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Not Your Usual Classroom -- Sustainability networking in five easy events

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  • | 8:55 a.m. October 22, 2012
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In our relentless pursuit of building a place for the creative class, we looked for ways you can build your skills, meet the players, have a little fun and then advocate like crazy for that place. Here's the thing in Sarasota and the new economy: You can't just go to the networking events sponsored by your own (fill-in-the-blank profession) monthly meetings. Here are five events to start; in talking with several of the sponsors, they would be thrilled to have you attend. Thrilled.

These five events (many free, some with free snacks and drinks) seem to fit that bill. Choose an event (or several) and sign up (just because we are creative and good-looking doesn't mean we can just show up):


Green Drinks - Tour of the LEED Wellness Center at Sun-n-Fun - Thursday, Oct. 25, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Sponsors: Stewart Engineering and Gulf Coast Chapter of American Institutes of Architects
Location: Sun N Fun, 7125 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34240
The What: A tour of Sarasota’s newest LEED Gold building, Sun N Fun’s Lifestyle Wellness Center, hosted by the Green Drinks networking group, Carlson Studio Architecture and the U.S. Green Building Council
What You’ll Learn: This kick-ass, green RV park captures rainwater, uses the pool for cooling and uses local materials. Architecturally it blends the best of Sarasota modern design and frugal resource use. 
Details: Free, nibbles provided. Please RSVP at [email protected].

Honey Beekeeping 101 -
Saturday, Nov. 10, 9 a.m. to noon

Sponsors: University of Florida/IFAS Sarasota County Extension
Location: UF/IFAS Offices, 6700 Clark Rd., Sarasota FL 34241 (just east of the intersection with I-75 at Twin Lakes Park).
The What: A morning class on honeybee biology with instruction on building a beehive, equipment, pests and practices.
What’ll You’ll Learn: The guy leading the class was in a February New York Times article on urban farming. Beekeeping is becoming one of those cool hipster things to do. Can urban sheep be far behind?
Details: $10 to attend. Registration is open until November 10. Visit the Sarasota County Extension website.

 Sarasota Bay Water Festival - Saturday, November 17, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sponsors: Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
Location: Ken Thompson Park, 1700 Ken Thompson Pkwy., Sarasota FL 34236
The What: The first-ever water festival to celebrate and link a healthy bay to economic development and fun. There will be live music on the main stage, local food trucks, a Creative Arts Tent displaying local wildlife photographers and artists selling their work, the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest, a fishing clinic for kids, vintage boats, exhibits and demonstrations about boating, kayaking, fishing, paddle board sports, scuba, birding and more.  
What you’ll Learn: Science can be fun.
Details: We love this: Special treatment for bus riders, bikers and pedestrians, since parking will be tight. Dogs (on leashes) allowed. Check out the event's Facebook page.

“Green Building – So What’s It Worth?” - Tuesday, Nov. 27. Networking begins at 6:30; program 7 - 9 p.m.
Sponsors: Sarasota Green Realtors Alliance, U.S. Green Building Council
Location: Sarasota Association of Realtors (SAR) Auditorium, 3590 S. Tuttle Ave., Sarasota, FL 34239
The What: A presentation on how to assign value ($$) to green features in homes. This includes six elements worth knowing, pending legislation that will affect green, and how to estimate the dollars of green features in a house or condo.
What You’ll Learn: If you need a fast track to understanding the value of green, realtors are a good bet because they need to know them in making the sale.
Details: $10 (or $5 for members of SAR, USGBC, Home Builders Association of Manatee-Sarasota and students). Click here to register.


Asset-Based Community Development - Monday, Dec. 14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sponsors: Asset-Based Community Development Institute
Location: ArtCenter Sarasota, 707 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, FL 34236
The What: This is a BIG DEAL. Asset-Based Community Development is one of the elements of visioning---and frankly, most of the decisions in this community are driven by problems, not by building on the assets and strengths that we have.
What You’ll Learn: What ABCD is, how it is used in other communities to mobilize people and institutions, how to build the stakeholder map, and how to deploy technology and tools to identify assets.
Details: The cost for this one-day workshop is $99 with an “early bird discount” of $79 if you register by Nov. 15. To register, click here.


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