Transition Venice inspires and energizes our community to work together to rebuild self-reliance, reduce carbon emissions, and strengthen our economy.  We do this through creative example, innovative education, and exciting actions.

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November  2019 Newsletter

Transition Venice Update

Transition Venice is going thru its own transition. After several years of providing the energy, dedication and commitment to sustaining Transition Venice, Abby Gage has stepped down as our leader. Thanks Abby! Without your efforts Transition Venice would not exist!  We are also grateful that Abby will remain actively involved in our efforts!

Arthur Lerman has been elected as the new chair of Transition Venice. With a background in environmental planning and many years of environmental activism and community organizing, Arthur is excited to be taking on this new opportunity to make a difference.

In 2020 Transition Venice will hold monthly meetings at our new William H. Jervey, Jr., Venice Public Library, 300 Nokomis Ave S. The meetings will take place on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. so please mark the following dates on your calendar: 

·         January 14th

·         February 11th

·         March 10th

·         April 14th

Meeting will feature a guest speaker presenting information on an important topic of the day and recognition of a “local hero”, an individual or business that is making a noteworthy effort to promote sustainability and protection of our planet in our community. Please send suggestions for speakers and local heroes.

It takes a community to create a sustainable community and save our planet. Join with us in creating a better world for us, our children and our grandchildren. There has never been a more critical time to get involved.


Upcoming Events


14th Annual Sustainable Communities Workshop - "Growing Greener Generations"

Thursday, November 14, 8am to 5 pm

Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Event Center, 4740 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota

Organized by Sarasota County, the daylong workshop will bring together the community to discuss a variety of sustainability topics presented by our expert speakers. Josh Tickell is an internationally recognized expert on sustainability and the climate. Chris Castro is director of Orlando’s Office of Sustainability & Resilience, developing policies and programs to advance the city’s sustainability, clean energy, and climate action goals. Syd Kitson is chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners, which specializes in the creation and development of master-planned communities setting new standards for sustainable, responsible growth. Many local organizations and business will be providing information on what’s going on locally.


Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign

Monday, November 18, 6 to 7:30 pm.

NEW Venice Island Library, 300 Nokomis Ave S, Venice

Charles Reith from the Sierra Club will explain Ready for 100, a campaign to inspire city leadership across the country to take ambitious steps forward by both committing their communities to 100% clean, renewable energy and pursuing near term steps to implement this vision. Learn more at


Climate Crises and Solutions: Focus Florida.

Wednesday, November 20, 3:30 pm

Selby Library, Sarasota

The Manasota Chapter of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training Corps will be presenting a slide show on the impacts of our climate crisis in Florida and the solutions that exist. Presenters are all area leaders who were trained by VP Gore. This event is part of a worldwide string of presentations called 24 Hours of Truth in Action and may be streamed worldwide by the Climate Reality Project. 


Water Quality in Southwest Florida and What you Can Do About It!

Tuesday, November 26, 6:30 pm

Common Grounds Meeting Hall, 12735 S Tamiami Tr., North Port

Mollie Holland will discuss what residents can do to help improve water quality in our stormwater ponds, creeks, and ultimately the Gulf.  She is the Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST) Program Coordinator. The NEST program strives. To inform communities and residents about water quality science and data, and encourages behavior change to improve the health and vitality of our water resources.


2020 Picture Sustainability Poster Contest 

Transition Venice will sponsor its annual sustainability poster contest again in 2020! Venice High School student posters need to be submitted by January 22.  Voting to select the winning poster will begin on February 4 and end on April 12 with the winners announced on April 22.  First, second and third place prizes will be awarded. More details will be provided in our December newsletter. For more information, contact Abby at


City of Venice Environmental Advisory Board

Did you know that the City of Venice has an Environmental Advisory Board?  The Board is charged with facilitating the development of an integrated environmental strategy by evaluating the city's current policies and practices, and providing specific recommendations for improving the city's environmental impact. It collects information and makes recommendations for establishing clear priorities and identifying the most feasible ways to be environmentally responsible. The board meets quarterly on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 2:30 p.m. A representative of the Board will be invited to make a presentation at a future Transition Venice meeting. Stay tuned!


Time to Get Involved!!

It is critical that you get involved!! 2020 will be a very important year for our community, country and the planet! Whether it is a few hours a month or more, your efforts will make a difference for others and for you!  

Benefits of volunteering: 4 ways to feel healthier and happier

1.         Volunteering connects you to others

2.         Volunteering is good for your mind and body

3.         Volunteering can advance your career

4.         Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life

Source: to Get Involved!!


