Education Programs & Events

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COVID-19 Updates

Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Closures, Cancellations and Updates Related to Coronavirus.

We have limited group sizes to comply with social distancing.  Please check out our online and in-person program offerings.  Face coverings are required to participate in certain programs.

Please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org if you have any questions regarding our programs. 

Register online for Sunday Yoga at the NEST

EcoEvents: Outdoor Education Programs & Events Calendar

All of our public events are open to individuals and immediate family members. For groups, we ask that each family register individually. Large group reservations for public programs will not be accepted. If you have a school, camp, club, or other group that would like to participate in a program, please contact sarah.denison@mymanatee.org to set up a private program.

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April 2021 Calendar of Events

Download a Printable Version of the April Calendar of Events

Monday Apr 26th, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PMFamilies Flock Together: Sunset Dip NetBring the whole family on an adventure to the "point" of Emerson Point Preserve and explore what lies beneath the waves. Come discover the wide variety of unique creatures that live on our shorelines and learn how to identify them. You'll meet marvelous mollusks, sensational seagrasses, and maybe some cool crustaceans! For this program, we will be in the water dip netting, so be sure to bring closed-toed shoes and clothes that can get wet and a towel. Program suitable for children and their families. Reservations are required To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/144693101963. For more information please contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Emerson Point Preserve – The Point

Thursday Apr 29th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PMGreen Explorers: Nature's SymphonyFrom the chirp of a chickadee to the wind rustling tree leaves, nature's symphony can be found all around us! Join Naturalist Coral to discover different ways nature makes music, and see if you can make your very own using only natural items found at Emerson Point Preserve.  Green Explorers is a low-structure, highly social and experience-based program designed to promote play with nature. Program suitable for children ages 6 to 12 years old, but all ages are welcome. Reservations are required. To register please contact coral.bass@mymanatee.org. For more information please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6034. Emerson Point Preserve – Classroom Pavilion

Thursday Apr 29th, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PMCareer Night at the NESTAre you interested in a career in nature? Join us at The NEST at Robinson Preserve for an informative evening showcasing local professionals and careers in the environmental and heritage resource fields. This is an opportunity to discover what it takes to get into the field of science! Network with these professionals from a variety of local organizations and discover careers that help make a difference in our community. Program recommended for high school and college students, however, all ages are welcome. Face coverings are required to enter the building. Reservations recommended. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/145561459243. For more information please contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Recurring Events

Saturday, Apr 3rd, 10th, and 17th, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AMRobinson RunnersJoin us on Saturday mornings to breathe in the fresh air, challenge yourself, and create a community. Savor the trip along the 1.6 and 3.2-mile routes through Robinson Preserve and notice as life becomes a little more vibrant. The group leader will offer a warm-up, then participants may run, walk, or stroll at their own pace followed by a cool-down stretch offered at the finish.  Participants will be rewarded for their efforts by our partners Fit 2 Run and Bayshore Nutrition. Program suitable for adults. No reservations required. For more information please call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6047. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday Apr 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PMSaturday Mornings at the NESTJoin us at the Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science, and Technology for a morning of discovery. Walk the grounds of the historic Reasoner Tract and observe botanical giants collected from around the world. Explore the canopy boardwalk among the banyans, climb to the top of the crow’s nest, take in breathtaking panoramic views, and make an exciting exit from the building via slide. Learn about upcoming programs and exciting new additions to Robinson Preserve. Program suitable for all ages. Face coverings are required to enter the building. No reservations required. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Sunday Apr 11th, 18th, and 25th, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AMRise & Shine YogaRevitalize and Rejuvenate your Mind, Body, and Spirit! This yoga class is designed to blend awareness of breath, physical movement, and mindfulness to promote clarity of mind while developing physical strength and stamina, increasing flexibility, burning calories, and detoxifying the body! Increase your overall well-being by ending and beginning your week with this empowering and uplifting flow! Program suitable for adults. Program sponsored by Brandy Gray of MomWifeSOUL Yoga in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Participants must provide their own yoga mats. Online registration is highly encouraged as spaces are limited. To register please visit https://parks.mymanatee.org/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/search.html?primarycode=110006. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6042. $10 Participant Fee Payable online. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Multiple Days, Apr 3rd, 8th, 10th, 13th, 24th, and 27th, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PMRobinson Expansion Salt Marsh PlantingMake a direct impact on the restoration of Robinson Preserve! Join us for a salt marsh volunteer planting day at the Robinson Expansion. Salt marshes are essential for healthy fisheries, coastlines, and communities. This important coastal habitat provides food, refuge, and nursery for fish, shrimp, crabs, birds.  Salt marshes protect shorelines from erosion while filtering runoff and improving water quality. Be prepared to get wet and muddy at these workdays, which may require wading through waist-deep water to reach interior islands. Closed-toe shoes that strap or tie tightly to your feet are recommended as well as sun protection (long sleeve shirt and pants, hat, sunscreen). Don't forget to bring your water bottle and a snack! Program is suitable for volunteers 16 and older. All necessary tools for harvesting and planting will be provided. Each workday will be limited to 10 participants to facilitate physical distancing. Face coverings are required when distancing is not possible. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/robinson-expansion-salt-marsh-planting-volunteer-days-registration-141294350205. For more information please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve North Entrance – Valentine House

