Volunteer in our Parks and Preserves


  • Michelle Leahy, Volunteer Coordinator
  • (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035
  • Email Us

You really can make a difference! By volunteering in the preserves, you will make a positive impact on the environment. Volunteers help preserve the homes of native plants and animals, re-establishing much needed habitat. The work completed by volunteers will also help to secure the land for the enjoyment of future generations.

Projects can be adapted for any age range or group size, too. Each opportunity is more than just service work - volunteers learn about Florida's ecosystems while working to help preserve them.

For groups

If you have a group that would like to complete a project at one of our preserves, please contact us directly! Whether you're working with a scout troop, school group, professional organization, or club our Volunteer Coordinator, Michelle Leahy, can help create an opportunity for you! Call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035 for more information.

For individuals

If you are an individual looking for a volunteer workday or short-term opportunity there is no need to fill out an application!  Check out our upcoming volunteer opportunities calendar below or contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Michelle Leahy, directly at (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035 for more information.

Volunteer Opportunities Calendar

Volunteer Opportunities 

 Thursday, Jan 13th, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM – STORIES AND SERVICE: WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING – Looking for a volunteer opportunity in the cool of the evening at beautiful Emerson Point Preserve? Come out to our book club with a service twist. Every month we will read a different book about Florida, and discuss, and follow it with a restoration project in the preserve. This month will be Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Program is suitable for bookworms 14 and up. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/201700460507. For more information please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Emerson Point Preserve – The Point

Saturday, Jan 15th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM – COQUINA COASTAL CLEANUP – Grab your gloves, hat, and sunscreen, we’ll provide the trash bags and grabbers, and take an active role in helping the environment. 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 is suitable for volunteers of all ages. Please bring gloves, clothes that protect you from the sun, shoes that strap or tie on your feet, and water bottles. Reservations are required. To register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/228499276487 or contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Coquina Beach

Saturday, Jan 22nd, 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM – RYE PRESERVERS TRAILBLAZING VOLUNTEER WORKDAY – Join 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 michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Rye 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. 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 ages 16 and older. To receive email announcements about the RIP squad volunteer events, please email shaun.swartz@mymanatee.org. Location and time TBA - chosen based on need.

 Perico Bayou Oyster Days: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/perico-bayou-oyster-volunteer-days-registration-201066604627

Please contact ecoevents@mymanatee.org if you have any questions regarding our programs. 

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities

All individuals who are interested in becoming an ongoing volunteer are welcome to apply to our volunteer program (application below) - we have many different opportunities available!  We need many hands to restore native habitats and keep our preserves beautiful.  Please fill out the volunteer application below or sign up via Volgistics if you are interested in a long-term volunteer commitment.

Current volunteers should log-in to report their hours and sign up for shifts here:

Sign in to Volgistics

Volunteer Application Form