Calendar of Preserve Events

  • Apr 21, 2017

Parks and Natural Resources monthly calendar of preserve events - check out the great free events happening in your preserves. The Parks and Natural Resources Department offers programs in environmental education, passive outdoor recreation, and volunteer stewardship. Most of the preserve programs are free to participants and are available for a variety of age levels.

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Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Calendar

 

NOTE: This calendar includes Manatee County Parks and Natural Resource's public events only

 

Summer Adventure Camps

Looking for adventure this summer?

Get ready for a week-long adventure making art, learning archery, or fishing on our rivers and bays. Come prepared for an exciting week of outdoor skills and explorations of the natural world. All camps are for ages 9 to 12 and run Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM. Please call 941-742-5923 to register.

 

 

 


Freshwater Fishing Fun
Jiggs Landing
Session 1: June 5-9
Session 2: July 10-14
Session 3: July 24-28
$150
 
Cast off on a fish-filled adventure and reel in some fun! Campers will learn how to fish as they discover different types of tackle, learn about freshwater residents of Jiggs Landing, and end the week with an old fashioned fish fry. All participants will receive a rod and reel and tackle box full of gear to take home and use after camp, too!
 

Right on Target Archery Camp
Rye Preserve
June 12-16
$150

 

 Ready aim shoot! Spend a week learning all about archery while developing skills on the range! Whether your child is just learning to hold a bow and aim, or they're a more experienced archer, our camp will give everyone the opportunity to improve. Each day campers will enjoy a variety of archery themed activities, from skill drills to creating paintings using arrow-popped balloons. All equipment will be provided for use during the camp.

 

Sun and Fun Saltwater Fishing Camp
Emerson Point Preserve
Session 1: June 19-23
Session 2: July 17-21
$150
 
Grab your rods and get ready to catch a big one! Spend the summer exploring Emerson Point and learning how to fish. From tackle to take limits, campers will be taught everything they need to know in order to fish in Manatee County's beautiful saltwater Bays and Gulfs. The week will end in a fabulously fun fish fry! Equipment for use in the camp will be provided and all participants will receive a rod, reel and tackle to keep after the camp.
 

Eco-Art Camp
Emerson Point Preserve
June 26-30
$125

 

 

From the time of cave paintings, nature has been the pallet of an artist. Carve out a week this summer for a sketching good time! Learn to upcycle, design, and create works of art. Explore different media and techniques, both indoors and outdoors with an eye for nature. Emerson Point Preserve will be our inspiration location.
 

 

Calendar of Events

Fishing at Jiggs Landing
Zoom
Fishing at Jiggs Landing

April

 

Saturday 22nd, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM – GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP COUNTYWIDE – Keep Manatee Beautiful’s Annual Great American Cleanup is here! Every year volunteers collect trash along Manatee County’s coasts, helping protect wildlife and keeping these natural lands beautiful. Join us for this fun family event and help make a difference in the beaches, parks, and preserves you love to visit! Suitable for all ages. Please contact Keep Manatee Beautiful at 941-795-8272 for more information. Kingfish Boat Ramp on S.R. 64 West, Ray’s Canoe Hideaway at 1289 Hagle Park Rd. off Upper Manatee River, and other locations throughout Manatee County

 

Saturday 22nd, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – TALL TAILS TRIBE: WATER WATCHERS – Would you like to be a scientist for a day? Well now is your chance to join us as we learn about some of the properties of water, and explore the shorelines like a marine biologist. Did you know that saltwater fishes drink water? Do you know what kind of animals live in our shore lines? Do you know what they eat? You will get the opportunity to see some of these creatures that live among us up close when we go dip netting! Participants must wear appropriate clothing and shoes that can get wet. Suitable for preschool children ages under 5. Reservations are required. Please let us know if you can attend by calling 941-742-5757 ext. 3. Emerson Point Preserve

 

Wednesday 26th, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM – WILD FLORIDA 101: EDIBLE PLANTS OF SPRING – Spring is in the air, flowers are in bloom, and now is your chance to experience a delicious array of wild delicacies to tantalize your taste buds during this delightful program. Learn all about nature’s bounty with a short hike to explore various native plants and their uses and then join us to sample dishes made with a variety of native ingredients.Suitable for participants age 13 and older. Reservations are required. Please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6039. Emerson Point Preserve

