13th Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop to offer unique solutions to host of challenges

Early-bird registration open for Nov. 29 event

Keynote speaker Nicole Stott is known as the ‘artistic astronaut.’ Contributed photo

Early-bird registration is open for Sarasota County’s 13th Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop, which will be held on Nov. 29, county staff has announced.

The day-long event will “showcase solutions to creating and maintaining healthy, resilient, thriving communities,” a news release says.

With the theme “Unique Perspectives for Community Solutions,” the workshop has been planned to draw together residents, business owners, employees, nonprofit leaders and government officials to learn about environmental, economic and social aspects of sustainability, the release explains. “Florida and Sarasota County continue to experience rapid population growth and development, with no slowdown in sight,” the release point out.

“We’ve all heard about the environmental issues we face, but we often don’t know what we can do to help,” said Sara Kane, sustainability outreach coordinator with the county’s University of Florida/Institute for Food and Agricultural Services Extension and Sustainability Department, in the release. “At this year’s workshop, speakers will give their unique perspectives on how we can improve the quality of life in our area,” she added.

The event is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Event and Conference Center, located at 4740 Cattlemen Road in Sarasota. It will tackle the following topics: plastic pollution solutions, environmental communication, habitat restoration, transportation approaches and food systems, the release says.

Nicole Stott (www.theartisticastronaut.com), who has been an explorer “from the heights of outer space to the depths of our oceans,” will deliver the keynote address, the release adds. “Stott has dedicated her life to sharing with others the beauty of Earth from space,” the release points out. She believes that her reflections, gleaned from such diverse perspectives, “have the power to increase everyone’s appreciation of, and obligation to care for, our home planet and each other,” the release says.

The early-bird registration of $35 is available through Oct. 29; after that, the fee will be $45, except for students, who will pay just $25. All registrations include a continental breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack, the release notes.

Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities also are available.

To register or to learn more, visit www.scgov.net/SustainableCommunities or call the county Contact Center at 861-5000.