Multiple Days, Apr 19th, 21st, 23rd, and 24thExplorers' Academy ONLINE LEARNING: MangrovesJoin our education staff on social media to learn about one of Florida's most important coastal trees - mangroves!  A new video will be released on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday on the Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department's Facebook and YouTube pages to celebrate the dedication of Robinson Preserve's old-growth mangrove forest by the Old-Growth Forest Network. Program suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Online – Facebook and YouTube

ONGOING/AS NEEDED: RIP SQUAD VOLUNTEER WORKDAY - Join this group that works directly with County natural areas land managers on various wildlife habitat improvement projects. Email announcements are sent out a few days in advance of each event that detail the purpose, goals, and meeting information for each upcoming event. Program suitable for volunteers age 16 and older. To receive email announcements about the RIP squad volunteer events, please email  Erin.Struzzieri@mymanatee.org Location and time TBA - chosen based on need.

MAY 2021 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Download a printable version of the May Calendar of Events

Saturday, May 1st, Session 1: 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM, Session 2: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM, Session 3: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PMYouth ArcherySet your sights on the exciting outdoor activity of archery! This program will provide participants with basic archery instruction, familiarization with archery equipment, and instruction in shooting techniques that create successful archers. All equipment will be provided for use. Program is suitable for children ages 6 to 16. Program sponsored by the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Three identical sessions are offered to limit group size and facilitate distancing.  Please register for only one session each month. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://ryearchery.eventbrite.com. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Rye Preserve – Sheriff's Youth Ranch

Saturday, May 1st, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMKeep Manatee Beautiful: First Saturday CleanupThis year, Keep Manatee Beautiful will be hosting a cleanup event on the first Saturday of each month. Come out and help us Keep Manatee Beautiful by cleaning up Jiggs Landing Preserve! Volunteer opportunity suitable for all ages. Program sponsored by Keep Manatee Beautiful in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.manateebeautiful.com/event-details/jiggs-landing-1st-saturday-cleanup. For more information please contact keep@manateebeautiful.com. Jiggs Landing Preserve

Saturday, May 1st, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMCity Nature Challenge BioblitzJoin Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources and Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast for a morning of nature exploration and documentation at Johnson Preserve on the Braden River! The City Nature Challenge (CNC) is an international effort to get people outside to document their local biodiversity.  At this event, we will be using the free iNaturalist app to document as many species as we can find at Manatee County's newest nature preserve!  Program suitable for all ages. Program sponsored by Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. All you need is a smartphone or GPS-enabled camera, a free iNaturalist account, and a willingness to get out and explore! Our team, and the iNaturalist community, will help you with troubleshooting, photo tips, and species identification. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/150931190253. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Johnson Preserve

Saturday, May 1st, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PMRobinson Preserve Paddle YogaExperience the zen and bliss of yoga during a beautiful guided paddleboard yoga class by Salty Buddha Paddle & Yoga Co. The session includes brief on land instructions and a demonstration for beginners to get a feel for the sport and for experienced practitioners to improve their technique. Next, is a short paddle journey followed by an anchored yoga session on the boards. Each class is suitable for all levels, with options available for experienced practitioners to make their session more challenging, as well as gentle modifications for those seeking a restorative experience. Program suitable for adults. Program sponsored by Salty Buddha Paddle & Yoga Co. in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Online registration is required at least 24 hours in advance. To register please visit https://www.saltybuddhaco.com/registration. For more information please call (941) 932-3671. $37 Participant Fee (Includes Equipment Rental). Robinson Preserve – 17th Ave NW Entrance