Prenatal Exposure and Pesticides

Exposure to harsh pesticides like organophosphates is linked to symptoms of neurobehavioral issues in children. New research uses neuroimaging to show how the brain physically changes with pesticide exposure. The research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that exposure to organophosphates, or OPs, is associated with altered brain function in teenagers whose mothers were exposed to OP pesticide while pregnant. This is the first study to use neuroimaging to map brain activity associated with reduced cognitive and behavioral function in exposed children. Learn more here

Pictures from Hands Along the Water non violent direct action that raised public attention about the terrible Red Tide the summer of 2018 Pictures taken in the pavillion and on Venice beach 8/12/2018
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Venice Farmer Market 2018

The picture to the right shows a helpful volunteer modeling the upcycled apron that Brenda made using a feed bag.  There is no trash or recycling pick up where she lives (outside Zolfo Springs) and most people burn their "trash".*  Brenda has turned this problem into a useful solution, thanks for being a star ecopreneur, Brenda!!!  You can order an apron or bag by Brenda by contacting her at this email  or you can text her at 941-929-6164

Brenda also makes stout reuseable shopping bags out of animal feed bags

Anyone else out there with ecopreneurial ideas?  We need futuritistic solutionaries.  Contact Abby at if you want to join in on the ecobiz adventure.  She sure would be happy to hear from you.

The material below is old news and just history.

Edible Landscape and Sustainable Home Tours



Saturday February 27, 2016:  9am – 3pm

  1. James Breeding, 344 East Seminole Drive S. Venice 34293 (303-726-4273).  Forty plus edible plants & trees growing wildly in sugar-sand, nutrient poor soil.  Specializing in perennial plants that require little to no effort to maintain.

  2. Natasha Koss, 241 Rallus Rd., S. Venice 34293 (941-445-5107) Twenty-nine varieties

of mango, 14 varieties of avocados, sapodilla, sapote, banana, canistel, lychee, dragon fruit, Surinam cherry, plus trees, fruits & greens for sale.

  1. Shawn McCarty, 1540 Queen Road, S. Venice 34293 (882-0760)  Living as though it is 2050 with photovoltaics, battery back-up, solar water heater, rain barrels, electric bicycles & an entire yard of edible landscape including moringa, passion fruit, carambola….

  2. Leslie Soodak, 1620 Falcon Road, S. Venice 34293  (941-488-1212) Follow the winding path to monkey finger fruit, speckled beans, native edible mycelium & a biochar demonstration.  This is “The Nest”, a magical foodscape.  (Permaculture in progress!)

  3. Norma, Alex & Abby Gage, Thom Looney, 600 Alhambra Road, Venice (on the island) 34285 (941- 485-3815)   Edible landscape created using mostly found materials.  Trees include: allspice, avocado, bananas, citrus, guava, lemon bay rum, lychee, mango, moringa, mulberry, persimmon, & pomegranate.  Herbs: rosemary, dill, lemon balm, lemon grass, oregano, annual veggies, worm bin, compost pile, electric bicycles & solar VW camper van. 

  4. Rick and Peg Magee, 628 Gardenia Drive (on the island) 34285.  (941-488-6240) State of the art active & passive, net-zero, 100% solar powered sustainable home.  PV (photo voltaic) system has been increased to 42 panels, and the 11 kW system now produces up to 60 kWh a day of electricity while the house offsets about 10 tons of carbon annually. 

  5. Ronald Musselman, 941-485-4375, 512 Valencia Road (on the island) 34285  (941-485-4375) The pv system installed in 2008 is a 24 panel 210-watt on the roof of the west wing of the house, totaling close to 5 kW.  The homeowner generates about 2/3 of needed electricity. There is also a solar domestic hot-water system, with a circulating pump powered by a small PV panel & solar pool heating.


The Transition Venice Edible Landscape & Sustainable home Tour requires walking through private yards & garden beds.  Proper footwear is required to ensure the safety of anyone taking the tour.  Public restrooms are located at Shamrock Park on the South loop or at Centennial Park on the island loop.

Purchase of any ticket(s) for the tour assumes that Transition Venice & any participating homeowners listed above are not responsible for any damage, loss or injury that may be sustained by participants taking this tour.  Please be careful & have fun! Sorry no pets, please.

Saturday February 27, 2016:  9am – 3pm

Visit several unique Venice locations

that are as creative as they are intriguing.

Be inspired to create your own edible landscape & sustainable home!  Homeowners will be on hand to discuss their distinctive homesteads.


1 ticket buys entry to any or all locations

Edible and Sustainable Home Tour

     $10.00 Adult       

     $5.00 Bicyclists

     (Children 16 & under free)


Note this:  (the info below about 501C3 status) was the case BUT in 2017 we were informed by the Open Studio that they were told by their lawyer and insurance seller that we (Transition Venice ) would need to have our own insurance policy.  Janet did the research and found that we would need to pay about $500 per year for insurance.  After discussion and a vote at a business meeting the group decided not to buy insurance.  We figured that the folks that gave us the money wanted us to use it for transition type events not to help the insurance industry.  So we told the Open Studio that we would not be insured so they had to remove us from their 501C 3 non profit umbrella.

The statement below is history and is no longer the case 

Transition Venice operates under the financial umbrella of

The Open Studio ( in Englewood, Fl,

a non-profit status 501(c)3 organization (tax-deductible).

Checks should be made payable to: The Open Studio.

For more information: and

A Transition Venice Event!

Yes, this was Choices Market run by Karen and Bob King.  It was bought by Richards "Foodporium" and now is part of that corporation.  The community garden is just history now.  We did have lots of fun while it lasted.