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Help build a better future, together, through a sustainability workshop

Early-bird registration is now open for Sarasota County's 12th Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop on Nov. 30, a day-long event that showcases steps to building healthy, resilient, thriving communities.

Wrapped with a "Building a Better Future, Together" theme, the workshop will draw together individuals, businesses, institutions and government bodies to learn about environmental, economic and social aspects of sustainability. Expert speakers will discuss the latest strategies, resources and best practices, and provide hands-on demonstrations.

"The workshop is a great way to network, learn about innovative projects happening here and in other communities, and how you can get involved," said Sara Kane, sustainability outreach coordinator with Sarasota County's UF/IFAS Extension and Sustainability Department. "The individual actions you take can have a significant, positive impact for the whole community."

Florida and Sarasota County continue to experience rapid population growth and development, with no slowdown in sight. Against that backdrop, the annual workshop offers insight on sustainable approaches to energy use, construction, healthy living, transportation and more.

The 2017 workshop, to be held at the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Event and Conference Center, at 4740 Cattlemen Road in Sarasota, will tackle a suite of sustainability related topics, including:

  • Predictions and Preparations for Climate Change
  • Going Solar in the Sunshine State
  • Engaging Community
  • Sharing a Pathway to Equity
  • Innovations in the Built Environment
DIY: Individual Actions Have Community Impact
Nathaniel Smith, founder and chief equity officer of the Partnership for Southern Equity, will deliver one of two keynote addresses. Smith's firm pushes for balanced growth and inclusive prosperity in the metropolitan Atlanta area. Randall Wells also will deliver a keynote. As director of the Chicago Zoological Society's Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, Wells has studied the effects of boating, fishing, and other human activities on the dolphin population.

Early-bird registration of $35 is available through Oct. 30, and $45 after. Students may register for $20. All registrations include continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack. Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities also are available.