Tuesday, May 4th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMRobinson Preserve Expansion PaddleJoin us for an easy paddle along the newly re-opened Robinson Preserve Expansion!  Learn about the ongoing habitat improvements and future plans for this fantastic new addition to Manatee County's preserve system while enjoying a relaxing morning on the water. Program suitable for ages 16 and older who can meet the County's minimum eligibility requirements. Participants must have their own canoe or kayak and safety gear. All participants must wear a life jacket and bring a whistle. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/151834030673. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – 9th Ave NW Entrance

Wednesday, May 5th, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PMSoar in 4 Family NightSoar in 4 is a monthly drive-thru program the first Wednesday of each month in Bradenton. Families drive by 14 demonstration tables (facilitated by Manatee County teachers, non-profit organizations, and volunteers) to learn how to use various materials to support the ‘spotlight book,’ as well as incorporate take-home items to continue to play, create, learn, and explore at home together. These monthly events provide families with the resources and information to become their child’s best ‘first teacher’ at home. All activities are aligned to classroom learning. Program suitable for children and their families. No reservations required. For more information please visit https://www.soarin4.org/. DeSoto Mall – GoStoreIt Parking Lot

Thursday, May 6th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMConservatory Paddle CleanupJoin us for a paddle clean-up on a freshwater lake! We will launch from the dock at Conservatory Park, collect debris from our kayaks, and enjoy the views of one of our most beautiful Florida ecosystems! Program suitable for ages 16 and older who can meet the County's minimum eligibility requirements. Participants must have their own canoe or kayak and safety gear. All participants must wear a life jacket and bring a whistle.  Trash bags and gloves will be provided. Reservations are required. To register please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call 941-742-5923 ext. 6035. Conservatory Park

Friday, May 7th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AMStorytime in Nature: Mango, Abuela, and MeBring your little ones to Conservatory Park for an interactive storytelling in nature! We will be reading Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina. Mia explores a new language – Spanish – as she learns to communicate with her Abuela and their new parrot friend. Program suitable for children 7 and under and their families. Reservations are recommended. Walkups welcome. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/150531117625. For more information please contact sara.alvarezcollazo@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Conservatory Park

Saturday, May 8th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMMaster Gardener Tour: Riverview Pointe PreserveCasually stroll through to enjoy the beautiful Riverview Pointe Preserve and learn about Florida's native plants and inhabitants of a coastal environment. Program suitable for  all ages. Tour begins in the parking area of DeSoto National Memorial Park and enters into Riverview Pointe Preserve. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://riverview_pointe_preserve.eventbrite.com. Riverview Pointe Preserve

Saturday, May 8th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PMCoquina Coastal CleanupGrab your gloves, hat, and sunscreen – we'll provide the trash bags and grabbers – and take an active role in helping the environment. Your hard work will help keep the beaches beautiful and the wildlife safe. This is a great opportunity for teens looking to earn volunteer hours. Program is suitable for volunteers of all ages. Please bring gloves, clothes that protect you from the sun, shoes that strap or tie on your feet, and water bottles. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/151200381411. For more information please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Coquina Beach - Bayside

Saturday, May 8th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PMFamilies Flock Together: Journey Through Marine EcosystemsJoin us at Blackstone Park for a fun educational event where you will learn about the different types of marine ecosystems, ocean zones, the plants and animals that live there, and how they work together to keep our water healthy. Complete with fun activities and crafts, you are sure to be as entertained as you are informed about all that our marine ecosystems have to offer. Program suitable for children and their families. Face coverings and social distancing are required for activities less than 6 feet apart. Face coverings are encouraged for distanced activities as well. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/151984813669. For more information please contact nzinga.barnette@mymanatee.org. Blackstone Park – North Pavillion

Wednesday, May 12th, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PMDip-Net Shutter Stroll– Get ready to explore what lies beneath the waves as we dip net at beautiful Emerson Point Preserve. Join us for this unique opportunity to learn about the creatures that inhabit Emerson Point and take up-close photos of shrimp, mollusks, and other marine wildlife. The program will conclude with a beautiful sunset for your photo finish! Program suitable for adults. Be sure to bring your camera, a towel, and closed-toe shoes that can get wet. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/150571313853. For more information please contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org or call 941-742-5923 ext. 6036. Emerson Point Preserve – The Point

