Volunteer in our Parks and Preserves

CONTACT US +

  • 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 

  •  10/4 – 10/13, Island Monofilament Clean Up, Multiple Locations
  • 10/7, Headwaters Butterfly Count, Duette Headwaters Preserve
  • 10/14, Rye Butterfly Count, Rye Preserve
  • 10/28, Johnson Butterfly Count, Johnson Preserve
  • 10/28, Stories and Service Book Club, Emerson Point Preserve
  • Ongoing/As Needed, RIP Squad Volunteer Days, Location Chosen Based on Need

Oct 4th – 13thIsland Monofilament Clean UpJoin Tampa Bay Watch and Audubon Florida for this annual volunteer event! Our goal is to remove hazardous monofilament fishing line from mangrove shorelines. Monofilament or “mono,” is a fancy word for the commonly used plastic fishing line. It has great fishing utility, but can take over 600 years to break down, and poses serious threats to birds and other wildlife. Improperly discarded mono and fishing gear leads to wildlife entanglement, accidental hooks, and ingestion. Program suitable for volunteers 16 and over. This will be a do-it-yourself event, where participants will travel to their designated location by personal boat/other watercraft any day between October 4th - October 18th to target shorelines where cast line has been caught in the treeline. Volunteers will compile the recovered monofilament to be collected, cleaned, and recycled. Reservations Required. To register please visit https://41207a.blackbaudhosting.com/41207a/2021-Island-Monofilament-Cleanup. Multiple Locations

Thursday, Oct 7th, 9:00 AM11:00 AMHeadwaters Butterfly CountMoths, caterpillars, and butterflies oh my! Join us for the sixth annual Butterfly Count and volunteer to keep track of butterfly biodiversity at our wildest preserve. Bring your camera, guide books, and sense of adventure for a day studying these fascinating fliers. Start your very own butterfly checklist while learning how to identify native species. Program is suitable for volunteers 16 and older. Program sponsored by Wings Over Florida Butterfly Program in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Reservations are required. To register please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call 941-742-5923 ext. 6035. Duette Headwaters Preserve

Thursday, Oct 14th, 9:00 AM11:00 AMRye Butterfly CountMoths, caterpillars, and butterflies oh my! Join us for the sixth annual Butterfly Count and volunteer to keep track of butterfly biodiversity at our most historic preserve. Bring your camera, guide books, and sense of adventure for a day out in the wild blue yonder studying these fascinating fliers. Start your very own butterfly checklist while learning how to identify native species. Program is suitable for volunteers 16 and older. Program sponsored by Wings Over Florida Butterfly Program in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Reservations are required. To register please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call 941-742-5924 ext. 6036. Rye Preserve

Thursday, Oct 28th, 9:00 AM11:00 AMJohnson Butterfly CountMoths, caterpillars, and butterflies oh my! Join us for the sixth annual Butterfly Count and volunteer to keep track of butterfly biodiversity at our newest preserve. Bring your camera, guide books, and sense of adventure for a day out in the wild blue yonder studying these fascinating fliers. Start your very own butterfly checklist while learning how to identify native species. Program is suitable for volunteers 16 and older. Program sponsored by Wings Over Florida Butterfly Program in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. Reservations are required. To register please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call 941-742-5925 ext. 6037. Johnson Preserve

Thursday, Oct 28th, 5:00 PM6:30 PMStories and Service Book Club: AnnihilationLooking 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, followed by a restoration project in the preserve. This month will be Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer. Program is suitable for bookworms 14 and up. Reservations are required. To register please contact michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call (941) 742-5923 ext. 6035. Emerson Point 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 age 16 and older. To receive email announcements about the RIP squad volunteer events, please email elias.ferrell@mymanatee.org. Location and time TBA - chosen based on need. 

 

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