Education Programs & Events

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EcoEvents: Outdoor Education Programs & Events Calendar

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April Calendar of Events

Download a printable version of the April Calendar of Events

Wednesday 24th, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM – ALFRESCO ART: SOLAR DYEING – When sunshine, foliage, and dye combine, magical and beautiful art appear before your very eyes. Join us for an afternoon of solar dyeing, in this unique program participants will forage for their own shapes and experiment with different shadows. Each participant will receive two placemats to decorate and may bring one other project T-shirt or smaller for experimentation. Program suitable for ages 12 and up. Each family must come with a participating adult. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing coral.bass@mymanatee.org or calling (941) 742-5757. Emerson Point Preserve

Thursday 25th, 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM – RYE PRESERVERS TRAILBLAZING VOLUNTEER WORKDAY– Join us for a morning 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! Program is suitable for all ages. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or calling (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035 to register. Rye Preserve

Thursday 25th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – GREEN EXPLORERS: CREEK RETREAT – Does your child like to explore? Spending unstructured time in nature inspires confidence, encourages problem solving skills, and provides social outlets for children of all ages.  Physically playing on uneven surfaces even helps children develop stronger coordination and balance skills. Come out for a fun, low structure, high social experience where children get back to playing with nature. This month we will be focused on exploring the stream. Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing coral.bass@mymanatee.org or calling (941) 742-5923 ext. 6034. Rye Preserve

Thursday 25th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM – HOMESCHOOL BIOLOGY LABS: OWL PELLET DISSECTIONS – What makes owls so mysterious and intriguing? Did you know that a Barn Owl can eat up to 1000 mice each year? Or that not all owls hoot? In this Homeschool Biology Lab program we will learn basic techniques for dissection and examine sterilized owl pellets. The contents of each pellet will help us develop a better understanding of owls, their diet, and their role in the environment.  Program recommended for students 11 years and older. Reservations are required. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing sarah.denison@mymanatee.org or calling (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. $10 Materials Fee per student, payable by cash only. Emerson Point Preserve

Friday 26th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – TALL TAILS TRIBE: REPTILE RENDEZVOUS – Turtles, lizards, and alligators, Oh My! Come discover the wonderful wild, cold blooded creatures that can be found in our Florida ecosystem. Discover adaptations that make reptiles so unique through games, songs, and meeting our very own animal ambassador, Genbu.  Program suitable for preschool age children. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing coral.bass@mymanatee.org or calling (941) 742-5757 ext. 3. Emerson Point Preserve

Saturday 27th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM – NEST NATURE DAYS FEATURING LEATHER STAMPING BRACELETS – The brand-new Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science and Technology will open its doors for a day of exploration and leather crafting. 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 panorama views, and make an exciting exit from the building via slide. Learn about upcoming programs and exciting new additions to Robinson Preserve. Create beautiful, take home leather stamped bracelets that you will enjoy wearing every day. Suitable for all ages. No reservations required, please visit any time during open house hours. For more information please call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6039. Free to tour the NEST. $5 Material Fee per bracelet, payable by cash only. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday 27th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM – WORLD TAI CHI DAY – One World… One Breath. Join us as we take part in a global exploration of breath and movement. This FREE event will include Qigong warmups followed by Tai Chi demonstrations and follow-alongs presented by local instructors. We will be joining hundreds of cities, across eighty nations, where people from all walks of life will come together and breathe together. View the event on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1894575150574488/ For more information please call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6039. G.T. Bray Amphitheater – 51st St Park Entrance

Tuesday 30th, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM – ANNOUNCING A NEW PADDLE LOCATION FOR EXPERIENCED PADDLERS: ANNA MARIA TO PASSAGE KEY – Experienced paddlers will enjoy a guided open water trip by WayneAdventures to Passage Key National Wildlife Refuge to explore the waters between Anna Maria and Passage Key where dolphins, rays, and sharks are often seen. This area is subject to currents and winds and route depends on weather and conditions. Program suitable for adults with prior open water experience, rescue skills and appropriate  open-water kayak 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. Reservations are required. Please call (941) 742-5757 ext. 7. Anna Maria Bayfront Park

Tuesday 30th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – STROLLER STROLLS: NEAL – Round up your baby buggies, and your little ones for a strolling naturalist led walk through the County’s wild spaces. Open your child’s eyes to the sights, smells, and feel of Florida’s great outdoors while learning about our preservs. Meet other nature explorer families with similar aged kids. Program suitable for 0 to 4 years but families are welcome to join. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing coral.bass@mymanatee.org or calling (941) 742-5757 ext.4. Neal Preserve