Thursday, May 13th, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PMUSA Archery: Level 1 Instructor CertificationThis USA Archery Level 1 Instructor Course is designed to give instructors the necessary skills to teach short-term archery programs and introduce basic archery skills to beginners. The class is geared toward those working with 4H Clubs, Boys Scouts, Girl Scouts, and camps. We will cover range safety, range set-up, basic equipment setup and repair, and how to teach the basic steps of shooting. Certification course suitable for ages 16 and older. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://forms.gle/e3RKkdaoz87tvq9E7. For more information please contact aedan.stockdale@mymanatee.org. $60 Certification Fee. Rye Preserve – Sheriff's Youth Ranch

Friday, May 14th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AMTall Tails Tribe: Wonderous WaterCalling all preschoolers! Join us for a wet and wild water adventure that's all about the states of matter. Through hands-on play, song, and movement we will experience the wonders of solid, liquid, and gas. Program suitable for preschool-age children. Face coverings and social distancing are required for activities less than 6 feet apart. Face coverings are encouraged for distanced activities as well. Reservations are required To register please contact coral.bass@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6034. Emerson Point Preserve

Friday, May 14th, Session 1: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Session 2: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Homeschool Science Club: Bug Out! Do you know the good, the bad and the bugly about insects? Come learn all about our six-legged friends. Explore nature as you learn how to catch, identify and preserve your bugs for future studies! Program suitable for students ages 8-13. Two identical sessions are provided to facilitate distancing. Please register for only one session each month. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/150536658197. For more information please contact sara.alvarezcollazo@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Emerson Point Preserve – Classroom Pavilion

Friday, May 14th, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PMPalma Sola Cleanup and Seaside SafariWe are going to work hard then play hard!  First, we will help make a positive impact on our coastal habitats by removing trash around the beach and the coastal trail.  After the trash bash, we'll grab our dip nets to get a peek at the world beneath the waves and see firsthand the critters our cleaning will help! Program is suitable for volunteers of all ages. Please wear closed-toe shoes that can be worn in the water and bring gloves. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/151211962049. For more information please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org. Palma Sola Causeway Park

Saturday, May 15th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMMaster Gardener Tour: Rye PreserveTake a hike through upland habitats along the beautiful Rye Branch and learn about Florida's native plants, natural history, and early settlement of the area. Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://rye_preserve.eventbrite.com. Rye Preserve

Saturday, May 15th, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PMExplore Nature! Outreach BoothExplore Nature! brings nature to you! Stroll by and learn more about what Manatee County parks and preserves have to offer. Let our naturalists answer your burning questions and take a look at different animal biofacts! Program suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please contact sara.alvarezcollazo@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Myakka Community Park

Saturday, May 15th, 8:30 PM – 10:00 PMMovie Night in the Park: The Princess and the FrogJoin us at East Bradenton Park for a movie night featuring Disney's The Princess and the Frog! A story about young Tiana and prince Naveen traveling through the New Orleans Bayous seeking help after being cast under a spell and turned into frogs. Bring blankets and chairs and relax under the stars with free popcorn. No admission fee required. Invite friends and family and sign up on Eventbrite today! Program suitable for all ages. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/151119696079. For more information please contact nzinga.barnette@mymanatee.org. East Bradenton Park

Tuesday, May 18th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AMStroller Strolls: Robinson Preserve ExpansionRound up your baby buggies and your little ones for a strolling naturalist-led walk through Manatee County's wild spaces! Open your child's eyes to the sights, smells, and feel of Florida's great outdoors while learning about the newly re-opened Robinson Expansion. Meet other nature families with similar age children. Program suitable for children ages 0 to 4 years old and their families. Reservations are required. To register please contact coral.bass@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6034. Robinson Preserve Expansion – Kayak Launch

Wednesday, May 19th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMFamilies Flock Together: Introduction to OrienteeringJoin us at G.T. Bray Park for a family-friendly introduction to the sport of orienteering!  Orienteering is a competitive sport that combines navigation and racing. Participants use navigational skills to find their way to various checkpoints with a map and sometimes a compass. Orienteering is easy to learn and a fun way to exercise your mind and body outdoors. Orienteering is not only about running fast but selecting the best route to each checkpoint and visiting them in the correct order.  Be prepared to run or power-walk at this fast-paced program! Program suitable for all ages. Please wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes and clothing for walking or running.  Don't forget to bring a water bottle! Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/151861137751. For more information please contact sarah.denison@mymanatee.org. G.T. Bray Park – 51st Street, North Entrance