 

Wednesday 26th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – GREEN EXPLORERS: WHIMSICAL WILDFLOWERS – Flowers bloom in Florida year-round, let’s explore their beauty, color, and shapes of all our wonderful wildflowers. 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 recommended for age 6-12 year olds, but all ages welcome. 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

 

Thursday 27th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM – MOODY BRANCH VOLUNTEER WORKDAY – Join us for a volunteer workday at Moody Branch! We will be undergoing renovations in the next few months, and you can be part of the renovation revolution. This special place requires lots of volunteer love to help it look its best. Lend a hand to remove invasive plants and make space for native plants to feel at home.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. Moody Branch Preserve

 

Friday 28th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – FOUR ELEMENTS EARTHWALK: WIND – This ongoing monthly series will help you relax, destress, and reconnect deeply with nature. Learn to savor nature by turning off your brain and focusing on the present moment using basic mindfulness techniques with a new element-based theme each month. In the third program of this series, we will explore the element of wind. Discover the wind’s ability to cleanse and change, giving us voice and movement. During our walk, we will scale the tower at Neal to feel the full force of wind, and wind down with a quiet walk observing the wind’s effects on the world around us. We will practice basic mindfulness techniques as we learn how to apply nature’s teachings and elements to our own experience. Suitable for ages 16 and up. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by calling 941-742-5757 ext. 6. Neal Preserve

 

Friday 28th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – TALL TAILS TRIBE: FLOAT LIKE A FEATHER, SINK LIKE A STONE – Some objects float on the water, some drop to the bottom of a stream, and some can do both. Bring your toddler to a morning of hands on exploration into buoyancy. Discover how objects react differently in salt and freshwater, and finish the day making our very own boats. 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 28th, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM — FIBER FUNGI GRAND OPENING — Picture myriads of mushrooms and an abundance of epiphytes. Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources invites you to join us for the unveiling of the newest exhibit—all about mushrooms and epiphytes found in your preserves. Volunteers have been creating a forest of fungi organisms out of string and fabric. Enjoy light refreshments as you explore these fabric-and-felt creations from crochet, knitting, and quilting.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. Rye Preserve Nature Center

 

Saturday 29th, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM – JAY WATCH CITIZEN SCIENCE TRAINING SESSION – Volunteer to join a unique citizen science initiative to count the Florida Scrub-jay. During this hands-on training session and outdoor adventure, you will learn how to identify the birds, survey methods, and all about these charismatic inhabitants of the scrub habitat. Then join us for the surveys this summer! Suitable for participants age 13 and older. Sponsored by Audubon Florida and Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department . Please register by contacting Jacqui Sulek at jsulek@audubon.org. Duette Preserve

 

Saturday 29th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – WORLD TAI CHI & QIGONG DAY – One World. One Breath. Join us as we take part in a worldwide exploration of breath and movement. During this FREE event you can warm up with some invigorating Qigong exercises and follow along to the guided instruction from local Tai Chi teachers. Set the stress aside and enjoy a morning of gentle movement. Program is suitable for adults. For more information please contact Aedan.Stockdale@mymanatee.org or call 941-742-5923 ext. 6039. GT Bray Amphitheatre

 

 

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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

 

Tuesday 2nd, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM - PRESCHOOL LIBRARY LEARNING: FLORIDA CREATURE FEATURE - Grab your young learners and join us on an adventure for animals found in our state and in your own backyard! Put your creature skills to the test and try our nest building challenge. Become an animal detective and sort out wild clues. Through interactive games, activities, and stories, young learners will discover the variety of animals tracking through our forest. Program suitable for preschool age children. For more information please call
941-748-4501 ext. 6034.
Island Library

 

 

Wednesday 3rd, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM - KAYAKING FOR FIRST TIMERS - If you'd like to try kayaking, come on out! No prior experience necessary! WayneAdventures will give a 3 hour class during which we will explore the marshes and mangroves of Robinson Preserve. Plenty of time to try out kayaking and get some coaching, too. For those interested in learning how to load a kayak on your car, a demo will follow. Ten kayaks and gear available from our WCIND-funded fleet on a first come first served basis when you make your reservation . All participants must wear a life jacket.Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 7. Robinson Preserve

