Education Programs & Events

CONTACT US +

  • Program Reservations
  • (941) 742-5757

Freshwater Fishing Fun at Jiggs Landing

Session 1: June 3-7
Session 2: June 10-14
$150


CAMP FULL: Right on Target Archery Camp at Rye Preserve

June 17-14
$125

Paddleboard Camp at Robinson Preserve
8:30 am -12:30 pm

WEEK FULL Session 1: June 3-7
Session 2: June 17-21
Session 3: July 8-12
$125 | Ages 8-13

Sun and Fun Saltwater Fishing Camp at Emerson Point Preserve

Session 1: June 18-22
Session 2: July 23-27
$150

Want to sign up for a camp?

Register Today

EcoEvents: Outdoor Education Programs & Events Calendar

Initial value

May Calendar of Events

Download a printable version of the May Calendar of Events

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