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. This group meets when needed with locations and tasks determined based on need, opportunity, and priority, at the time of each event. Email announcements are sent out a few days in advance of each event that detail the purpose, goals, and meeting information for each upcoming event. Program suitable for volunteers age 16 and older. To receive email announcements about the RIP squad volunteer events, send an email to Erin at Erin.Struzzieri@mymanatee.org Location and time TBA - chosen based on need

May Calendar of Events

Download a printable version of the May Calendar of Events

Friday 3rd, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – SUNSET, STARLIGHT PADDLE – What a great way to spend a May evening, on a sunset and starlight paddle with our kayak guide from WayneAdventures. An educational and fun trip including water quality testing, we will paddle out to the sandbars of the Manatee River to explore what lives in our waters. After watching the sunset, we will be escorted back by the stars. Bring your camera for great shots of egrets, herons and roseate spoonbills. This is an easy paddle which can be enjoyed by beginning kayakers. 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. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 7. Robinson Preserve

Saturday 4th, 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM – ADULT ARCHERY – 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 necessary equipment will be provided thanks to a grant from the Easton Sports Development Foundation. Program is suitable participants 16 years and older. Reservations are required. Please email aedan.stockdale@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6039. Rye Preserve

Saturday 4th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM – RYE PRESERVE NATURE CENTER OPEN – We are opening the doors of the newest addition to Rye Preserve. Come view a variety of exhibits that highlight the history of Rye and its uplands habitat. Department staff will take visitors on guided tours of the Center, and lead special hands-on activities related to each exhibit.  Suitable for all ages. For more information please call (941) 748-4501 ext. 6039. Rye Preserve

Saturday 4th, 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM – RYE PRESERVERS TRAILBLAZING VOLUNTEER WORKDAY– Join us for a morning 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! Program is suitable for all ages. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6035 to register. Rye Preserve

Saturday 4th, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM – YOUTH ARCHERY – 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 is suitable for ages 6 to 16 years old. Program sponsored by the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Reservations are required. Please email aedan.stockdale@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6039. Rye Preserve

 Saturday 4th, 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM – SIDEWALK ASTRONOMY AT ROBINSON PRESERVE – Join us for a “Dark Sky Special” in the Robinson Preserve Expansion! On this moonless night, we will be watching for galaxies and nebulas with a chance to spot Omega Centauri late in the evening. Dozens of local astronomers will be set up in the Expansion, with telescopes at the ready. Be sure to bring a sense of wonder and exploration and view the skies through high-powered telescopes. Learn how to identify these heavenly bodies, and how you can star gaze at home too. Program in partnership with The Local Group of Deep Sky Observers. Suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please email aedan.stockdale@mymanatee.org Robinson Preserve – Expansion Parking Area

Sunday 5th, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM – RISE & SHINE POWER FLOW YOGA – Revitalize and Rejuvenate your Mind, Body & Spirit! This (power) 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!  Participants must provide their own yoga mats. Program sponsored by Brandy Gray of MomWifeSOUL Yoga. Suitable for adults. Please email aedan.stockdale@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6039 to register. $10 Participant Fee payable by cash only. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Thursday 9th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – TREETOTS: WONDROUS WATER – Calling all wee ones! Grab the youngest member of the family and join us for a wet and wild adventure.  Solid, liquid and gas, let’s explore all of water’s states of matter. Through songs, movement, and hands on play we will experience the wonders of water.   Program suitable for newborns to 2-year-olds. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing coral.bass@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5757 ext.4. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Thursday 9th, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM – NEST NATURE DAYS – The brand-new Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science and Technology will open its doors for an afternoon of exploration. Explore the canopy boardwalk among the banyans, climb to the top of the crow’s nest, take in breathtaking panorama views, and make an exciting exit from the building via slide. Learn about upcoming programs and exciting new additions to Robinson Preserve. Suitable for all ages. No reservations required, please visit any time during open house hours. For more information please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6039. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Thursday 9th, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM – HOMESCHOOL SCIENCE CLUB: SEAGRASS COMMUNITIES – Explore the hidden wonders of one of Florida’s most important ecosystems: seagrass communities!  We will be dip netting for some of the amazing creatures that call these areas home, so be sure to wear closed toed shoes that can get wet and pack a dry change of clothes/towel.  Let’s see what we can catch!  Program recommended for age 6-10 year olds, but all ages welcome.  Reservations are required. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing sarah.denison@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6044. Emerson Point Preserve

