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June 2018 Programs & Events

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Thursday 28th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM – FAMILIES FLOCK TOGETHER: GREENWISE OLYMPICS – School is out and so are you! Get ready to get outside and see where you place in the Greenwise Olympics! Take a break with the whole family and explore the ways in which we can make an important difference in preserving our Earth. Get competitive with your desire to reuse by playing a rousing game of Milk Jug Soccer, plant your very own seeds in an egg crate to take home, and lend a helping hand by scouring the shoreline for harmful micro-plastics. Immerse yourself in a multi-layered experience where you will get to discover cool ways that we as humans are part of the solution. Learn, play, and become a positive force in your own local ecosystem! Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 4. Emerson Point Preserve

Friday 29th, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – A PAGE FROM THE OUTDOORS: FANTASTIC MR. FOX – Bring your elementary aged students to the library this summer as we let books guide us through an exploration of nature! This program will focus on a different book each week and will help foster an appreciation for the natural world through reading. This week, we will be learning about foxes as we read Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. Program sponsored by the Manatee County Library System in partnership with PNRD. Program suitable for elementary age children. For more information please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6036. Palmetto Library

Saturday 30th, 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM – SUNRISE SHUTTER STROLL AT THE EXPANSION – Join us for the first Shutter Stroll at the newly-opened Robinson Expansion. Bring your camera or your phone and walk the new trails in the early morning for a chance to see some of our resident wildlife including spoonbills, herons, egrets, and perhaps even bald eagles. The open landscape provides wide vistas and clear views of the bird life present. Don’t miss your chance to see the preserve at this early stage – you may not recognize the same site in the coming years! Program suitable for ages 16 and older. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 9. Robinson Preserve – Expansion Parking Lot

Saturday 30th, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM – FAMILIES FLOCK TOGETHER: DIP NET AT THE POINT – Bring the whole family on an adventure all the way out to the very “point” of Emerson Point Preserve and explore what lies beneath the waves. Come discover the wide variety of unique creatures that live on our shorelines and learn how to identify them. You’ll meet marvelous mollusks, sensational sea grasses, and maybe some cool crustaceans! For this program, we will be in the water dip netting, so be sure to bring shoes and clothes that can get wet and a towel. Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing amy.may@mymanatee.org or by calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6044. 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. 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.

July 2018 Programs & Events

Download the July Calendar 

Sunday 1st, 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM – PERICO WILDFLOWER WALKEarly rains have produced an abundance of wildflowers, many from seeds harvested by volunteers at other nature preserves in Manatee County.  Come and enjoy them with one of our Master Naturalists before the real heat sets in. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6039 or e-mail aedan.stockdale@mymanatee.org Perico Preserve

 

Thursday 5th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – LIBRARY LEARNING: BACKYARD WILDLIFE – Grab your young learners and join us for some nature time at the library! Listen to a story and participate in interactive games and activities to learn all about the fascinating nature we can find in our own backyards. Program sponsored by the Manatee County Library System in partnership with PNRD. Program suitable for preschool age children. For more information please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6044. Island Library

 

Friday 6th, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – A PAGE FROM THE OUTDOORS: TORTOISE AND THE HARE – Bring your elementary aged students to the library this summer as we let books guide us through an exploration of nature! This program will focus on a different book each week and will help foster an appreciation for the natural world through reading. This week, we will be using Aesop’s fable of the Tortoise and the Hare to learn more about the amazing similarities and difference of these very special animals. We may even have a special guest visitor. Program sponsored by the Manatee County Library System in partnership with PNRD. Program suitable for elementary age children. For more information please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6044. Palmetto Library

 

Friday 6th, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – LIBRARY LEARNING: FASCINATING FOSSILS – Grab your young learners and join us for some nature time at the library! Listen to a story and participate in interactive games and activities to learn all about Florida’s fascinating fossils. Program sponsored by the Manatee County Library System in partnership with PNRD. Program suitable for preschool age children. For more information please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6044. Rocky Bluff Library

 

Saturday 7th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – FAMILIES FLOCK TOGETHER: BUSY BEES – In the heat of the summer come out and buzz with us! Bugs are good for you and me. Bring your aspiring bug scientists to play and learn about the ways our buggy friends help everyone. From pollinating our flowers to providing key nutrients for the rest of the ecosystem. Listen to the sounds they make and see the way the move in a fun role playing game that will get everyone up and moving! Program suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 4. Emerson Point Preserve

