MAKE A DIFFERENCE
UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County is a partnership that shares science-based knowledge with our community to create better outcomes for families, businesses and our environment. A part of improving Sarasota County since 1927, our programs last year reached nearly 62,000 people and our volunteers provided almost 17,000 hours of service valued at roughly $432,000.
Community support provides us an opportunity to expand and enhance our research-based educational programs and classes to reach an even-wider audience and make a greater impact here in Sarasota County. Consider making a tax-exempt donation through the University of Florida Foundation to help support our programs in agriculture, gardening and landscaping, natural resources, nutrition and healthy living, sustainability, and youth development.
Donate at ufgive.to/sarasotagt to provide support across our range of programs. Or, if you’d like to specify that your donation targets a program, simply visit the same link and note in the “Comments” section the program name for your support.
In addition, several of our programs have affiliated organizations that provide additional support. Read the brief descriptions for these programs, below, and get more information by clicking the "read more" action link beneath any section (or read all items).
A Master Gardener Volunteer is an individual who has received locally administered, University of Florida-designed training to become a volunteer educator in our Horticulture Program. Volunteers educate and provide research-based information to residents about gardening, sustainable landscaping, environmental horticulture, and pest management. Learn more at our Master Gardener Volunteer web page.
- The Sarasota County Master Gardener Volunteers raise funds to support their programs through a chapter of the Friends of Sarasota County Parks. They are currently fundraising to support an "Educational Outreach Garden" at the Extension office at Twin Lakes Park. You can donate to that project at foscp.org/donate/, by selecting "Master Gardeners-EOG” from the dropdown menu.
Our Gardens Program educates residents young and old about growing food, understanding food system connections, and making healthy eating choices. It supports seven community gardens that aim to build community through food and gardening in neighborhoods around the county, improving access to healthy produce while raising agricultural awareness. It also supports more than 60 school gardens through teacher and parent education, curriculum, supplies, and direct youth lessons. Learn more at sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasota/gardening-and-landscaping/gardens.
- Members of community gardens at Bee Ridge, Culverhouse, Englewood, Laurel, Nokomis and North Port fundraise to support their gardens through chapters of the Friends of Sarasota County Parks. Donate to any of these gardens at foscp.org/donate/, and selecting a garden from the dropdown menu.
- To support the Bayou Oaks garden or our school gardens program, visit ufgive.to/sarasotagt and note your target in the “Comments” field.
The 4-H Youth Development Program in Sarasota County provides educational experiences through a "learn by doing" approach. Through this experiential approach, youth acquire knowledge, develop life skills, and form attitudes that enable them to become self-directed, productive, and contributing members of society. 4-H activities help youth build better lives and become better stewards, employees, community citizens, and leaders.
- To support the 4-H Program in Sarasota County, visit ufgive.to/sarasotagt, and write “4-H” in the “Comments” field.
- The volunteer-driven 4-H Foundation of Sarasota County raises money to support the local 4-H program and to award educational scholarships to qualifying 4-Hers graduating high school. With no physical office or paid staff, the Sarasota County 4-H Foundation directs all donations to benefit 4-H programs, projects and activities. Donate at sc4hfoundation.org, or by mailing a check (made payable to: Sarasota County 4-H Foundation) to P.O. Box 48408, Sarasota, Florida 34230 or dropping it off at the UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County office at Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road in Sarasota.
If you prefer, you can donate your time, instead of (or, in addition to) showing direct financial support. If you would like to volunteer your services, we have unique opportunities throughout the year with these programs:
- Master Gardener Volunteers*
- 4-H Youth Development
- Florida Master Naturalists *
- Florida Waters Stewards*
- Energy Coaches*
- Community and School Gardens
Note: Programs marked with asterisk (*) require participation in training events.
To learn more about our volunteer opportunities, visit our volunteer web page.
We thank you for your interest in helping support your UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County office. If you have any questions, we welcome your contacts at firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-861-5000.