Friday 10th, 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM – PADDLE PINE ISLAND PRESERVE AND LOWER BRADEN RIVER – Join our nature guide from WayneAdventures as we explore the Lower Braden River and weave our way around extensive oyster beds and mangrove islands. We will stop at Pine Island, a 66 acre preserve. Along the way, learn about the importance of these tidal estuary areas. Beginning paddlers who can paddle 4-6 miles are welcome. 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. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 7. SR 64 Boat Launch 517 29th St E, Bradenton

Friday 10th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – TALL TAILS TRIBE: WATER WADING – Dip your toes and nets into the water to discover what lives below the surface. Explore the shallow seagrass beds and mangrove roots for creatures that call Emerson Point home. Spark your preschooler’s curiosity and feed their love for Florida’s wildlife by getting nose to nose and eye to eye with an assortment of saltwater creatures.  Program suitable for preschool age children. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing coral.bass@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5757 ext. 3. Emerson Point Preserve

Friday 10th, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM – JAZZ NIGHT AT THE NEST – Join us for an evening of music on the lawn of the Mosaic NEST at Robinson Preserve! Enjoy classical jazz performed by Dr. Pete Carney and the State College of Florida Jazz Combo, while taking in the preserve’s beautiful scenery. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing elena.burke@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6036 Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday 11th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – MOLLUSKS MONTHLY – 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 adults. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6036 or e-mail elena.burke@mymanatee.org. Anna Maria Bayfront Park

Saturday 11th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM – NEST NATURE DAYS FEATURING MOTHER’S DAY FLOWERPOT PAINTING – The brand-new Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science and Technology will open its doors for a day of exploration and crafting. 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 panorama views, and make an exciting exit from the building via slide. Learn about upcoming programs and exciting new additions to Robinson Preserve. Need a gift for mom or Grandma for Mother’s Day? For one day only, stop in for a flowerpot painting workshop complete with soil and a seed. Suitable for all ages. No reservations required, please visit any time during open house hours. For more information please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6039. Free to tour the NEST, $5 fee per flower pot, payable by cash only. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Wednesday 13th, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – SUNSET, MOONLIT PADDLE – What a great way to spend a May evening, on a sunset paddle with our kayak guide from WayneAdventures. An educational and fun trip including water quality testing, we will paddle out to the sandbars of the Manatee River to explore what lives in our waters. After watching the sunset, we will be escorted back by the full moon. Bring your camera for great shots of egrets, herons and roseate spoonbills. This is an easy paddle which can be enjoyed by beginning kayakers. 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. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 7. Robinson Preserve

Tuesday 14th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – STROLLER STROLLS: LEFFIS KEY – Round up your baby buggies and your little ones for a strolling naturalist led walk through the county’s wild spaces. Open your child’s eyes to the sights, smells, and feel of Florida’s great outdoors while learning about our preserve space. Meet other nature explorer families with similar aged kids. Program suitable for 0 to 4 years but families of all ages are welcome to join. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing coral.bass@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5757 ext.4. Leffis Key Preserve

Tuesday 14th, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM – PALMA SOLA SHORLINE CLEAN UP AND DIP NET – We need your help!  Join us for the evening along the shores of Palma Sola Bay as we collect marine debris and clean the shoreline.  Afterwards we will dip net in the seagrass beds and learn more about the incredible plants and animals that call the Bay home.  Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. Please by email sarah.denison@mymanatee.org or call 941-742-5923 ext. 6044. Palma Sola Causeway 

Tuesday 14th, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM SUNSET TAI CHI – Join us for this new monthly class, now on the lawn of the newly-opened Mosaic NEST! At sunset on the second Tuesday of the month, Dr. Brian Nell, a fifth degree blackbelt in kung fu and a certified Tai Chi instructor, will lead the group through the gentle movements of Tai Chi. This is a great way to shake off the stressful work week. Improve your balance, loosen your joints, and improve flexibility as you relax and breathe. This class is perfect for beginners and will include an exploration of several different styles of Tai Chi and Qigong.  Program sponsored by Cypress Pillar Healing Arts. Suitable for ages 13 and up. Please email aedan.stockdale@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6039 to register. $5 Participant Fee payable by cash only. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Wednesday 15th, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – WILD FL 101: BIOCUBE PROJECT – How much life exists in one cubic foot of space? Find out by taking part in our newest citizen science opportunity, The Biocube Project. In this program, we will be constructing aluminum cubes, deploying them at different locations around the preserve, and observing and identifying the organisms that enter the space of the cube. Data from this project will be submitted to a worldwide citizen science project developed by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. To learn more about the Biocube Project visit https://naturalhistory.si.edu/biocube Program recommended for adults. Reservations are required. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing elena.burke@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6036. Robinson Preserve

