Knights Trail Landfill Awaits

Guest Post by Nancy Dobias, September 7, 2017

If someone would have told me that I could photograph "wildlife" at a landfill, I would have thought they must be talking about rats.  If someone would have told me that I could see some pretty landscape at a landfill, I would have wondered how many bottles they had to drink to have made that comment.   I stand corrected.  It never ceases to amaze me how ENJOYABLE a visit to Sarasota County's landfill on Knight's Trail in Venice can be.  You don't even need to haul trash to go there.  Sections of this landfill are so picturesque that you'll wish you had brought a camera or perhaps an easel, canvas, and some paints.  The pastoral setting just seems to invite a park bench or two....  

Bird watchers or those who belong to a local  RC airplane club are frequent visitors to this landfill.  The procedure is to stop at the visitor's center (located on the right) to sign in.  Here they will give you2 things:  a map that indicates which roads are available on that day and a pass code that opens the gate.   When we went, it was a busy day for hauling and we were only allowed to follow the yellow route.

The yellow route was a good one though because we saw 2 eagles resting atop a tall pine tree.  If this is their normal spot to hang out and survey their domain, look for them right before the 2nd pond on your right.  

Look carefully so you don't miss them.  The tree is not far off the road and the eagles will appear somewhat "hidden" among the tree's branches....

If you check out the fields on the left, you may also see a few deer grazing or playing in what appears to be a hayfield.  Here it can be tough to get their pictures because of how well they are camouflaged in the grasses....

The Sarasota landfill not only offers wildlife as picture opportunities, it also affords a rather picturesque view of the "working" aspects of a landfill.....  

I've never been to other Sarasota County landfills, but if they are as nice as this one, they are certainly worth a visit.  Kudos to Sarasota County for allowing its residents to visit a working and WELL-MANAGED landfill.