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Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources April 2015
Preserve Event Calendar

Spring is here and we have lots of great programs planned to celebrate the warmer weather. Be sure to sign up early as programs will fill up. Get outside and explore your beautiful Manatee County Preserves!

Family and kids' programs are below in BLUE, adventure programs are in ORANGE, programs for adult learners are listed in PURPLE, and volunteer programs are listed in GREEN
Wednesday 1st, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM -
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 every other Wednesday 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 Damon at damon.moore@mymanatee.org.
Location TBA - chosen based on need

Friday 3rd, 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM -
SUNSET, FULL MOON
PADDLE 
What a great way to spend a Friday evening, sunset and full moon paddle. Come out and enjoy the salt marshes of Robinson Preserve. We will take advantage of low tide to watch the sunset from the sandbars of the Manatee River. Bring your camera for great shots of egrets, herons and roseate spoonbills. This is an easy paddle which can be enjoyed by beginning kayakers. Program suitable for all ages. Participants must have their own canoe or kayak and safety gear. All participants must wear a life jacket. Children age 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 7. Robinson Preserve
Saturday 4th, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM -
WILD KIDS WEEKEND: NEIGHBORING NESTERS
 

 How many birds can you identify? Do you know what their eggs look like? Join Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources to learn about Robinson's many nesting birds!  Find out which birds are nesting this spring and learn all about their eggs in this fun Easter Weekend program. Learn the basics of birding and put your skills to the test! Come out to Robinson preserve to see just how many different species of birds that you know, and learn about some that you may have never seen before. This program will include plenty of walking so make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Program suitable for ages 6 and older. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 4 . Robinson Preserve
Saturday 4th, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM -
PHOTOGRAPHY CHALLENGE GALLERY PRESENTATION
 
Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources' invites you to join us for the presentation of the featured photos from the 2015 Photography Challenge! Take a walk through the Valentine House and view photos that tell an extraordinary story about each of our beautiful preserves. If it's true that a picture is worth a thousand words...we will have quite a few stories to tell! Program is suitable for all ages.Reservations are requested; please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6044.
Robinson Preserve (Valentine House)
Tuesday 7th, 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM -
OLD PALMA SOLA BY BIKE AND ON FOOT 
 
 
Discover the pure joy of riding your bike while exploring interesting sites in Manatee County. Meet your tour guide, Master Naturalist and Preserve Ambassador Marsha, at the Manatee Avenue parking lot for Robinson Preserve. The ride will weave through Robinson Preserve on shell and paved trails, then circle through neighborhoods in old Palma Sola to Riverview Pointe Preserve. This ride is limited to 8 riders. You must be over 16 years of age and be able to ride 8-10 mph for 2 hours with frequent stops. Please bring your helmet (required), a water bottle and sunscreen. Reservations are required. Please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6039. Meet at Robinson Preserve
Wednesday 8 th, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
AFTERNOON YOGA  
Relax and unwind with an invigorating Vinyasa yoga flow surrounded by the beauty of nature. Breathe and stretch while red wing blackbirds sing in the marsh nearby and enjoy relief from a hectic work week. Guided by yogi Betsy Anderson, a certified instructor who has been practicing for 20 years, this class is a great opportunity for all levels to experience outdoor yoga including beginners.
Please bring your own yoga mat and be ready for a unique FREE afternoon! Suitable for ages 13 and up.Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 6 to reserve your spot today. Conservatory Park

Thursday 9th, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM -
HOMESCHOOL SCIENCE CLUB: FLORIDA'S NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY
 
Join us as we continue to explore Florida's past and discover what life was like for Native American's that once lived here. We will learn about many of the skills practiced by Florida's early inhabitants and their way of life during a walk through the site of an early Native American settlement located at Emerson Point Preserve. We will also discuss the transformation the state has experienced throughout the years and gain a new perspective about the place where we live. Program suitable for children ages 6 and older. Reservations are required! Please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6044. Emerson Point Preserve
Saturday 11th, 9:00 AM - 12:00 AM - EMERSON ENHANCERS VOLUNTEER WORKDAY
Come and be part of a dedicated group of individuals who are passionate about Emerson Point Preserve! This month we will be cleaning the mangroves and the trails near the Point of marine debris. Program suitable for all ages. . 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. Emerson Point Preserve
 Saturday 11th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM -
MASTER GARDENER TOUR
 
Learn more about Florida's native plants with Master Gardener Mike Corso on a relaxing stroll through this beautiful coastal property. Check out the fall changes in Riverview Pointe's coastal hammock and mangrove forest.
Sponsored by the IFAS Extension Program/Florida Master Gardeners. Suitable for all ages.
Please call the Master Gardener Office for reservations at 941-722-4524. Riverview Pointe Preserve
Saturday 11th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM -
FAMILIES FLOCK TOGETHER: RIVER ADVENTURE!
 
