine Perrault Sogolow, PhD as the new Extension Volunteer Coordinator. Raised in Garden Grove, California w ith multiple fruit trees and a year round garden, Katherine moved to Florida where she developed her own organic, Florida Friendly homestead. She became a Master Gardener in 2010, has worked with the community and school gardens, and served on several community service projects. Her educational and directorial experience is grounded in cooperative, project-based, hands on learning. Katherine values collaboration through individual and group input/feedback, timely support and access to essential resources. Alongside the staff, Katherine will work to sustain a vibrant corps of volunteers to support Extension's work within our community.
Community Orchard Takes Root
On April 11, staff from Sarasota County Parks and Recreation and UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County hosted the installation of the Community Orchard Project at Colonial Oaks Park. The project, which is a partnership between Sarasota County, UF/IFAS Extension and Home Depot, is intended to teach families about growing their own food. Families will be invited to adopt fruit trees and Extension will use the orchard for classes and instruction on proper care and maintenance of fruit trees.
Master Gardeners Honored at Flower Show
Master Gardeners Debbie Shapiro and Ruth Walsh organized educational displays the Annual Flower Show at the Sarasota Garden Club. Their display on Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ and the Master Gardener program received a First Place award and the UF/IFAS Extension display received a Third Place award, both in the environmental education category!
Florida's Farms Provide More Than Food
Despite much public discussion about Florida's natural resources in recent years, an important fact is often overlooked. Farmers and ranchers are the first stewards of those resources. Proof of that incentive has appeared in their willingness to adopt state-of-the-art resource management strategies developed by experts at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, as well as at other universities and public agencies. (Gainesville Sun, 5/13)
Free Energy Upgrade Workshops!
Sarasota County is offering free Energy Upgrade workshops for neighborhood associations, community groups, volunteer associations, faith groups or others who are interested in learning more about how to save energy and water in their homes. The 30 minute workshop discusses cost saving strategies for residents ranging from no-cost solutions to those that require some investment like replacing an air conditioning system. It discusses considerations in selecting contractors, do it yourself opportunities and possible incentives that might be available. Attendees will receive a free Do It Yourself Energy Saving Kit worth up to $30 that includes compact fluorescent light bulbs, faucet aerators, a smart power strip, rope caulk and outlet insulating gaskets. To set up a workshop, contact Sarasota County at 861-5000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are You Prepared for Hurricane Season?
What would you do if basic services, like electricity or water, were cut off or if you had to suddenly leave your home? Learn how to assemble an emergency supply kit and prepare for unexpected disasters, such as hurricanes at one of our free workshops - July 16 or July 24. Visit our class calendar for more information and to register.
Wilkinson Elementary - Stone Soup
This video, produced by The Education Channel, features Wilkinson Elementary's school garden. Master Gardeners helped support this terrific project with a grant and garden-related lessons as students used vegetables from the garden to prepare "stone soup" in association with the classic children's book.