Education Programs & Events

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Program Spotlight

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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November 2021 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Download a printable version of the November Calendar of Events  

Sunday, Nov 21st, 2:30 PM – 3:30 PMSarasota Orchestra Parks & Partners SeriesOn the Road with SO: Parks & Partners features the Sarasota Brass Quintet performing your favorite chamber music pieces in the Amphitheater at GT Bray Park. Bring a chair or outdoor blanket, sunscreen, and bug spray. We look forward to sharing great music with you! Program suitable for all ages. Program sponsored by Sarasota Orchestra in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.sarasotaorchestra.org/concerts/parks-and-partners. G.T. Bray Park – Amphitheater - 51st St Park

Friday, Nov 26th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMNative American Heritage DayJoin us for a guided walk through one of Manatee County’s most significant Native American settlements as we explore the history of this sacred land and honor the heritage of the people that called this area home for many years. Together we will celebrate this heritage by remembering the past and learning how we can bring elements of these teachings into our own lives today. Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/194662389447. For more information please contact carycatts@gmail.com. Emerson Point Preserve – 1st Parking Area on the Left

Saturday, Nov 27th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMMaster Gardener Tour: Perico PreserveExplore this beautiful coastal preserve and learn about Florida's native plants, how they benefit wildlife, and how they can be used in the home landscape. Learn about the wide variety of ecosystems on display and how the preserve was transformed into what it is today. Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/167372791525. Perico Preserve – Entrance Pavilion

Tuesday, Nov 30th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AMStroller Stroll: Conservatory ParkRound up your baby buggies, walking shoes, and your little ones for a rolling 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. Trek the nature trail and have your child experience wild spaces firsthand. Meet other nature explorer families with kids of a similar age. Program suitable for 0-4 years. Reservations are required. To register contact coral.bass@mymanatee.org or call (941)742-5923 ext. 6034. Conservatory Park

Recurring Events

Saturday, Nov 6th, 13th, 20th 27th, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AMRobinson RunnersJoin us weekly 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, Nov 6th, 13th, 20th 27th, 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. No reservations required. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Wednesday, Nov 10th and 24th, G.T. Bray Park, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Wednesday, Nov 17th, Conservatory Park, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Tempestry: Documenting Climate Change Stitch by StitchJoin us for this outdoor knitting and crochet group as we stitch lines of temperature to illustrate how Manatee County has changed through the decades. This fun collaborative project is a marriage of art and data science and will result in a public exhibition in one of our nature centers. Suitable for fiber artists 16 and up. To register please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Multiple Locations

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 ages 16 and older. To receive email announcements about the RIP squad volunteer events, please email shaun.swartz@mymanatee.org. Location and time TBA - chosen based on need.

December 2021 Calendar of Events 

Download a printable version of the December Calendar of Events

Wednesday, Dec 1st
, 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM – Manatee Audubon Society Birding Tour: Emerson Point – Search the skies for Florida’s fabulous fliers! Our Audubon guide will lead participants on a tour through Emerson Point’s coastal hammock and mangrove habitats. Check out the “locals” as well as the migratory birds that are wintering here. Program suitable for adults. Program sponsored by Manatee County Audubon Society in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Reservations are required. To register please contact billielknight@yahoo.com or call (941) 592-7622. Emerson Point Preserve – Ranger's Station

Wednesday, Dec 1st, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM – Soar in 4 Family Night – Soar in 4 occurs the first Wednesday of each month in downtown Bradenton. Families visit 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://soarin4.org/. The Bishop Museum

Thursday, Dec 2nd, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Green Explorers: Canopy Exploration – High up in the treetops, far from human eyes, is a world of wonder filled with epiphytes, lichens, and our feathered friends. Discover this fascinating habitat through games and observations. Green Explorers is a low structured, highly social, and experience-based program designed to promote play with nature. Program suitable for all ages recommended for 6-12-year-olds. Reservations are required. To register please contact coral.bass@mymanatee.org. For more information please call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6034. Emerson Point – Classroom Pavilion

Thursday, Dec 2nd, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM – Craft Club – Calling all crafty folks! Do you knit, paint, scrapbook, or create from other media? Maybe you need a space away from prying eyes to complete your masterpiece. Carve out some crafting time and get inspired at Craft Club. You bring the projects, and we will supply the space, helpful crafting hints, and positive energy. Program suitable for adults. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/211795444877. For more information please call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6034. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Friday, Dec 3rd, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Wildlife Spotlight: Waterfowl – Join us at the Robinson Preserve Expansion to explore the ponds and search for waterfowl. Learn how to identify different species of ducks and their relatives and observe them in their natural habitat. Discover duck behavior, adaptations, and their ecological importance. Bring your binoculars and attention to detail! Program suitable for adults. Reservations required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/205736161397. For more information please contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Robinson Preserve – South Entrance 9th Ave NW Bathroom Pavilion