 

 

Thursday 4th, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM - EMERSON ENHANCERS VOLUNTEER WORKDAY - Come and be part of a dedicated group of individuals who are passionate about Emerson Point Preserve! We do whatever is needed, from cleaning up the Point for marine debris, removing exotic invasive plants from the Temple Mound and classroom area, to making enhancements to the butterfly garden.Program 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. Emerson Point Preserve

 

 

Saturday 6th, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM - OYSTER EXTRAVAGANZA AT PERICO PRESERVE - We're looking for volunteers to help us restore oyster habitat in the estuary around Perico Preserve. Help us bag shell and build oyster mats and then cool down by learning about oyster biology with games, science experiments, and activities. We'll wrap up with a free lunch for each volunteer around noon. Volunteer workday sponsored by Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department, and Around the Bend Nature Tours. This project is part of the Gulf Oyster Recycling and Renewal Program. The initiative has many partners, including START, Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department, UF/IFAS Manatee County, the Chiles Group, the Gulf Shellfish Institute, and the Tampa Bay Estuary Program. This event suitable for ages 10 and up with parent/guardian supervision. To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/oyster-extravaganza-at-perico-preserve-tickets-33600321466 Perico Preserve

 

Saturday 6th, 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

 

Thursday 11th, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM - HOMESCHOOL SCIENCE CLUB: NIMBLE NESTERS - Spring is in full swing and it's a busy time in nature because animals are hard at work building their nests! Learn about some very important nesters that call Florida home and about the unique types of nests they build. Explore animal engineering and the concept of biomimicry to discover ways to learn from nature's nesters. Take an interactive nature walk, look for signs of spring, and see if you can spot any nimble nesters! 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 amy.may@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6044 . Emerson Point Preserve

 

 

Friday 12th, 10:00 AM - 11:00AM - TALL TAILS TRIBE: NATURE MOMS - Come celebrate nature Moms! Whether building nests, or caring for chicks, all moms have a hard but rewarding job. Toddlers will learn through hands on activities the different tasks animal moms must complete to make sure their kids have a chance in the wild. Exploring animals from squirrels to alligators, toddlers will get to peak into the world of nature moms. 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 13th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM - WILD KIDS WEEKEND: PREDATOR VS PREY - Florida is full of fascinating predator and prey combinations. Each animal uses different techniques to hide from their predators and to catch their own prey. Come and join us for several outdoor games and activities at Emerson Point Preserve that will teach your younglings to think like animals in the wild! Program suitable for children ages 6 - 12. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 5. Emerson Point Preserve

 

Saturday 13th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM - RIVERVIEW POINTE MASTER GARDENER TOUR - Stroll through Riverview Pointe Preserve to learn more about Florida's native plants and inhabitants of a coastal habitat. The hike begins in the parking area of Desoto National Memorial Park and enters into Riverview Pointe Preserve. Sponsored by the IFAS Extension Program/Florida Master Gardeners. Suitable for all ages. Please call the Master Gardener Office for reservations at 941-722-4524. Riverview Pointe Preserve

 

Saturday 13th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM - SUN SPOTTING - See the sun as you have never seen it before. Join us for a special look through a Hydrogen Alpha solar telescope. Come see the sun in perfectly safe H Alpha light and observe solar granulation, filaments, sunspots, and even solar flares. Stop by the lawn of the Valentine House to say "Hello" and take a look through the solar scope. This is guaranteed to be a unique viewing experience. No reservations needed. For more information please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6039. Robinson Preserve

 

Thursday 18th , 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM - RYE PRESERVERS VOLUNTEER WORKDAY- At Rye Preserve, we are all about plants! Whether it is seed-collecting, making enhancements to the garden, or removing exotic invasive plants, we need your help to make it a better place for native plants and animals. 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. Rye Preserve

 

Saturday 20th , 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM - NATURALIST-LED WAGON TOUR - Roll through Robinson Preserve in a covered wagon! Your tour guide will explain the preserve's history, resident wildlife, fabulous flowers, and describe preserve highlights. Program suitable for all ages. Please arrive a minimum of 15 minutes in advance. Meet at the wagon loading ramp near the screened-in pavilion. Seats are available on a first-come, first served basis. Robinson Preserve

 

