FOJT was created in December 2018 as a Chapter of Friends of Sarasota County Parks, a 501c3 non-profit organization registered in the State of Florida. We currently have 12 volunteers on our Leadership Team providing direction and support to 50+ volunteers working on achieving our goals.
Visitor Center Project at Osprey Junction Trailhead Park
The 10-acre Park property was purchased by the County in 2008. Three structures were on the SW corner of the property – a house with attached garage, maintenance building and greenhouse. Woods, open areas and two ponds were on the remaining land.
A concept plan for the park was developed in 2010 by Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources which included the house designated as a proposed “Visitor Center” to be open to the public at some future date when funding for development became available. Various uses of the “Visitor Center” would be determined by public input.
The Park was named Osprey Junction Trailhead and officially opened in 2013 with a fenced vehicle parking area of grass, picnic tables, bicycle racks, shade structure, water fountain and information kiosk, all at the East end of the park near The Legacy Trail. Public access was not allowed to the house, maintenance building and greenhouse.
In December 2018 a group of volunteers that worked at the Park for several years organized Friends of Osprey Junction Trailhead (FOJT) with a mission to support, promote and enhance the Park. One of the FOJT goals is to support the development and operation of a Visitor Center at the Park.
FOJT developed a phased plan to convert the house into a Visitor Center and Sarasota County Parks approved work to begin on Phase 1 with a goal to open the Visitor Center in 2020.
FOJT also developed a Use of Facilities Plan for the Visitor Center and surrounding grounds. The overall goal is to provide a variety of opportunities for the public to enjoy the Park and to increase public use of the Park.
The Visitor Center includes public use areas for family parties, meetings, school trips, clubs and other organizations; education classes; displays and materials; rest and eating; art exhibits; and volunteers providing visitor services.
The grounds around the Visitor Center will be used to showcase and educate the public about Florida-Friendly Landscaping and various demonstration gardens; display artwork and conduct art events; and provide rest and picnic areas.
Friends of Osprey Junction Trailhead (FOJT) is a volunteer organization that supports, promotes and enhances Osprey Junction Trailhead, a Sarasota County Park adjacent to The Legacy Trail.
Partner with Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources to assist in the development, operation, maintenance and improvement of Osprey Junction Trailhead.
Support the development and operation of a Visitor Center.
Implement programs, projects and events that encourage enjoyable visitor experiences.
Use, showcase and educate the public about Florida-Friendly Landscaping Principles and Sarasota County Sustainability Programs.
Partner with organizations interested in supporting Osprey Junction Trailhead to achieve mutually beneficial goals.
Promote The Legacy Trail, a Sarasota County Park, by providing facilities, services and information to enhance public use of the Trail.
Recruit, retain and reward volunteers to achieve FOJT goals and promote participation in the Sarasota County Volunteer Program.
Raise funds with sponsorship programs, donations and fundraising events to achieve FOJT goals.