Saturday, Dec 4th, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM or 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM – Youth Archery (2 Sessions) – Set 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 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. Two identical sessions are offered, 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, Dec 4th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Keep Manatee Beautiful: First Saturday Cleanup – This 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 Coquina Beach! Volunteer opportunity suitable for all ages. Program sponsored by Keep Manatee Beautiful in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Please bring a water bottle and wear sun protection. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.manateebeautiful.com/events-1. For more information please contact keep@manateebeautiful.com. Coquina Beach

Saturday, Dec 4th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Master Gardener Tour: Emerson Point – Casually stroll through the beautiful Emerson Point Preserve and learn about Florida's native plants and inhabitants of a coastal environment. Program suitable for all ages. Program sponsored by UF IFAS Extension Master Gardener Program in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Please meet at the first parking area on the RIGHT at the Observation Tower (not at the Ranger Station) at 9 AM. Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes for walking on uneven terrain. Bring a water bottle, sun and insect protection. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/167369327163. Emerson Point Preserve – Observation Tower Parking Area

Saturday, Dec 4th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Native Christmas Tree Sale – Interested in a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to a commercial live Christmas tree? Consider purchasing a native Red Cedar or Silver Buttonwood at the Robinson Preserve NEST! Bring your tree back to us after the holidays and we will plant it in the preserve as part of our ongoing habitat restoration, or keep it and plant it in your own yard. Southern Red Cedar and Silver Buttonwood are native to the Eastern United States and an important source of food for many songbirds, including the Cedar Waxwing and Eastern Bluebird, and are used extensively for bird nesting and roosting. Trees that are still healthy after the holidays (some watering is all that’s required) can be returned (return information to be announced) with a guarantee that they will be planted at a Manatee County Preserve.  Quantities are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. The tree sale will end early if trees are sold out.  Trees range in price from $8 to $150 based on pot size and tree species.  Pots range from 1 gallon to 30 gallons in size. Oyster shell ornaments will be sold for $3 each or two for $5. All proceeds go to the management and maintenance of our preserve system. You can also donate (sponsor) a tree if you don’t have a place for it or just want to purchase one for the preserve.No reservations required. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org.  Trees range in price from $8 to $150, payable by CASH or CHECK only! Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday, Dec 4th, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM – Christmas in Cortez – Have a merry time at the Maritime! Visit the Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources outreach booth at this FREE family festival. Enjoy carnival-style games, holiday-themed crafts, and more, plus a special visit with Santa! Program suitable for all ages. Parking is available at the FISH Preserve, directly east of the Florida Maritime Museum on Cortez Road. No reservations required. For more information please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1406452363070193/ or call (941) 708-6120. Florida Maritime Museum – Parking at FISH Preserve

Saturday, Dec 4th, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Native Little One Art Club: Beach Landscapes and Shell ID – In this class, we will learn the elements of a landscape and how to create a local beach scene in a Bob Ross-style of course with step-by-step directions. After the landscape is complete we will learn about various types of sand and the seashells they come from. This painting will make a great gift! Program suitable for ages 5 to 8 years old. Program sponsored by Native Little One in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Registration and payment are required prior to event. Reservations are required. To register please contact nativelittleones@gmail.com or call (941) 447-8862. $60 Program Fee. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday, Dec 4th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Johnson Trailside Cleanup – Grab your gloves and join us for a morning of giving attention to the trails at Johnson Preserve. This oasis of nature is home to an amazing diversity of plants and animals not normally seen in suburban areas. It is a piece of ‘Old Florida” with mature live oaks, tall longleaf pines, important wetlands, and gopher tortoises. Program is suitable for volunteers 14 and up. Reservations are required. To register please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org. Johnson Preserve

Friday, Dec 10th, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM – A Night Before Christmas – Get ready for family fun at the annual Night Before Christmas event at GT Bray's 51st St Park! Santa and Mrs. Clause will be visiting the park to meet with all the children. The event will include a real snow slide, face painting, bounce house, the movie ELF (presented by First Home Bank) playing at the amphitheater, and much more. Local vendors will be showing their holiday spirit and the food truck lineup has your dinner covered! This awesome event is great for kids of all ages. Event entry is FREE, however, a suggested donation per family of a new, unwrapped toy for Toys For Tots is kindly requested. $5 WRISTBANDS are sold to slide down real snow, bounce, slide, and crawl over the inflatables and be festively face painted! BEAT THE LINES - wristbands are on sale at the GT Bray Park front desk beginning 12/3/21! *No refunds or replacements will be issued. Cash only at event entrance on 12/10. Event parking is located near the Recreation Center, accessible from 33rd Ave Dr W. NO event parking is available in 51st St Park. No reservations required. For more information please visit https://fb.me/e/49urH76UN or contact parksevents@mymanatee.org. $5 optional activities wristband, payable by CASH ONLY at the event. GT Bray Park – Parking at Recreation Center