 

Saturday 7th, 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

 

Tuesdays July 10th – August 14th, 10:15 AM – 11:30 AM – TINKERGARTEN AT BENNETT PARK – Every Tuesday this summer, families meet outdoors to connect and learn through play. In a 5-part class each week, Tinkergarten Leader, Kristin Trezza, will facilitate an expert-designed play scenario, allowing children of various ages and needs to explore, problem solve, communicate, collaborate, and create together. Parents and caregivers learn, too, as we’ll share insight into your child’s development. The program progresses to meet each child’s needs season after season. This summer, the curriculum for 18 months – 8 years will support the development of a range of cognitive, social/emotional and physical skills. Program sponsored by Tinkergarten in partnership with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department. Reservations are required. To reserve your space, please visit https://www.tinkergarten.com/classes/46869 Program Fee $105 per student for 6 sessions. Tom Bennett Park

 

Tuesday 10th, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM – HOMESCHOOL BIOLOGY LABS: SNORKEL SEAGRASS SURVEYS PART 2 – Join us for part 2 of our summer homeschool biology lab series where we will conduct a snorkel survey of the seagrass beds of Emerson Point Preserve! In the June program, we learned proper surveying techniques that we will put to use this month. During this lab, we will learn the basics of snorkeling and combine these skills to conduct snorkel seagrass surveys! Please bring shoes and clothes that can get wet, a towel, and 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 amy.may@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6044. $10 fee per student, payable by cash only. Emerson Point Preserve

 

Tuesday 10th, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM SUNSET TAI CHI – Join us for this new monthly class, now on the lawn of the newly-opened Mosaic NEST! At sunset on the second Tuesday of the month, Dr. Brian Nell, a fifth degree blackbelt in kung fu and a certified Tai Chi instructor, will lead the group through the gentle movements of Tai Chi. This is a great way to shake off the stressful work week. Improve your balance, loosen your joints, and improve flexibility as you relax and breathe. This class is perfect for beginners and will include an exploration of several different styles of Tai Chi and Qigong.  Program sponsored by Cypress Pillar Healing Arts. Suitable for ages 13 and up. Please call 941-742-5923 for ext. 6039 to register. $5 Participant Fee payable by cash only. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

 

Tuesday 10th, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – WILDLIFE SPOTLIGHT: SHARKS AND RAYS – This program is all about cartilaginous fishes! Join us for an evening on the beach to learn about the biology, classification, and conservation of sharks, rays, and their relatives. Discover the prehistory of these ancient animals, and enjoy a sunset beach walk as we look for shark teeth! Program suitable for adults. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6036 or e-mail elena.burke@mymanatee.org Coquina Beach South Jetty

 

Wednesday 11th, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – LIBRARY LEARNING: BUGGING OUT - Ever wanted to explore the insect world and become a big, bad, bug sleuth? Discover their amazing adaptations and their important role in our environment. Learn about the incredible world of insects through games, activities, and an exciting buggy adventure. Program sponsored by the Manatee County Library System in partnership with PNRD. Program suitable for children. For more information please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6036 Braden River Library

Wednesday 11th, 7:00 AM – 12:00 PM – JAYWATCH – For the ninth year in a row, Manatee County’s Parks and Natural Resources Department is partnering with the Audubon Society’s JayWatch to host a public JayWatch event at Duette Preserve. The survey, conducted over a 3-day period, offers a snapshot of the scrub jay families living within the preserve. Volunteers who would like to help track, sight, and record scrub jay sightings are welcome to attend. This is a great opportunity to become a citizen scientist. Only a limited number of spaces are available. Suitable for ages 16 and older. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6035 to register. Duette Preserve

 

Thursday 12th, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM – HOMESCHOOL SCIENCE CLUB: SALTWATER FISHING CLINIC – Join Homeschool Science Club for a special saltwater fishing clinic! Explore marine ecosystems, learn to identify common fish species, and learn the basics of conservation based fishing in Florida. Get a chance to use our fishing equipment to cast out your lines into the waters of Emerson Point Preserve to see what we can catch. Spots are limited, so please sign up early if you are interested! Program recommended for 6-10 year olds, but children of all ages are 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 13th, 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM - JAYWATCH -Volunteers who would like to help track, sight, and record scrub jay sightings are welcome to attend. This is a great opportunity to become a citizen scientist. Only a limited number of spaces are available. Suitable for ages 16 and older. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6035 to register. Duette Preserve