Thursday, May 20th, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AMSeashell Shore WalkCalling all beachcombers and seashell enthusiasts! Join us for a relaxing walk on the beach to search for seashells and learn to identify them. This program will explore what makes mollusks unique and the amazing adaptations that help them to survive in the wild. Learn about ethical seashell collecting methods while discovering a new appreciation for our beautiful shorelines. Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/149739748619. For more information please contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Coquina Beach – Café

Thursday, May 20th, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PMStories and Service Book Club: The OverstoryLooking for a volunteer opportunity in the cool of the evening at beautiful Emerson Point Preserve? Come out to our book club with a service twist. Every month we will read a different book about Florida, and discuss, and follow it with a restoration project in the preserve. This month will be The Overstory by Richard Powers. Program suitable for bookworms 14 and up. Reservations are required. To register please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Emerson Point Preserve – The Point

Saturday, May 22nd, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMJohnson Trailside CleanupGrab your gloves and join us at our newest preserve for a morning giving a bit of attention to the trails. Program is suitable for volunteers 14 and up. Reservations are required. To register please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call 941-742-5924 ext. 6035. Johnson Preserve

Saturday, May 22nd, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PMExplore Nature! Outreach BoothExplore Nature! brings Nature to you! Stroll by and learn more about what Manatee County parks and preserves have to offer. Let our naturalists answer your burning questions and look at different animal biofacts! Program suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please contact sara.alvarezcollazo@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. East Bradenton Park

Saturday, May 22nd, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PMTortoise TalksJoin us for this informal program on the Valentine House lawn as we take our education tortoise out to graze! In the wild foraging is an integral part of a gopher tortoise's lifestyle, so we encourage it as much as possible. Stop by and say hello, get a chance to meet him up close, and ask any questions you may have. Learn all about what tortoises need to survive, how we care for our tortoise, why we have him, and what efforts we can take to protect these important members of our Florida ecosystems. Program suitable for all ages. To register please contact coral.bass@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6034. Robinson Preserve – Valentine House Lawn

Saturday, May 22nd, 4:30 PM – 6:30 PMFamilies Flock Together: Saltwater Fishing ClinicJoin us for a special saltwater fishing clinic! Tie an improved clinch knot, practice your fish identification skills, and learn the basics of catch and release fishing in Florida. Get a chance to use our fishing equipment and cast your line into the waters of Emerson Point Preserve to see what we can catch! Spots are limited, so please sign up early if you are interested. Program suitable for children and their families. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/150549312045. For more information please contact sara.alvarezcollazo@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Emerson Point Preserve – Classroom Pavilion

Wednesday, May 26th, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PMWildlife Spotlight: Seahorses and PipefishLet's discover a fascinating family of fish - the Sygnathids! Learn about the amazing adaptations and lifecycle of seahorses and pipefish and the conservation efforts put in place to protect them. We will also be dip netting to look for these unique creatures so we can explore them up close! Program suitable for adults. Be sure to bring a towel and closed-toe shoes that can get wet. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/150551610921. For more information please contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org or call 941-742-5923 ext. 6036. Emerson Point Preserve – Classroom Pavilion

Thursday, May 27th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PMGreen Explorers: Pondering PondsDown below the freshwater surface, the ponds at Emerson are teeming with life. Bring your wildlife detective to discover the wild world hiding in the murky water. Explorers will have the opportunity to dip nets into the water and identify the creatures that call the pond their home. Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. To register please contact coral.bass@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6034. Emerson Point Preserve – 1st Parking Lot

Friday, May 28th, 6:30 PM – 9:30 PMRobinson Twilight 5k/10kThe 2021 Robinson Preserve 5K/10K will be a live in-person event on May 28, 2021. Virtual registration is also an option! This is the second event in the inaugural Sunrise2Sunset series supporting the Big Bill Foundation. All participants will receive a race shirt, bib, and medal, plus a coupon for a free beer at Motorworks Brewing! Packet pick-up dates will be announced as we get closer to race day. Packet mailing is available for all participants who opt for packet mailing during the checkout process. Program suitable for all ages. There will be no onsite race day packet pick-up due to Covid-19 restrictions. Age group awards will be available for pick-up at the Fit2Run UTC store location following the event. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://raceroster.com/events/2021/30867/2021-robinson-preserve-twilight-5k-and-10k-run. For more information please contact fit2time@fit2run.com. Robinson Preserve – North Entrance