Saturday 20th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM - 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 call 941-742-5923 ext. 6044. Rye Preserve


Saturday 20th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM - RYE PRESERVE MASTER GARDENER TOUR - Take a hike through upland habitats along Rye Branch and learn about Florida native plants, natural history, and early settlement of the area. Get a glimpse into the sea of palmettos and arid scrub that make up wild Florida. Sponsored by the IFAS Extension Program/Florida Master Gardeners. Suitable for all ages. Please call the Master Gardener Office for reservations at 941-722-4524. Rye Preserve

 

Saturday 20th, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM - MOODY SERVICE-LEARNING AND MEANDER -This secluded preserve needs lots of volunteer love to help it look its best. First, roll up your sleeves and do some good for the habitat at Moody by removing some exotic invaders and help with managing the land at this site. Next, take a walk on the wild side, with interpretive guide Coral and learn about the different plants and animals that make their home here. Something for everyone! 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. Moody Branch Preserve

 

Saturday 20th, 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

 

Tuesday 23rd, 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM - PADDLING MARIPOSA KEY VIA FROG CREEK - Join our kayak guide from Wayne Adventures as we explore mangrove islands and tunnels, restored salt water marshes and more. Frog Creek, Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve, Moses Hole and Mariposa Key, all in 1 trip! We may not even see any other humans during the paddle. This is for intermediate beginner paddlers who have paddled 6-8 miles. Participants must have their own canoe or kayak and safety gear. All participants must wear a life jacket. Launch is approx. 417 Terra Ceia Rd where the bridge crosses over Frog Creek at the head of Terra Ceia Bay. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 7 . Terra Ceia Rd at Frog Creek

 

Thursday 25th, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM - GREEN EXPLORERS: BUBBLE BONANZA - Who doesn't love bubbles? A classic activity we plan to make even more fun by experimenting with unbreakable bubbles, colored bubbles, and giant airy suds. 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 recommended for age 6-12 year olds, but all ages welcome. 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 . Tom Bennett Park.

 

Friday 26th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM - FOUR ELEMENTS EARTHWALK: EARTH - This ongoing monthly series will help you relax, destress, and reconnect deeply with nature. Learn to savor nature by turning off your brain and focusing on the present moment using basic mindfulness techniques with a new element-based theme each month. The Earth beneath our feet is our home and provides everything we need to live, yet how often do we feel connected to this living form? Learn to connect your walk with the breath and, in doing so, release stress and worries. During the Earth program, we will complete our monthly mindfulness series with a barefoot walk amidst great towering trees and rich soil (barefoot is optional, but the walk is still beautiful!). We will practice basic mindfulness techniques as we learn how to apply nature's teachings and elements to our own experience. Suitable for ages 16 and up. Reservations are required. Please let us know if you would like to attend by calling 941-742-5757 ext. 6 . Conservatory Park

 

 

Saturday 27th, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM - FAMILIES FLOCK TOGETHER: BEACHCOMBING FOR BEGINNERS - Beach wrack is all the organic material that tides, wind, and waves bring to our shorelines. Come learn about all the interesting treasures you can find as you walk along the beach! Identify common shells, seeds, and critters on the shoreline and create your own guidebook. Explore beneath the waves as we dip net along the shoreline at Emerson Point. Be sure to bring closed toed shoes that can wet, a change of clothes, and a towel for this program. Program recommended for age 6-12 year olds, but all ages welcome. Reservations are required. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing amy.may@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5757 ext. 4 . Emerson Point Preserve

 

Wednesday 31st , 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM - ROBINSON PRESERVE PADDLE - Come out and enjoy the salt marshes of Robinson Preserve With our nature guide from WayneAdventures. This is an easy paddle which can be enjoyed by beginning kayakers. Program suitable for adults. 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

 

 

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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.

 

Download the Monthly Calendar of Events

Kayaking for First Timers at Robinson Preserve
Zoom
Kayaking for First Timers at Robinson Preserve

The monthly calendar of events is available in .pdf format. To download and read this document, you will need Adobe Acrobat or Reader on your computer.

 

 

 Download the April 2017 Calendar of Events

 

 Download the May 2017 Calendar of Events

 

The calendar of events is sent out monthly via email. If you would like to join the email list, please email melissa.nell@mymanatee.org .