Friday, Dec 10th, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM or 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM – Volunteer for a Night Before Christmas – We need volunteers to help decorate Tinseltown! Santa is arriving and we need all the help we can get to set up our winter wonderland. If you are brimming with holiday spirit and want to spread holiday cheer, this is the event for you. This is a great way to get volunteer credit for high school, youth organizations, or team building for your office. Help us create a fun event for the community to enjoy! Program suitable for volunteers 16 and up. Reservations required. To register please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call 941-742-5923 ext. 6035. G.T. Bray Park

Saturday, Dec 11th, 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM – Manatee Audubon Society Birding Tour: Perico Preserve – Search the skies for Florida’s fabulous fliers! Our Audubon guide will lead participants on a tour through Perico Preserve’s coastal hammock and mangrove habitats. Check out the “locals” as well as the migratory birds that are wintering here. Program suitable for adults. Program sponsored by Manatee County Audubon Society in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Reservations are required. To register please contact zholmes003@gmail.com or call (386) 279-3789. Perico Preserve

Saturday, Dec 11th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Master Gardener Tour: Riverview Pointe – Casually 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. Program sponsored by UF IFAS Extension Master Gardener Program in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Tour begins in the parking area of DeSoto National Memorial Park and enters into Riverview Pointe Preserve. Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes for walking on uneven terrain. Bring a water bottle, sun and insect protection. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/167373712279. Riverview Pointe Preserve – Parking at DeSoto National Memorial

Saturday, Dec 11th, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Native Little One Art Club: Garden Collage – Students will learn about soil health and build their own mini wormeries. We will learn about composting and the benefits of having worms in our gardens. Then we will create a mixed-media collage on plants that grow above and below ground. Learning about root vegetables versus ground coverings. Program suitable for ages 5 to 8 years old. Program sponsored by Native Little One in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Registration and payment are required prior to event. Reservations are required. To register please contact nativelittleones@gmail.com or call (941) 447-8862. $60 Program Fee. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday, Dec 11th, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Families Flock Together: Holiday in the Sun – Snowy winters? Not in Florida! Join us to learn about some of the migratory wildlife who enjoy the sandy Florida winters as we make crafts, play games, and go on a hike with the whole family! Program suitable for children and their families. Reservations required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/210011448897. For more information please contact sara.alvarezcollazo@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Robinson Preserve – North Entrance 17th Ave NW Pavilion

Tuesday, Dec 14th, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM – Stories and Service Book Club: In Defense of Plants the Podcast – 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 In Defense of Plants by Matt Candeias. The podcast is available at www.indefenseofplants.com/podcast. Program is suitable for bookworms 14 and up. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/201703218757. For more information please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org. Emerson Point Preserve

Wednesday, Dec 15th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Library Learning: Tracks and Trails – A buzzing bee, a feather on the ground, or a sticky web, signs of animals are all around. Bring your young learners to discover the difference between animal tracks and trails. Put your sleuthing hat on and explore different animal tracks and then practice moving like an animal. Program is suitable for preschool-age children. Reservations are required. To register please contact coral.bass@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6034. Braden River Library

Thursday, Dec 16th, 5:15 PM – 6:45 PM – Robinson Expansion Sunset Shutter Stroll – Join us at sunset to photograph the golden hues of the sun from the Robinson Preserve Expansion. Walk the boardwalks of this coastal paradise as the sun goes down. Watch overhead for a chance to photograph the preserve's migratory birds heading to roost. This is a special evening program to make use of the golden light of sunset and the blues of the early evening – don’t miss out! Program suitable for adults. Participants should bring their cameras and be prepared to hike outdoors after dark. Reservations required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/207363348357. Robinson Preserve – South Entrance Parking Lot 9th Ave NW

Friday, Dec 17th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Tall Tails Tribe: Parts of a Whole – Leaves, seeds, and roots are all elements of trees. Feathers, wings, and beaks are all components of birds. Using the outdoors as our guide, we will explore the different parts of nature and how each piece is knitted together to make a whole animal, plant, or ecosystem. Through games, exploration, and activities your preschooler will discover the amazing natural features, big and small, found in your very own backyard. Program suitable for preschool-age children. 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 1

