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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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FEBRUARY 2021 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Download a printable version of the February Calendar of Events

Saturday Feb 20th, 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

Saturday Feb 20th, 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. Suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://rye_preserve.eventbrite.com. Rye Preserve

Saturday Feb 20th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMCreek Cleanup at GT Bray ParkBring your wellies or wading boots for an adventurous morning cleaning the creek! This freshwater stream empties into Puertosueno Park and Palma Sola Bay and is home to many critters, including turtles, ducks, and fish. 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

Sunday Feb 21st, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AMRise & Shine YogaRevitalize and Rejuvenate your Mind, Body & Spirit! This yoga class is designed to blend awareness of breath, physical movement & 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 & beginning your week with this empowering & 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

Wednesday Feb 24th, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PMNeal Coastal CleanupThe 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 Feb 25th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMWildlife Spotlight: Roseate SpoonbillsJoin us for a stroll around the newly re-opened Robinson Preserve Expansion to search for one of Florida's most colorful wading birds, the roseate spoonbill!  Discover the unique behaviors and adaptations of these charismatic, pink birds, while taking in the beautiful sights of the preserve. Learn about the important role they play in our ecosystem and ways you can help wild spoonbills and their fellow feathered friends. Program suitable for all ages. Binoculars recommended. Reservations are required. To register please contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Robinson Preserve – Expansion

Thursday Feb 25th, 12:00 PM – 3:00 PMExplore Nature! Outreach BoothNeeding a dose of Vitamin N? Explore Nature! 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 reservations required. For more information please contact sara.alvarezcollazo@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Lincoln Park – Playground

Friday Feb 26th, 6:00 AM – 8:00 AMRobinson Preserve Sunrise PaddleCalling all early birds!  Join Naturalist Sarah for a peaceful sunrise paddle along the salt marshes of Robinson Preserve to the mouth of the Manatee River and Tampa Bay. We will take advantage of the low tide to watch the sunrise above the horizon while looking for local wildlife.  Don't forget your camera (and a dry bag or box to keep it safe) for this fantastic photo opportunity! Program suitable for ages 18 and older who can meet the County's minimum eligibility requirements. This is an easy paddle which 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/137647151335. For more information please contact sarah.denison@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – 17th Ave NW Entrance

Friday Feb 26th, 8:00 AM – Explorers' Tours: East Bradenton ParkJoin our education staff on the Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department Facebook page for a virtual celebration of Black History Month.  In this video, we will be touring East Bradenton Park and learning all about Willie J. "Bro" Clemons Jr., an influential black community leader and namesake of the Clemons Pool. Program suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please visit https://www.facebook.com/manatee.parks.natural.resources or contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Online – Facebook and YouTube

Saturday Feb 27th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMMaster Gardener Tour: Perico PreserveExplore 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://perico_preserve.eventbrite.com. Perico Preserve

Saturday Feb 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. Face coverings are required to enter the building. No reservations required. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday Feb 27th, 4:00 PM – 6:00 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 recommended for children over 8 years old, but children of all ages are welcome. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/137649955723. For more information please contact sara.alvarezcollazo@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Emerson Point Preserve

Sunday Feb 28th, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AMRise & Shine YogaRevitalize and Rejuvenate your Mind, Body & Spirit! This yoga class is designed to blend awareness of breath, physical movement & 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 & beginning your week with this empowering & 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

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

MARCH 2021 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Download a printable version of the March Calendar of Events

Wednesday Mar 3rd, 8:30 AM – 10:30 AMManatee Audubon Society Birding Tour: Emerson PointSearch 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 all ages. Program sponsored by the Manatee County Audubon Society in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Program limited to 12 participants. Reservations are required. To register please call (941) 592-7622. Emerson Point Preserve – Visitors Center

Wednesday Mar 3rd, 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 – Macy's Parking Lot

Thursday Mar 4th, 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 contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Coquina Beach – South Jetty

Friday Mar 5th, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PMFamilies Flock Together: Rye Campfire StoriesJoin us for a family campfire program as we enjoy an evening listening to the sounds of the night and telling stories around the crackling fire. Program suitable for all ages. Please bring your own camp chairs. Feel free to bring marshmallows to roast! Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/142007503265. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Rye Preserve – Campground

