Education Programs & Events

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Program Spotlight

Sunday Yoga At the NEST

EcoEvents: Outdoor Education Programs & Events Calendar

All of our public events are open to individuals and immediate family members. For groups we ask that each family register individually. Large group reservations for public programs will not be accepted. If you have a school, camp, club, or other group that would like to participate in a program, please contact sarah.denison@mymanatee.org to set up a private program.

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JULY 2021 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Download a printable version of the July Calendar of Events 

Tuesday, Jul 20th, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AMTortoise TalkIt's tortoise time! Join us for this informal program on the Valentine House lawn as we take our educational tortoise out to graze! Foraging in the wild is an integral part of a gopher tortoise's lifestyle, so we encourage our captive tortoise to graze as much as possible. Learn what tortoises need to survive, how we care for our tortoise, and why we have him. Finally, discover what efforts everyone can take to protect these important members of our Florida ecosystems. Program is suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please contact coral.bass@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve North Entrance – Valentine House Lawn

Wednesday, Jul 21st, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PMLibrary Learning: SeaShellsJoin us at South Manatee Library for an exploration into Florida's seashells! Through hands-on activities and a storytime, we will learn about the wide variety of seashells that wash up on our local beaches and discover the amazing creatures that make them. Program suitable for elementary-age children. No reservations required. For more information please contact elena.burke@mymanatee.org. South Manatee Branch Library

Thursday, Jul 22nd, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AMTall Tails Tribe: Nature's PaletteJoin us to discover color in your Florida backyard! Whether you think of a vibrant sunset, cool green pine needles, or a bright red cardinal, nature's crayon box is full of colors. Through storytime, a nature walk, and a craft we will explore the vivid natural world. Program suitable for preschool-age children. Reservations are required. To register please contact coral.bass@mymanatee.org. Conservatory Park – Playground Pavilion

Friday, Jul 23rd, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PMRobinson Full Moon PaddleJoin us for an easy sunset paddle along the salt marshes of Robinson Preserve to the mouth of the Manatee River and Tampa Bay. We will take advantage of low tide to watch the sunset from the sandbar and return under the light of the full moon and stars. Program suitable for ages 16 and older who can meet the County's minimum eligibility requirements. Participants must have their own canoe or kayak and safety gear. All participants must wear a life jacket and bring a flashlight or headlamp and whistle. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/160857439933. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – 17th Ave NW Entrance

Thursday, Jul 29th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PMExplore Nature!Our Explore Nature! outreach booth brings nature to you! Stroll by and learn more about what Manatee County's parks and preserves have to offer from our staff naturalist and take a look at different animal biofacts! Program suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please contact sara.alvarezcollazo@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6044. Blackstone Park 

Recurring Events

Saturday, Jul 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st, 7:00 AM – 8:00 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, Jul 3rd, 17th, 24th, 31st, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Jul 10th, 8:00 AM – 11:00 AMSaturday Mornings at the NESTJoin us at the Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science, and Technology for a morning of discovery. Walk the grounds of the historic Reasoner Tract and observe botanical giants collected from around the world. Explore the canopy boardwalk among the banyans, climb to the top of the crow’s nest, take in breathtaking panoramic views, and make an exciting exit from the building via slide. Learn about upcoming programs and exciting new additions to Robinson Preserve. Program suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Sunday, Jul 11th, 18th, 25th, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AMRise & Shine YogaRevitalize and Rejuvenate your Mind, Body, and Spirit! This yoga class is designed to blend awareness of breath, physical movement, and mindfulness to promote clarity of mind while developing physical strength and stamina, increasing flexibility, burning calories, and detoxifying the body! Increase your overall well-being by ending and beginning your week with this empowering and uplifting flow! Program suitable for adults. Program sponsored by Brandy Gray of MomWifeSOUL Yoga in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Participants must provide their own yoga mats. Online registration is highly encouraged as spaces are limited. To register please visit https://parks.mymanatee.org/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/search.html?primarycode=110006. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6042. $10 Participant Fee Payable online. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Wednesday, Jul 14th and Monday, Jul 26th, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PMRobinson Expansion Salt Marsh PlantingMake a direct impact on the restoration of Robinson Preserve! Join us for a salt marsh volunteer planting day at the Robinson Expansion. Salt marshes are essential for healthy fisheries, coastlines, and communities. This important coastal habitat provides food, refuge, and nursery for fish, shrimp, crabs, birds.  Salt marshes protect shorelines from erosion while filtering runoff and improving water quality. Be prepared to get wet and muddy at these workdays, which may require wading through waist-deep water to reach interior islands. Closed-toe shoes that strap or tie tightly to your feet are recommended as well as sun protection (long sleeve shirt and pants, hat, sunscreen). Don't forget to bring your water bottle and a snack! Program suitable for volunteers 16 and older. All necessary tools for harvesting and planting will be provided. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/141294350205. For more information please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve North Entrance – Valentine House

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 16 and older. To register please contact damon.moore@mymanatee.org. Location and time TBA - chosen based on need

August 2021 Calendar of Events 

Each year, Manatee County's Programming, Volunteer, and Education Division staff take the month of August to review, reflect, and plan for the upcoming year. This means that we have a limited selection of programs for the month of August. But don't worry! We will return with a variety of exciting environmental education and volunteer activities in September.

Saturday, Aug 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, 7:00 AM – 8:00 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, Aug 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Saturday Mornings at the NESTJoin us at the Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science, and Technology for a morning of discovery. Walk the grounds of the historic Reasoner Tract and observe botanical giants collected from around the world. Explore the canopy boardwalk among the banyans, climb to the top of the crow’s nest, take in breathtaking panoramic views, and make an exciting exit from the building via slide. Learn about upcoming programs and exciting new additions to Robinson Preserve. Program suitable for all ages. No reservations required. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

Sunday, Aug 1st, 15th, 22nd, 29th, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AMRise & Shine YogaRevitalize and Rejuvenate your Mind, Body, and Spirit! This yoga class is designed to blend awareness of breath, physical movement, and mindfulness to promote clarity of mind while developing physical strength and stamina, increasing flexibility, burning calories, and detoxifying the body! Increase your overall well-being by ending and beginning your week with this empowering and uplifting flow! Program suitable for adults. Program sponsored by Brandy Gray of MomWifeSOUL Yoga in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Participants must provide their own yoga mats. Online registration is highly encouraged as spaces are limited. To register please visit https://parks.mymanatee.org/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/search.html?primarycode=110006. For more information please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6042. $10 Participant Fee Payable online. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

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 16 and older. To register please contact 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