Thursday 16th, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM – SCIENCE AND SERVICE BOOK CLUB: SOUTH MOON UNDER — Looking for a volunteer opportunity in the cool of the evening at beautiful Robinson Preserve? Come out to the newest part of Robinson for our book club with a service twist. Every month we will read different book from science and history about Florida, and discuss, and follow it with a restoration project in the preserve. This month will be South Moon Under by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Program is suitable for bookworms 14 and up. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6035 to register. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Friday 17th, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – SUNSET PADDLE ROBINSON PRESERVE – 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 stars. This is an easy paddle which can be enjoyed by beginning kayakers. 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. Reservations are required. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing sarah.denison@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6044Robinson Preserve

Saturday 18th, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM - USA ARCHERY: LEVEL 1 INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATION - This USA Archery Level 1 Instructor Course is designed to give instructors the necessary skills to teach short-term archery programs and introduce basic archery skills to beginners. The class is geared toward those working with 4H Clubs, Boys Scouts, Girl Scouts and camps. We will cover range safety, range set-up, basic equipment setup and repair, and how to teach the basic steps of shooting. Certification course suitable for ages 16 and older. Pre-registration is required. Please contact aedan.stockdale@mymanatee.org for more information. $60 Certification Fee. Robinson Preserve - Mosaic NEST

Saturday 18th, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM – PRESERVE PADDLE YOGA – Join us for a beautiful guided paddleboard yoga class in Robinson Preserve. The session includes brief on land instructions and 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. Experience the zen and bliss of yoga in the gorgeous location of Robinson Preserve. Program sponsored by Salty Buddha. Suitable for adults. Registration is required. To reserve your spot, please visit www.saltybuddhaco.com Robinson Preserve

Saturday 18th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM – RYE PRESERVE NATURE CENTER OPEN – We are opening the doors of the newest addition to Rye Preserve. Come view a variety of exhibits that highlight the history of Rye and its uplands habitat. Department staff will take visitors on guided tours of the Center, and lead special hands-on activities related to each exhibit.  Suitable for all ages. For more information please call (941) 748-4501 ext. 6039. Rye Preserve

Saturday 18th, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM – ANIMAL PHYSICS: LIGHT – Why don’t woodpeckers get concussions? How does a sea turtle find its way to the same nesting beach each year? How does an octopus change color to blend into the deep sea? The answers to these questions can be explained by physics! Join us for a unique exploration into the world of animal physics and discover topics such as force, magnetism, light, and sound, through experiments and activities. This month we will investigate the physics of light. Program suitable for ages 8 and up, but all are welcome. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6036 or email elena.burke@mymanatee.org $5 Materials Fee per participant, payable by cash only. Emerson Point Preserve

Sunday 19th, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM – RISE & SHINE POWER FLOW YOGA – Revitalize and Rejuvenate your Mind, Body & Spirit! This (power) 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!  Participants must provide their own yoga mats. Program sponsored by Brandy Gray of MomWifeSOUL Yoga. Suitable for adults. Please email aedan.stockdale@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6039 to register. $10 Participant Fee payable by cash only. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Thursday 23rd, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM – HOMESCHOOL BIOLOGY LABS: SNORKEL SEAGRASS SURVEY – Join us for a snorkel survey of the seagrass beds of Emerson Point Preserve! This program will teach students everything from proper survey methods, to plant and animal identification, and the basics of snorkeling.  Then we will combine these skills to conduct our seagrass surveys! We will get wet in this program, so please wear a swimsuit or swimming clothes, shoes that can get wet, and bring your towel plus a change of clothes. Program recommended for students 11 years and older. Reservations are required. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing sarah.denison@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6044. $10 Materials Fee per student, payable by cash only. Emerson Point Preserve

Thursday 23rd, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM – OYSTER BAGGIN’ VOLUNTEER EVENT – Join us to create oyster bags at Perico Preserve! The bags we make will later be deployed into local estuaries to help with the creation of new oyster reefs. These reefs will improve water quality and create habitat for native creatures in our preserves. Program is suitable for participants 14 and up who can lift 25 pounds. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or calling 941-748-4501 ext. 6035 to register. Perico Preserve

Saturday 25th, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM – TORTOISE TALKS – 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. To register or for more information, please email coral.bass@mymanatee.org Robinson Preserve