Saturday Mar 6th, 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 Mar 6th, 9:00 AM – Session 1: 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM , Session 2: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM , Session 3: 11:00AM - 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 Mar 6th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMKeep Manatee Beautiful: Great American Clean UpThe Great American Cleanup unifies and beautifies communities across the country in a grassroots spring-cleaning movement.  Celebrating its 23rd year, the most recent Great American Cleanup created 15,000 opportunities for millions of volunteers to have remarkable results – picking up millions of pounds of litter, cleaning over 100,000 acres of public spaces, and tens of thousands of miles of roadways and shorelines. Join Keep Manatee Beautiful for this year's Great American Cleanup events right here in Manatee County throughout March! Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.manateebeautiful.com/event-details/great-american-cleanup. For more information please call (941) 795-8272. Kingfish Boat Ramp

Saturday Mar 6th, 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 Mar 7th, 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

Saturday Mar 6th, 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

Wednesday Mar 10th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AMStorytime in Nature: Eagle in the SkyBring your little ones to Conservatory Park for an interactive storytelling of Eagle in the Sky by Ryan Jacobson. In this story, you'll experience life from an eagle's point of view, learning to flap your wings and gobble down fish! After the story, we will take a look to the trees to see if we can find any eagles in the park. Program suitable for children 5 and under and their families. Reservations are required. To register please contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Conservatory  Park – Pavilion

Thursday Mar 11th, 9:00 AM – 11:30 AMRye Cemetery Preservation and BeautificationVolunteer to spruce up the Rye Pioneer Trail and historic burial grounds by removing litter and invasive plants. Then we will clean the gravestones with a special solution to help them shine. Program suitable for participants ages 10 and older. Reservations are required. To register please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Rye Preserve

Friday Mar 12th, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AMWildlife Spotlight: FungiJoin us for a walk among the pines to look for fungi! Learn about the different types of fungus that can be found in Florida, and discover the amazing adaptations that help fungi survive in the wild. Program suitable for adults. Reservations are required. To register please contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Conservatory  Park – Pavilion

Saturday Mar 13th, 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 Mar 13th, 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. 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 Mar 13th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMMaster Gardener Tour: Emerson Point PreserveCasually stroll through to enjoy the beautiful Emerson Point Preserve and learn about Florida's native plants and inhabitants of a coastal environment. Suitable for all ages. Please meet at the first parking area on the RIGHT at the Observation Tower (not at the classroom) at 9 AM. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://emerson_preserve.eventbrite.com. Emerson Point Preserve – Observation Tower Parking Lot

Saturday Mar 13th, 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

Saturday Mar 13th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PMFamilIes Flock Together: Cuban RanchosIn the late 1600s, Florida’s shores hosted thriving communities of Cuban fishermen known as Ranchos. Become a fisherman for a day and explore the lifestyle, obstacles and estuary habitats of old Florida. Program suitable for children and their families. Reservations are required. To register please contact sara.alvarezcollazo@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Emerson Point Preserve – Large Pavilion

Saturday Mar 13th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PMFamilies Flock Together: Native American ExperienceJoin us for a guided tour around the largest temple mound of the Tampa Bay area, and discover for yourself what life was like for Native Americans on Snead Island. Learn all about the skills practiced by Florida’s early inhabitants at our different tour stops: Measure the distance you can throw a spear with an atlatl, explore ancient fishing gear, and practice your fire-building skills. Program suitable for participants ages 6 and older. Reservations are required. To register please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Emerson Point Preserve – Large Pavilion

 

 

Saturday Mar 13th, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PMEnvironmental Film Night at the NESTJoin us to watch a special selection of environmentally-themed short films. These award-winning films feature topics from invasive species to wildlife photography to coral conservation. Discover the important works of environmental film-makers while enjoying the beautiful grounds of the NEST at Robinson Preserve. Program suitable for adults. Please bring a folding chair or blanket to sit on. Refreshments available for purchase by cash only to benefit United Way. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/142283268085. For more information, please contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Sunday Mar 14th, 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