Saturday, Dec 18th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Master Gardener Tour: Rye Preserve – Take 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://www.eventbrite.com/e/167452445773. Rye Preserve

Saturday, Dec 18th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Master Gardener Tour: Perico Preserve – Explore one of Manatee County's newest preserves and learn about Florida's native plants, how they benefit wildlife, and how they can be used in the home landscape.  Learn about the wide variety of ecosystems on display and how the preserve was transformed into what it is today. Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/167372791525. Perico Preserve

Saturday, Dec 18th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Families Flock Together: Ornament Making – Nature provides us with great materials for creating beautiful works of art! In this program, we will use natural materials to create special holiday ornaments. These handmade projects will be perfect for decorating your holiday tree and make for a lovely, thoughtful gift. Don’t forget to bring your creativity! Program suitable for all ages. Reservations required. To register please visit https://parks.mymanatee.org/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/search.html?module=AR&fmid=36152531. For more information please contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. $5 Materials Fee, payable online. Robinson Preserve – South Entrance 9th Ave NW Screened Pavilion

Saturday, Dec 18th, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM – Seeing Stars – Enjoy a beautiful night sky overlooking the water at this after-hours astronomy viewing. We provide the telescopes and the expertise; you enjoy the wonders of our universe! The program is free, but advance tickets are required. Program suitable for all ages. Program sponsored by The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://bishopscience.org/events/seeing-stars/. Robinson Preserve – South Entrance Parking Lot 9th Ave NW

Tuesday, Dec 21st, 6:00 AM – 8:00 AM – Winter Solstice Sunrise Paddle – Calling all early birds!  Savor every moment of the shortest day of the year by waking up to witness the crack of dawn while on the water. Join us for an easy sunrise paddle along with the mangrove forests of Robinson Preserve to the mouth of the Manatee River and Tampa Bay. We will watch the moon dip low in the west as the sun rises in the east. Don't forget your camera (and a dry bag or box to keep it safe) for this fantastic photo opportunity! Program suitable for ages 16 and older who can meet the County's minimum eligibility requirements. This is an easy paddle that can be enjoyed by beginning kayakers. Participants must have their own canoe or kayak and safety gear. All participants must wear a life jacket and bring a flashlight or headlamp and whistle. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/212693591257. For more information please contact sarah.denison@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – North Kayak Launch 17th Ave NW

Tuesday, Dec 28th, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM – Wonder Walk: Robinson Expansion – A flash of pink from a spoonbills tail, an osprey hovering in the sky, and leaping mullets splashing on the water. Florida’s wild spaces are full of wonder. Gather up your family and experience the wonder with a naturalist-led hike in Robinson Expansion. Peek into the lives of the wild residents and visitors that call the preserve home. Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. To register please contact coral.bass@mymanatee.org. For more information please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6034. Robinson Preserve – South Entrance Parking Lot 9th Ave NW

Wednesday, Dec 29th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Tortoise Talk – Join 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. For more information please contact coral.bass@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – Valentine House Lawn

Wednesday, Dec 29th, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Explore Nature! Outreach Booth – Our Explore Nature! Outreach Booth brings nature to your local park! Stroll by to learn about the exciting recreational opportunities that Manatee County's parks and preserves have to offer.  A naturalist guide will be on-site to answer your questions and share a variety of animal biofacts! Program suitable for all ages. No reservation required. For more information please contact sara.alvarezcollazo@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Blackstone Park – Adjacent to Playground

Thursday, Dec 30th, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM – Seashell Shore Walk – Calling 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 explores 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 required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/205728709107. For more information please contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Coquina Beach – South Entrance Coquina Large Pavilion

Recurring Events

Wednesday, Dec 1st and 15th, G.T. Bray Park - 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Wednesday, Dec 8th, Conservatory Park - 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Tempestry: Documenting Climate Change Stitch by StitchJoin us for this outdoor knitting and crochet group as we stitch lines of temperature to illustrate how Manatee County has changed through the decades. This fun collaborative project, a marriage of art and data science, will be publicly displayed in one of our nature centers. Suitable for fiber artists 16 and up. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/201619548497 or contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Multiple Locations

Saturday, Dec 4th, 11th, 18th, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM – Robinson Runners – Join us weekly 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, Dec 4th, 11th, 18th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Saturday Mornings at the NEST – Join 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. No reservations required. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Sunday, Dec 5th, 12th, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM – Rise & Shine Yoga – Revitalize and Rejuvenate your Mind, Body, and Spirit! This yoga class is designed to blend the 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 Registration Fee, payable online. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

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 ages 16 and older. To receive email announcements about the RIP squad volunteer events, please email shaun.swartz@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