National Public Lands Day to be marked with Sept. 24 event

Sarasota County seeking volunteers to remove exotic plants and trash from Pinecraft Park in Sarasota

Volunteers are being sought for initiative at Minecraft Park. Photo courtesy Sarasota County
Volunteers are being sought for initiative at Pinecraft Park. Photo courtesy Sarasota County

On Saturday, Sept. 24, Sarasota County will mark the 23rd Annual National Public Lands Day with an initiative to improve Pinecraft Park, the county has announced.

The county’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department staff is seeking volunteers for the undertaking, which will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. The park is located at 1420 Gilbert Ave. in Sarasota, a news release notes.

“This event is an excellent opportunity for volunteers to be stewards of their local park by helping staff by removing exotic plants, enhancing the habitat and the park’s features,” said Ray Vinson, parks and recreation specialist, in the release.

“Sarasota County has thousands of acres of land available to the public for hiking, exploration, passive recreation and other activities,” the release points out. “These lands are also home to hundreds of protected and endangered species of animals and plants.”

Staff will work with volunteers to pull out exotic plants in Pinecraft Park, prune other vegetation and remove any litter, the release continues.

To participate in this event, volunteers should register in advance by contacting Deborah Zeilman at or 320-2302, the release says. Space is limited to 40 volunteers.

Those who register are encouraged to bring loppers or hand pruners, work gloves, hats, sunglasses, water, bug spray and sunscreen, the release adds. It also is recommended that they wear closed-toe/closed-heel shoes, such as hiking boots or sneakers, the release notes.

“National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance America’s public lands,” the release explains. “Last year, more than 170,000 volunteers nationwide built trails and bridges, planted trees and plants and removed trash and invasive plants,” it points out. This effort contributed an estimated $17 million to the improvement of public lands across the country, the release adds.

For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 861-5000 or visit