Sunday Mar 14th, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PMHoop Dance at Conservatory ParkHoop Dancing is a fun, creative, and unique activity that will get you and your kids moving and smiling while keeping a safe distance from others.  Lift your mood, get a full-body workout, and share joy with those around you while staying at a safe distance.  Everyone will find their own flow within a fun, supportive group. No experience necessary.  All levels welcome! Program sponsored by Rythmic Snail Music and Hoop Dance in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. To register please visit https://www.rhythmicsnail.com/adult-hoop-class-signup. For more information please contact sarah@rhythmicsnail.com. Conservatory Park

Friday Mar 19th, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM and 3:00 PM - 4:00 PMHomeschool Science Club: PlanktonCome explore the wanderers of the sea – plankton! Get your feet wet as we collect water samples, then learn how to use a microscope to peek at the small organisms beneath your lens. Program suitable for students ages 8-13. Two identical sessions will be offered to facilitate distancing. Please sign up for only one session. Wear your swimsuit and water shoes or clothes that can get wet and bring a towel!  We will be wading in waist-deep water to collect our plankton samples. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/142138739797. For more information please contact sara.alvarezcollazo@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Emerson Point Preserve – Large Pavilion

 

 

Friday Mar 19th, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PMAir Potato RoundupJoin us for a day in the pines, taking out invasive air potato and Ceasar weed along the trails of Conservatory Park!  Who will find the biggest spud?  Who will find the most?  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 Mar 20th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMKeep Manatee Beautiful: Great American Clean UpThe Great American Cleanup unifies and beautifies communities across the country in a grassroots spring-cleaning movement.  Celebrating its 23rd year, the most recent Great American Cleanup created 15,000 opportunities for millions of volunteers to have remarkable results – picking up millions of pounds of litter, cleaning over 100,000 acres of public spaces, and tens of thousands of miles of roadways and shorelines. Join Keep Manatee Beautiful for this year's Great American Cleanup events right here in Manatee County throughout March! Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.manateebeautiful.com/event-details/great-american-cleanup. For more information please call (941) 795-8272. Lincoln Park

Saturday Mar 20th, 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 Mar 20th, 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

Saturday Mar 20th, 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. Suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://rye_preserve.eventbrite.com. Rye Preserve

 

 

Saturday Mar 20th, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PMExplore Nature Manatee Pop-Up ProgramStop by our education table at beautiful Portosueno Park and learn all about manatees! These gentle giants are our county's namesake and are frequent visitors of the park. Enjoy interactive activities to learn about the amazing anatomy of manatees, and discover how you can help protect them in the wild. Program suitable for all ages. No reservations required For more information please contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Portosueno Park

Sunday Mar 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. Capacity will be limited to 120 attendees within the designated concert area to permit proper physical distance between listeners and musicians as well as among audience members. 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. Parking is limited. Please plan accordingly. Sarasota Orchestra requests and encourages audience members to wear masks and follow CDC guidelines for physical distancing at Parks & Partners events to maximize safety. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/on-the-road-with-so-parks-and-partners-concert-at-gt-bray-park-tickets-132992380791?aff=erelexpmlt. G.T. Bray Park – Amphitheater - 51st St Park

Wednesday Mar 24th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AMRye Pioneer History TourGet a taste of the wilderness just outside the city at Rye Preserve.  Learn about the historic Town of Rye, a booming settlement turned ghost town along the banks of the Manatee River.  Visit the Rye family cemetery and tour the Rye Nature Center on this historical nature walk. Program suitable for all ages. Terrain is sandy and uneven, closed-toe shoes required. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/142144928307. For more information please contact sarah.denison@mymanatee.org. Rye Preserve – Pavilion

Thursday Mar 25th, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PMStories and Service Book Club: The Singing RiverLooking 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 Singing River by Joe G. Warner. Program is 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

 

 

 

 

Friday Mar 26th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PMArchaeo PaddleJourney through the mangrove forests of Robinson Preserve with Archeologist Jeff Moates and discover the historical uses of the land, evidence of ecological restoration, and how to spot the remains of indigenous people’s past. 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/136436644677. For more information please contact sara.alvarezcollazo@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Robinson Preserve North Entrance – Kayak Launch