 

Friday 13th, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – A PAGE FROM THE OUTDOORS: HOOT: FLORIDA’S BURROWING OWLS – Bring your elementary aged students to the library this summer as we let books guide us through an exploration of nature! This program will focus on a different book each week and will help foster an appreciation for the natural world through reading. This week, we will be using the book Hoot by Carl Hiaasen to learn about burrowing owls! Program sponsored by the Manatee County Library System in partnership with PNRD. Program suitable for elementary age children. For more information please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6044. Palmetto Library

 

Saturday 14th, 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM - JAYWATCH -Volunteers who would like to help track, sight, and record scrub jay sightings are welcome to attend. This is a great opportunity to become a citizen scientist. Only a limited number of spaces are available. Suitable for ages 16 and older. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6035 to register. Duette Preserve

 

Saturday 14th, 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 NEST 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 – Mosaic NEST

 

Saturday 14th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 12:00 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. 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 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. For more information please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6039. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

 

Monday 16th – Friday 20th, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM – FRESHWATER FISHING CAMP – 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. The week includes an introduction to boating where all campers will learn to navigate a small johnboat on the lake. All participants will receive their own rod, reel, and tackle box! Camp open to ages 9 – 12. Rods and reels sponsored by Fish Florida. Register online at http://bit.ly/PNRDcamps or call 941-742-5923 for more information. $150 Camp Registration. Jiggs Landing

 

Thursday 17th, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – TORTOISE TALKS – Join us for this informal program on the Valentine House lawn as we take our new 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 amy.may@mymanatee.org or call 941-742-5923 ext. 6044. Robinson Preserve

 

Thursday 19th, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM –SCIENCE AND SERVICE BOOK CLUB – Looking for a volunteer opportunity in the cool of the evening at beautiful Robinson Preserve? Come out to the newest part of Robinson for our book club with a service twist. Every month we will read different book from science and history about Florida, and discuss, and follow it with a restoration project in the preserve. This month will be Power by Linda Hogan. Program is suitable for bookworms 14 and up. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6035 to register. Robinson NEST

 

Friday 20th, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – A PAGE FROM THE OUTDOORS: JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, GARDENING GEMS – Bring your elementary aged students to the library this summer as we let books guide us through an exploration of nature! This program will focus on a different book each week and will help foster an appreciation for the natural world through reading. This week, we will delve into the garden and the decomposers that call it home. Program sponsored by the Manatee County Library System in partnership with PNRD. Program suitable for elementary age children. For more information please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6044. Palmetto Library

Friday 20th, 10:00 PM – 12:00 AM MIDNIGHT  MARS VIEWING PARTY – Join us for the Mars Close Approach and Cavalcade of Planets! In late July, Mars will make a close approach, offering a view of the red planet that will not be seen again until 2050. This makes Mars the main attraction in a unique planetary lineup also featuring Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus. Local astronomers will be on -hand with dozens of telescopes set up to view this planetary event. Come join us at the NEW Robinson Preserve Expansion as we point our telescopes skyward and share these amazing views! Suitable for all ages. For more information or to let us know if you plan to attend, please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6039. Robinson Preserve Expansion

 

Saturday 21st, 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 26th, 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

 

Friday 27th, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – A PAGE FROM THE OUTDOORS: HARRY POTTER DRAGONS AND PHOENIXES – Bring your elementary aged students to the library this summer as we let books guide us through an exploration of nature! This program will focus on a different book each week and will help foster an appreciation for the natural world through reading. This week, we will be learning about dragons, dinos, phoenixes, and raptors while reading excerpts from Harry Potter. Program sponsored by the Manatee County Library System in partnership with PNRD. Program suitable for elementary age children. For more information please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6036. Palmetto Library

 

Saturday 28th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM & 12:00 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. 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 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. For more information please call 941-742-5923 ext. 6039. Robinson Preserve – Mosaic NEST

 

 

Tuesday 31st, 2:00 PM – 4:00 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 by 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

 

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
Download the Eligibility Requirements