Recurring Events

Saturday, May 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AMRobinson RunnersJoin us on Saturday mornings to breathe in the fresh air, challenge yourself, and create a community. Savor the trip along the 1.6 and 3.2-mile routes through Robinson Preserve and notice as life becomes a little more vibrant. The group leader will offer a warm-up, then participants may run, walk, or stroll at their own pace followed by a cool-down stretch offered at the finish.  Participants will be rewarded for their efforts by our partners Fit 2 Run and Bayshore Nutrition. Program suitable for adults. No reservations required. For more information please call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6047. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Monday, May 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PMSaturday Mornings at the NESTJoin us at the Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science, and Technology for a morning of discovery. Walk the grounds of the historic Reasoner Tract and observe botanical giants collected from around the world. Explore the canopy boardwalk among the banyans, climb to the top of the crow’s nest, take in breathtaking panoramic views, and make an exciting exit from the building via slide. Learn about upcoming programs and exciting new additions to Robinson Preserve. Program suitable for  all ages. Face coverings are required to enter the building. No reservations required. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Sunday, May, 2nd, 16th, 23rd, and 30th, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AMRise & Shine YogaRevitalize and Rejuvenate your Mind, Body, and Spirit! This yoga class is designed to blend awareness of breath, physical movement, and mindfulness to promote clarity of mind while developing physical strength and stamina, increasing flexibility, burning calories, and detoxifying the body! Increase your overall well-being by ending and beginning your week with this empowering and uplifting flow! Program suitable for adults. Program sponsored by Brandy Gray of MomWifeSOUL Yoga in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Participants must provide their own yoga mats. Online registration is highly encouraged as spaces are limited. To register please visit https://parks.mymanatee.org/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/search.html?primarycode=110006. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6042. $10 Participant Fee Payable online. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Friday, May 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th, 8:00 AM Explorers' Academy: Summer Fun in the SunJoin our education staff on Facebook and YouTube to explore a variety of recreational opportunities available this summer in Manatee County!  A new video will be released on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday on the Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department's social media channels. Program suitable for all ages. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Online – Facebook and YouTube

Ongoing, As NeededRIP Squad Volunteer WorkdayJoin this group that works directly with County natural areas land managers on various wildlife habitat improvement projects. This group meets when needed with locations and tasks determined based on need, opportunity, and priority, at the time of each event. Email announcements are sent out a few days in advance of each event that detail the purpose, goals, and meeting information for each upcoming event. Program suitable for volunteers 16 and older. To register please contact Erin.Struzzieri@mymanatee.org. Location and time TBA – chosen based on need

Kayaking with Manatee County

Participation Requirements for Manatee County Kayaks

In order to utilize one of Manatee County’s sit on top kayaks for a volunteer, Kayaking for Beginners, Kayaking for First Timers, or Beginner Level Kayak Trip, or to participate in any paddling program, participants:

  • Must be 16 years of age or older
  • Must not exceed the manufacturer’s weight limit for the vessel
  • Must have the ability to follow verbal and/or visual instructions independently while in the kayak
  • Must have the ability to respond to instructions and/or call out in the event of an emergency
  • Must have the ability to wear a properly fitted personal flotation device
  • Must have the ability to enter and exit the kayak independently or with the assistance of a companion
  • Must be able to move the kayak through the water independently in a stable manner and return it to the launching area
  • Must have the ability to breathe independently
  • Must have the ability to tolerate 60-80 degree Fahrenheit water and bright sunlight for 2 hours
  • Must have the ability to remain seated, maneuver, and balance independently while on the water

In order to utilize one of Manatee County’s sit on top kayaks for a summer camp program, participants:

  • Must be 9 years of age or older (note: age limit is lower as this program is specifically designed as a direct instructional for this age group; guide to paddler ratio is much lower)
  • Must not exceed the manufacturer’s weight limit for the vessel
  • Must have the ability to follow verbal and/or visual instructions independently while in the kayak
  • Must have the ability to respond to instructions and/or call out in the event of an emergency
  • Must have the ability to wear a properly fitted personal flotation device
  • Must have the ability to enter and exit the kayak independently or with the assistance of a companion
  • Must have the ability to breathe independently
  • Must be able to move the kayak through the water independently in a stable manner and return it to the launching area
  • Must have the ability to tolerate 60-80 degree Fahrenheit water and bright sunlight for 2 hours
  • Must have the ability to remain seated, maneuver, and balance independently while on the water

In the event of capsize for any program, one:

  • Must have the ability to get out from under the watercraft independently
  • Must have the ability to right oneself and remain face up in the water with the aid of a personal flotation device