Join us as we jump right in and explore the aquatic ecosystem of the upper Manatee River! We will learn about the local watershed, the process of metamorphosis, aquatic predator-prey relationships, as well as organism identification. We will have a chance to wade into the shallows with a dip net to see it all up close so bring clothes you don't mind getting wet, water shoes or sandals, 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 calling 941-748-4501 ext. 6044. Rye Preserve
Sunday 12th, 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM -
EXOTIC PLANT ROUND-UP AND INSECT INVESTIGATION
 
Come help the environment of your park, then have some fun too! We will be removing the dreaded rosary pea plant then grabbing our nets to capture and study the incredible critters in your neighborhood. From butterflies to water bugs, we'll go on a safari for these intriguing insects. Program suitable for all ages. Please let us know if you would like to attend by calling 941-748-4501 ext. 6035 to register. GT Bray Park
Tuesday 14th, 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM -
MANATEE AUDUBON SOCIETY BIRDING TOUR
 
Search the skies for Florida's fabulous fliers! Birder Lucette will lead participants on a tour through Emerson Point's coastal hammock and mangrove habitats. Check out the "locals" as well as the migratory birds that are wintering here. Program suitable for all ages. Program sponsored by the Manatee County Audubon Society. Reservations are required. Please let us know if you would like to attend by calling 941-748-4501 ext. 6039. Emerson Point Preserve

 

Tuesday 14th, 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM -
RYE PRESERVERS VOLUNTEER WORKDAY

Everyone interested in giving one day a month to beautify Rye Preserve is welcome to attend! Rye needs your help to contain the invasive menace; Come out to pull the dreaded Abrus precatorius, Dioscorea bulbifera, and Urena lobata (rosary pea, air potato, and ceasar weed). We will cut, pull, and bag these baddies, so that native plants can take root and attract other native species. Your hard work means a victory for biodiversity! Program is suitable for all ages. 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. Rye Preserve
Wednesday 15th, 9:00 AM - 12:00 AM -
RIP SQUAD VOLUNTEER WORKDAY

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 Damon at damon.moore@mymanatee.org. Location TBA - chosen based on need
Wednesday 15th , 10 :00 AM -1 :30 PM -
ESCAPE THE TAX MAN - UPPER GAMBLE CREEK
 

Add another section of Manatee's Blueway Trails to your bucket list. Kayak guide Wayne will lead a 1 way paddle down this meandering river, the path winds for several miles through oak hammocks and through salt marshes before joining with the Upper Manatee River to form the Manatee River. We will launch from the Mulholland Rd Bridge where it crosses Gamble Creek and take out at the Ft Hamer boat launch. While not for first time kayakers, beginning kayakers who can paddle 4-6 miles are welcomeParticipants must have their own canoe or kayak and safety gear. All participants must wear a life jacket. Children age 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 7. Mulholland Rd

Friday 17th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM -  
MINDFULNESS IN NATURE SILENCE STROLL  
Join PNRD naturalist Melissa for a zen-filled hike through the coastal mangrove system. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, quieting our "busy brains" and focusing on the now. Studies have shown mindfulness techniques are great stress relievers and can have a positive impact on physical health too. During this "Vitamin N Health in Nature" program, Melissa will lead the group in a basic mindfulness walk to help participants unwind, relax, and focus. A portion of our walk will be done in silence, and if participants would like barefoot, in order to completely relax. Suitable for ages 16 and up. Reservations are required. Please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6039. Robinson Preserve  

 

Saturday 18th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM -
SNEAK PEEK SHUTTER
STROLL 
Explore one of Manatee County's wildest properties, Curiosity Creek. This beautiful site features hardwood hammocks, wetlands, and pine flatwoods. There are no trails on the site, grab your cameras and be ready for adventure. This program is limited to 8 participants. Program suitable for ages 13 and older. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 9. Curiosity Creek
Saturday 18th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM -
MASTER GARDENER TOUR
 