Saturday Mar 27th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMKeep Manatee Beautiful: Great American Clean UpThe Great American Cleanup unifies and beautifies communities across the country in a grassroots spring-cleaning movement.  Celebrating its 23rd year, the most recent Great American Cleanup created 15,000 opportunities for millions of volunteers to have remarkable results – picking up millions of pounds of litter, cleaning over 100,000 acres of public spaces, and tens of thousands of miles of roadways and shorelines. Join Keep Manatee Beautiful for this year's Great American Cleanup events right here in Manatee County throughout March! Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.manateebeautiful.com/event-details/great-american-cleanup. For more information please call (941) 795-8272. Coquina Beach

Saturday Mar 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 Mar 27th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMMaster Gardener Tour: Perico PreserveExplore 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://perico_preserve.eventbrite.com. Perico Preserve

Saturday Mar 27th, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM and 10:30 – 11:30 AMRobinson Preserve Wagon ToursRoll through Robinson Preserve on four wheels in the comfort of our covered wagon!  Your naturalist guide will interpret the land’s history, habitat, wildlife, and plants and will share updates and information about the new Expansion. Program suitable  for  all  ages. Face coverings are required while riding in the wagon. The wagon will depart on time - please arrive 15 minutes early for boarding. We will meet at the wooden ramp at the back of the parking lot. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/142154083691. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – North Parking Lot - 17th Ave NW Entrance

Saturday Mar 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 exploration. 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. In celebration of Manatee County Heritage Month, our fossil collection will be on display. Come take an up-close look at the creatures that once roamed Manatee County! Program suitable for all ages. Face coverings are required to enter the building. No reservations required To register please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday Mar 27th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PMFood Forest RevitalizationCome join this workday in our urban food forest. Help us weed, mulch, and beautify this space for residents to partake in nature’s bounty. Follow up with a fruit tasting from our tropical selection. 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. East Bradenton Park

Saturday Mar 27th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PMFamilies Flock Together: Fantastic FossilsTake a step back in time and learn about Florida's Fossils! Through hands-on activities and games, we will discover the ancient animals that inhabited Manatee County thousands of years ago. Learn about how fossils are made, and get an up-close look at our unique fossil collection. Program suitable for children and their families. Reservations are required. To register please contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Emerson Point Preserve – Large Pavilion

Sunday Mar 28th, 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

 

 

 

Sunday Mar 28th, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PMRobinson Full Moon PaddleJoin us for an easy sunset paddle along the salt marshes of Robinson Preserve to the mouth of the Manatee River and Tampa Bay. We will take advantage of low tide to watch the sunset from the sandbar and return under the light of the full moon and stars. 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 flashlight or headlamp and whistle. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/142164213991. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve 17th Ave NW Entrance – Kayak Launch

Fridays, 8:00 AM Explorers' Academy: Manatee County Heritage DAYSJoin our education staff on social media for a virtual celebration of Manatee County Heritage Days!  A new video will be released each Friday morning on Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department's Facebook and YouTube pages, with topics including the history of Robinson Preserve, poetry in nature, Manatee County's fossil history, and the pioneer settlers of Emerson Point Preserve. Program suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please visit https://www.facebook.com/manatee.parks.natural.resources. Online – Facebook and YouTube

Multiple Dates Available, 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 Dates Available, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PMNature Journaling Webinar SeriesJoin UF/IFAS Extension Agent Alyssa Vinson and the Palmetto Public Library for a series of webinars focused on Nature Journaling. This six-part series is split up into the following: 1. Introduction and Benefits of Nature Journaling, Documenting and Identifying 2. Plants, 3. Trees and 4. Mushrooms, 5. Identifying and Documenting Habitat Types and 6. The Nature Poetry Connection. Each class will be offered via ZOOM with the opportunity for student interaction. Register once and choose which classes to attend. Program suitable for all ages. Program sponsored by University of Florida IFAS Extension and Palmetto Public Library. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://ufl.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_HEZKX8g6T4SjZHnupxyIEQ. For more information please contact alyvinson@ufl.edu. Online – ZOOM

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

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