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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] to set up a private program.

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JANUARY 2020 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Download a printable version of the January Calendar of Events

Friday Jan 22nd, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AMSeashell 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 will explore what makes mollusks unique and bring you up to speed on the latest research in malacology. 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 [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Coquina Beach

Friday Jan 22nd, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PMLab In A Box: Water Quality – Join us for an instructor-led virtual laboratory-style experience where young learners will learn about water quality! What’s the best medium to filter water? How can you do it at home? How do estuaries filter water? Learn the answers to these questions and more with hands-on activities! Program recommended for students ages 9-13. Most materials will be supplied in the lab box, which must be picked up from GT Bray Park or shipped to the participant prior to the program. Registration is required. To register please visit https://parks.mymanatee.org/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/search.html?module=AR&fmid=37127471. For more information please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6042. $10 Materials Fee + $5 Shipping Fee (Optional) payable online. Online – ZOOM

Saturday Jan 23rd, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PMSaturday Mornings at the NEST – Join 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. Program suitable for all ages. Face coverings are required to enter the building. No reservations required. For more information please contact [email protected]. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Sunday Jan 24th, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AMRise & Shine Yoga – Revitalize 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 [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6042. $10 Participant Fee Payable online. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Sunday Jan 24th, 2:30 PM – 3:30 PMSarasota Orchestra Parks & Partners Series – On the Road with SO: Parks & Partners Series 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 for this FREE event. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/on-the-road-with-so-parks-and-partners-concert-at-gt-bray-park-tickets-131287210581. G.T. Bray Park – Amphitheater - 51st St Park

Monday Jan 25thSaturday Jan 30thExplorers' Academy Virtual Learning: Mollusks Week – Did you know that humans have been eating oysters for thousands of years?  Or that Octopuses have three hearts and blue blood?  Or that the rings on a snail's shell can indicate its age?  Join our education staff on the Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department Facebook page for an exploration of Florida's magnificent mollusks!  New videos will be released on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday which feature general information, storytime, kids’ activities, and a virtual preserve tour. Program suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please visit https://www.facebook.com/manatee.parks.natural.resources or contact [email protected]. Virtual Event – Watch on Facebook or YouTube

Wednesday Jan 27th, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PMTaste the Wild - Session I – Disappointed by Darjeeling and bored with Bergamot? Saunter by and sip on native teas of the Southeast! Our tea masters will brew an assortment of infusions while exploring the history of herbs, needles, and flowers. Sample and savor our selection of sweeteners while enjoying the sounds of nature at Emerson Point Preserve! Program suitable for adults. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://parks.mymanatee.org/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/search.html?module=AR&fmid=37127680. For more information please call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. $5 Materials Fee Payable Online. Emerson Point Preserve – Classroom Pavilion

Wednesday Jan 27th, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PMTaste the Wild - Session II – Disappointed by Darjeeling and bored with Bergamot? Saunter by and sip on native teas of the Southeast! Our tea masters will brew an assortment of infusions while exploring the history of herbs, needles, and flowers. Sample and savor our selection of sweeteners while enjoying the sounds of nature at Emerson Point Preserve! Program suitable for adults. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://parks.mymanatee.org/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/search.html?module=AR&fmid=37127864. For more information please call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. $5 Materials Fee Payable Online. Emerson Point Preserve – Classroom Pavilion

Thursday Jan 28th, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PMRobinson Full Moon Paddle – Join 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/133356028471. For more information please contact [email protected]. Robinson Preserve North Entrance – Kayak Launch

Friday Jan 29th, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PMAir Potato Roundup – Join us for a day in the pines, taking out invasive air potato and Caesar 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 [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Conservatory Park

Saturday Jan 30th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PMSaturday Mornings at the NEST – Join 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. Program suitable for all ages. Face coverings are required to enter the building. No reservations required. For more information please contact [email protected]. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday Jan 30th, 3:00 PM – Sunday Jan 31st, 10:00 AMIntroduction to Family Camping Overnight – Join us for a weekend of family fun at the Rye Preserve campground!  In this exciting sleep-over program your family will have an opportunity to explore the natural beauty of Rye Preserve and learn the basics of car camping including what to pack, how to set up your tent, and how to build a fire. We will finish off the night with s’mores under the stars!   After a brief wrap-up the next morning, you will be free to explore and enjoy all the Rye Preserve has to offer. Program suitable for families with children of all ages. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Maximum of 6 people per campsite. No RVs, trailers, or generators are permitted. Bathrooms and showers are available on site. A central fire will be provided for participants.  If you would like to build your own campfire, firewood is available for $5 per bundle. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/133359755619. For more information please contact [email protected]. $22.40 Registration Fee per campsite, payable with exact CASH or CHECK.  No credit cards accepted. Rye Preserve – Ranger Station

Sunday Jan 31st, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AMRise & Shine Yoga – Revitalize 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 [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6042. $10 Participant Fee Payable online. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

 

FEBRUARY 2020 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Download a printable version of the February Calendar of Events

Wednesday Feb 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 Feb 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, held in Bradenton.  Each month a new ‘spotlight book’ is featured. 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 – Macys Parking Lot

