An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

2020 NEST Calendar featuring Sarasota County students’ artwork now available

Sarasota County's 2020 NEST Calendar is now available at county facilities, while supplies last.

Each year, the Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST) produces the calendar, which supports the county's goal of environmental stewardship. The calendar brings together our community's youth and adults by cultivating strong conversations around the environment, natural resources and the importance of conservation.

The theme of the 2020 calendar is "Water, water, everywhere," in which students were asked to illustrate the importance of water, bringing awareness to floods.

In addition to the student artwork, this year's calendar also features the animated Floody the Frog, a graphic tool used to help simplify the complex concepts of flooding more approachable to school-aged students. Floody the Frog was developed by the Sarasota County Public Works and Communications departments to help build an interest around water quality and flood topics.

Students from schools across Sarasota County were honored by the Sarasota County Commission during Wednesday's board meeting. During a breakfast ceremony prior to the meeting, commissioners signed each winning student's calendar.

Elementary school students in all public and private Sarasota County schools, including charter and elementary-age home-schooled students were invited to participate.

Ahli'lani Dunn, a second-grade student at Tuttle Elementary School, was selected from hundreds of entries as this year's cover winner. The other winners, whose artwork is featured each month, were:

  • January: Brooke St. Louis, a second-grade student at St. Martha Catholic School.
  • February: Eisabella Maldonado, a third-grade student at Sarasota Academy of the Arts.
  • March: Triniti Ramjas Bryan, a fourth-grade student at Phillippi Shores Elementary School.
  • April: Vallerie Kappelmann, a fifth-grade student at Englewood Elementary School.
  • May: Varshini Ganesh, a third-grade student at Pine View School.
  • June: Zoe Malca, a first-grade student at Gulf Gate Elementary School.
  • July: Natasha Bensen, a fifth-grade student at Venice Elementary School.
  • August: Faith McCue, a fifth-grade student at Ashton Elementary School.
  • September: Yahir Dominguez Hernandez, a kindergarten student at Gocio Elementary School.
  • October: Arseney Machefert, a fourth-grade student at Atwater Elementary School.
  • November: Livia Dietz, a first-grade student at Tatum Ridge Elementary School
  • December: Selena Shen, a fifth-grade student at Pine View School

According to Mollie Holland, NEST coordinator, reducing our contribution to pollution will help clean the water that we, and our valuable wildlife, depend on.

"Having respect for our water resources, and being a good neighbor is important to keeping Sarasota a beautiful and vibrant place to live and play," Holland said, adding, "Using the water we take from the ground wisely will conserve our best resource for water that we drink and grow our food with. We must also respect the power and energy of water. Having a plan for our families during storms that give water more energy and power will assure their safety."

Throughout the calendar there are opportunities to learn how to be a better neighbor to the water that often surrounds our community so together we can be healthy and safe.

For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.