OCTOBER FIELD TRIP MYAKKA RIVER STATE PARK
Prior to 1850, the Myakka River was the Asternal River on English maps. A Seminole Indian reportedly told a surveyor in the 1850's that the name of the river was "Myakka". The translation of the word Myakka, is unknown. Between the 1850's and the 1930's, cattle grazed on dry prairie, a vast land of grasses, forbs, palmetto and other low shrubs with thousands of scattered wetlands. In 1910, Bertha Palmer, a progressive business woman from Chicago, came to Sarasota and bought a vast amount of land. Meadow Sweet Pastures which was located very near the Myakka River was one of her purchases. (Visit Ranch House Road inside the park for more information about the Palmers). In 1918, Mrs. Palmer passed away. In the 1930's, during the Great Depression, over 17,000 acres of the Palmer estate was purchased by the government to develop Myakka River State Park as part of President Roosevelt's New Deal. The New Deal was intended to boost the economy and spirit of the American population during these dark years. More than 5 million young men around the country were employed to help preserve our natural areas. This employment allowed them to earn money to send home to their families. Myakka is one of 8 Florida State Parks developed by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) during the 1930's. When the United States entered World War 2, the CCC was disbanded as all efforts were needed for the war. Myakka River State Park was formally dedicated in 1941 and was officially opened for the public. Many of the CCC structures built in Myakka are still used today.
We will meet at the Myakka River State Park Entrance off of SR 72 (Clark Road) at 8:00 am right past the Park Ranger's guard gate. Address is 13208 SR 72, Sarasota, FL. 34241. For those interested in carpooling, we will meet at the LWR Townhall at 7:15am. The fee to enter the park is $6 per vehicle (2-8 people). Please remember to bring your club's name tag. We will also be signing the club's waiver form. We will climb to top of the tree line on the canopy walkway, view alligators from the bridge and view birds from the bird walk. There should also be stops along the way to view the stunning landscapes.
For those interested, we will arrange a place to eat a late breakfast, early lunch. We will be going to First Watch at 5354 Fruitville, Sarasota, 34232.
If you have any questions, you can contact Susan (941-807-0664) or Bobbie at (813-690-5062). For those members who are thinking about upgrading from an iPhone or a point and shoot camera, the club has purchased a Sony, Cannon and Nikon cameras for you to try out. If you are interested in one of these cameras on our field trip check the link at the top of this page to reserve a camera.You must be a member to participate in the field trips. You may not bring a spouse or friend who is not a current member of the club. Thank you for your cooperation.