Friday Feb 5th, 8:00 AM Explorers' Academy: Black History MonthDid you know that in the early 1800s, a thriving community of formerly enslaved Africans, free Blacks, and Native Americans lived somewhere along our coast?  Join our education staff on the Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department Facebook page for celebration of Black History Month, as we explore the rich African American history in our parks and communities. 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

Friday Feb 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/137629263833. For more information please contact [email protected]. Rye Preserve – Campground

Saturday Feb 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 Feb 6th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMFirst Saturday CleanupThis year we will be hosting a cleanup event on the first Saturday of each month. Come out and help us Keep Manatee Beautiful! Volunteer opportunity suitable for all ages. Program sponsored by Keep Manatee Beautiful in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. No reservations required. For more information please contact [email protected]. Coquina Beach

Saturday Feb 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 [email protected]. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday Feb 6th, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AMYouth Archery Session 1Set 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. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://ryearchery.eventbrite.com. For more information please contact [email protected]. Rye Preserve – Sheriff's Youth Ranch

Saturday Feb 6th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AMYouth Archery Session 2Set 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. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://ryearchery.eventbrite.com. For more information please contact [email protected]. Rye Preserve – Sheriff's Youth Ranch

Saturday Feb 6th, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PMYouth Archery Session 3Set 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. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://ryearchery.eventbrite.com. For more information please contact [email protected]. Rye Preserve – Sheriff's Youth Ranch

Saturday Feb 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

Sunday Feb 7th, 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 [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6042. $10 Participant Fee Payable online. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Wednesday Feb 10th, 9:00 AM – 11:30 AMRye Preservers Trailblazing Volunteer WorkdayJoin us for a day off the beaten path, making the trail more accessible for all. Part nature hike, part volunteering, this activity will trim back encroaching vines and branches from the trail. If you love native plants, biodiversity, seeds, and lending a helping hand, this is the workday for you! Volunteers must be 16 and older to volunteer without a guardian present Reservations are required. To register please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Rye Preserve

Thursday Feb 11th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AMExplore 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 [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. G.T Bray Park – 51st St Park Playground

Friday Feb 12th, 8:00 AM Explorers' Storytime: Black History MonthJoin our education staff on the Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department Facebook page for a virtual celebration of Black History Month.  In this virtual storytime, we will be reading "Follow the Drinking Gourd" by Jeanette Winter. Program suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please visit https://www.facebook.com/manatee.parks.natural.resources or contact [email protected]. Online – Facebook and YouTube

Saturday Feb 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 [email protected]. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday Feb 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 Feb 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 9AM. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://emerson_preserve.eventbrite.com. Emerson Point Preserve – Observation Tower Parking Lot

Saturday Feb 13th, 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 [email protected] or call 941-742-5923 ext. 6035. East Bradenton Park

Saturday Feb 13th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PMFamilies Flock Together: Odd CouplesCould it be love? In celebration of Valentine's Day, let's explore the different ecological relationships between plants and animals like symbiosis and parasitism with interactive activities. Take a hike to look for plant and animal relationships all around you! Program suitable for children and their families. Reservations are required. To register please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Conservatory Park – Playground Pavilion

Saturday Feb 13th, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PMMoonlight Tower WalkJoin us for a relaxing evening stroll with your loved ones at Robinson Preserve!  Enjoy a sunset walk to the tower and take in beautiful views of Tampa Bay. After the sun goes down, we will return by lantern light, discovering the variety of wildlife that visits the preserve after dark. Program suitable for adults. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/moonlight-tower-walk-registration-137635335995. For more information please call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Robinson Preserve

Sunday Feb 14th, 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 [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6042. $10 Participant Fee Payable online. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Thursday Feb 18th, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PMEmerson Enhancers at the PointJoin us for a shoreline cleanup where the Manatee River meets Tampa Bay. Explore mangrove trails, sandy beaches, and our lookout point, while working to beautify the area for people and animals alike. Won’t you take part? 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 [email protected] or call 941-742-5923 ext. 6035. Emerson Point Preserve – the Point

Friday Feb 19th, 8:00 AMExplorers' Activity: Black History Month QuiltingIn celebration of Black History Month, we are commemorating an activity going back generations: quilting! Quilting is the practice of stitching layers of fabric together to form a warm and durable blanket. Join us virtually amongst the pines and stitch along at home to create your own unique quilt block. Program suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please visit https://www.facebook.com/manatee.parks.natural.resources or contact [email protected]. Online – Facebook and YouTube

Friday Feb 19th, 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 bring you up to speed on the latest research in malacology. 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 [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6036. Coquina Beach – Café

Friday Feb 19th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PMLab In A Box: Veterinary MedicineJoin us for an instructor-led virtual laboratory-style experience where young learners will learn about veterinary medicine. Find out what disease is afflicting our mystery animal, learn how veterinarians prevent animal diseases, and more! Program recommended for students ages 9-13. Most materials will be supplied in the lab box, which must be picked up from GT Bray Park or shipped to the participant prior to the program. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://parks.mymanatee.org/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/search.html?module=AR&fmid=37947084. For more information please contact [email protected] or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. $10 Materials Fee + $5 Shipping Fee (optional) payable online. Online – ZOOM

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 [email protected]. 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected]. 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 [email protected]. 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 [email protected]. 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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  [email protected] 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