Volunteer in our Parks and Preserves


  • Michelle Leahy, Volunteer Coordinator
  • (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035
  • Email Us

COVID-19 Updates

Visit our Closures & Cancellations page to view the latest Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources closures, cancellations and updates related to Coronavirus.

You really can make a difference! By volunteering in the preserves, you will make a positive impact on the environment. Volunteers help preserve the homes of native plants and animals, re-establishing much needed habitat. The work completed by volunteers will also help to secure the land for the enjoyment of future generations.

Projects can be adapted for any age range or group size, too. Each opportunity is more than just service work - volunteers learn about Florida's ecosystems while working to help preserve them.

For groups

If you have a group that would like to complete a project at one of our preserves, please contact us directly! Whether you're working with a scout troop, school group, professional organization, or club our Volunteer Coordinator, Michelle Leahy, can help create an opportunity for you! Call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035 for more information.

For individuals

If you are an individual looking for a volunteer workday or short-term opportunity there is no need to fill out an application!  Check out our upcoming volunteer opportunities calendar below or contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Michelle Leahy, directly at (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035 for more information.

Volunteer Opportunities Calendar

Saturday, Apr 3rd, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – KEEP MANATEE BEAUTIFUL: FIRST SATURDAY CLEANUP– This year, Keep Manatee Beautiful we will be hosting a cleanup event on the first Saturday of each month. Come out and help us Keep Manatee Beautiful by cleaning up G.T. Bray Park! Volunteer opportunity suitable for all ages.Program sponsored by Keep Manatee Beautiful in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Reservations required. To register please visit https://www.manateebeautiful.com/event-details/gt-bray-1st-saturday-cleanup. For more information please contact keep@manateebeautiful.com. G.T. Bray Park – Recreation Center

Friday, Apr 9th, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM – AIR POTATO ROUNDUP – Join us for a day in the pines, taking out invasive air potato and Ceasar weed along the trails of Conservatory Park! Give back to this neighborhood park and help us improve native habitat for the creatures who live there, all while getting a light workout at this family-friendly volunteer event! Program is suitable for all ages, volunteers must be 16 or older to volunteer without a guardian present. Reservations are required. To register please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Conservatory Park

Saturday, Apr 10th, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM – CREEK CLEANUP AT GT BRAY PARK – Bring your wellies or wading boots for an adventurous afternoon cleaning the creek! This freshwater stream empties into Puertosueno Park and Palma Sola Bay and is home to many creatures, including turtles, ducks, and fish. After the service project, we will look closely and examine the invertebrates that call this creek home! Program suitable for volunteers ten and older, but participants must be sixteen or older to volunteer without a guardian present. Reservations are required. To register please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call 941-742-5923 ext. 6035. GT Bray Park – 51st Street / Dog Park Entrance

Thursday, Apr 15th, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM – NEAL COASTAL CLEANUP – The Anna Maria Sound needs your assistance! Join us for a sunset experience like no other. Bring your grabbers and galoshes, waders and water shoes, and help us remove marine debris from this historic site. Our paddlers will thank you! 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 suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. To register please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call 941-742-5923 ext. 6035. Neal Preserve

Thursday, Apr 22nd, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM – STORIES AND SERVICE BOOK CLUB: BRAIDING SWEETGRASS – Looking 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 “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer. 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

Multiple Dates Available, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – ROBINSON EXPANSION SALT MARSH PLANTING– Make 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

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

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities

All individuals who are interested in becoming an ongoing volunteer are welcome to apply to our volunteer program (application below) - we have many different opportunities available!  We need many hands to restore native habitats and keep our preserves beautiful.  Please fill out the volunteer application below or sign up via Volgistics if you are interested in a long-term volunteer commitment.

Current volunteers should log-in to report their hours and sign up for shifts here:

Sign in to Volgistics

Volunteer Application Form