Saturday 25th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM – NEST NATURE DAYS – The brand-new Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science and Technology will open its doors for a day of exploration. Explore the canopy boardwalk among the banyans, climb to the top of the crow’s nest, take in breathtaking panorama views, and make an exciting exit from the building via slide. Learn about upcoming programs and exciting new additions to Robinson Preserve. Suitable for all ages. No reservations required, please visit any time during open house hours. For more information please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6039. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Saturday 25th, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM – FAMILIES FLOCK TOGETHER: RIVER QUEST – Jump right in and explore the aquatic ecosystem of the upper Manatee River! We will learn about the local watershed and wade into the shallows with a dip net to see it all up close.  Please bring clothes you don’t mind getting wet, water shoes, a towel, and your sense of adventure! Program suitable for ages 6 and older. Reservations are required. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing sarah.denison@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6044. Rye Preserve

Saturday 25th, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM – SNORKELING 101: EMERSON POINT – Splash into Manatee County’s new Snorkeling 101 Program. Explore the world hiding below the waves and get a glimpse of local wildlife. Learn how to use snorkel equipment, water safety, and laws pertaining to this fun recreational activity. We will explore simple ways to conserve and protect the estuarial environment. All participants must be able to competently swim. Snorkeling gear made possible from the Tampa Bay Estuary Program License Plate program.  Program suitable for ages 12 and up. Each family must come with a participating adult. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing coral.bass@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5757 ext.4. Emerson Point Preserve

Saturday 25th, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM – MOVIE NIGHT AT THE NEST: THE SWAMP – Grab your lawn chairs and join us for an evening of film under the stars! This month we’ll be featuring American Experience: The Swamp. This two-hour program explores the little-known history of the Everglades. Told through a cast of unique characters, The Swamp explores the repeated efforts to reclaim, control, transform, and ultimately preserve, America’s greatest wetland. Program suitable for all ages. To register, call 941-742-5923 ext. 6036 or e-mail elena.burke@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Tuesday 28th, 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM – DUETTE PRESERVE AMBASSADORS VOLUNTEER TRAINING – This course is designed to help volunteers learn more about Manatee County’s preserve system, transforming graduates of each class into ambassadors for the individual locations. Each participant will receive notes, a certificate of completion, and an ambassador button for completing the individual location class; participants who attend all 7 classes will receive a special pin and the designation of “Grand Ambassador.” This class will feature Duette Preserve. Program suitable for PNRD registered volunteers age 16 and older. Reservations are required. Please email aedan.stockdale@mymanatee.org or call 941-742-5923 ext. 6039. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Wednesday 29th, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – AG AT NIGHT: HOMESTEADING IN FLORIDA – Over a hundred years ago it wasn’t so easy to run up to the store for life’s necessities. Join us for an adults only (18+) exploration of Homesteading in Florida. Try your hand at making homestead necessities like butter and “cow milking”. Play the family games that were popular on the homestead. We’ll also talk about clothing, growing cotton in Florida and more! Parks and Natural Resources staff will be on hand teaching how homesteaders preserved plants and crops. Guests will experience hands on activities, food and drink tastings, demonstrations, and more! Program suitable for adults ages 18 and older. Tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ag-at-night-homesteading-in-florida-tickets-53916672218 Tickets $10. Manatee County Agricultural Museum

Thursday 30th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – GREEN EXPLORERS: MAZE OF LIFE – From an intricate trail system to a shell’s pattern, mazes can be found all around you. Join us for a day of discovering and building your very own mazes. Using hands on discovery, and the participants own creativity attendees will have a chance to play in nature. Green Explorers is a low structure, highly social and experienced based activity. Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing coral.bass@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6034. Manatee Public Beach

Friday 31st, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM – PADDLING FROG CREEK/TERRA CEIA RIVER – Join our nature guide from WayneAdventures as we explore mangrove islands/tunnels, restored salt water marshes and more isolated mangroves. Along the way, we will take water quality measurements and stop to discover why this is such a special place. We may not even see any other people during the paddle. This trip is for intermediate paddlers who have paddled 6-8 miles. 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. Launch is approx. 8200 Bishop Harbor Rd, Palmetto, FL  34221 GPS coordinates 27.5902222, -82.5544503 (grassy area along road). Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 7. Bishop Harbor Rd at Frog Creek

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. This group meets when needed with locations and tasks determined based on need, opportunity, and priority, at the time of each event. Email announcements are sent out a few days in advance of each event that detail the purpose, goals, and meeting information for each upcoming event. Program suitable for volunteers age 16 and older. To receive email announcements about the RIP squad volunteer events, send an email to Erin at 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