Discover which plants bloom in the warmer spring weather. Take a relaxing stroll through Emerson Point Preserve to learn more about this coastal preserve's plants and habitats. Sponsored by the IFAS Extension Program/Florida Master Gardeners Suitable for all ages. Please call the Master Gardener Office for reservations at 941-722-4524. Emerson Point Preserve
Saturday 18th, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
VOLUNTEER WORKDAY: GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP
Keep Manatee Beautiful's Annual GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP is here! Every year volunteers collect trash along Manatee County's coasts, helping protect wildlife and keeping these natural lands beautiful. Join us for this fun family event and help make a difference in the preserves you love to visit! Suitable for all ages. Please contact Keep Manatee Beautiful for more information. Call 941-795-8272.
Upper Manatee River

Saturday 18 th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
KIDS' ARCHERY
Set your sights on an exciting new activity, archery! This program will provide participants with basic archery instruction, familiarization with archery equipment, and instruction in shooting techniques that create successful archers. Attendees will leave with an understanding of the sport of archery, and the knowledge to practice it safely. All equipment will be provided for use. Program sponsored by the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Program is suitable for ages 6 to 12. Reservations are required; please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6044. Rye Preserve
Saturday 18 th, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
YOUTH ARCHERY
This program will provide participants with basic archery instruction, familiarization with archery equipment, and instruction in shooting techniques that create successful archers. Attendees will leave with an understanding of the sport of archery, and the knowledge to practice it safely. All equipment will be provided for use. Program sponsored by the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Program is suitable for ages 13 and up. Reservations are required. Please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6044. Rye Preserve

Sunday 19th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM -
MASTER GARDENER TOUR
 
Learn more about Florida's native plants with Master Gardener Sam Starrett on a relaxing stroll through this beautiful coastal property. As the weather turns warmer, Robinson Preserve's resident plants undergo a miraculously colorful transformation. See Robinson's salt marsh full of beautiful spring colors! Sponsored by the IFAS Extension Program/Florida Master Gardeners Suitable for all ages. Please call the Master Gardener Office for reservations at 941-722-4524. Robinson Preserve
 Friday 24th, 6:30 PM - Saturday 25th 5:00 PM -
WILD FLORIDA 101: WILDERNESS SURVIVAL 101 OVERNIGHT
 

 Join us for an overnight camp-out at Duette Preserve as we practice wilderness survival skills and techniques.  Learn the 7 priorities of wilderness survival and put your skills to the test.  Participants must bring their own food, water, and gear.  Call for more information. Program suitable for adults 18+. Limit 10 participants.  Reservations required!  Please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6044.Duette Preserve

Saturday 25th, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM - PALMA SOLA BOTANICAL PARK PLANT AND CRAFT SALE
Come check out the PNRD booth at this fun annual event. Stop by to say hello and pick up information on the preserves. Play our "food web cornhole game," learn about the new preserve improvements at Robinson Preserve, and shop for lots of great plants, antiques, and crafts. Event suitable for all ages. Palma Sola Botanical Park

Saturday 25th, 8:30 PM - 9:30 PM -
STARRY NIGHT TELESCOPE EXPLORATION
 
Set your gaze skyward and search the heavens for a glimpse into the stars. Get a chance to view the skies through a high-powered telescope. Learn how to identify these heavenly bodies, and how you can star gaze at home too. The gates of the park are closed, but we're giving you a special opportunity to explore with a naturalist guide. Don't miss this program - this will be the last stargazing program until September/October when the sun sets earlier.
Suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. Please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6039. Robinson Preserve

Monday 27th, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM -
RATTLESNAKE KEY PADDLE
 

Announcing a paddle for experienced kayakers, Rattlesnake Key. Add another seldom paddled section of the Manatee County Blueways Trail in Tampa and Terra Ceia Bay. You must have open water experience and use a sit on top kayak or a sit in kayak with skirt! We will launch from the mangroves on the west side of the Skyway South Rest Area. Participants must have their own canoe or kayak and safety gear. All participants must wear a life jacket. Suitable for experienced kayakers age 16 and older. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 7. Skyway South Rest Area

Wednesday 29th, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM -
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 send an email to Damon at damon.moore@mymanatee.org. Location TBA - chosen based on need
Wednesday 29th, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM -
EDIBLE PLANTS OF SPRING
 

Chef Aedan is going to whip up a delicious array of delicacies to tantalize your taste buds during this delightful program. Learn all about nature's bounty with a short hike to explore various native plants and their uses, then join us at the Chef's Table to sample dishes made with a variety of native ingredients. Suitable for participants age 13 and older. Reservations are required. Please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6039. Emerson Point Preserve  

We hope to see you out in the preserves!
 
Sincerely,
 

Melissa Nell
Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources