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Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources December 2014
Preserve Event Calendar

Winter is here and our seasonal programs are back! This month we welcome back our birding programs and "Exploring Emerson Point" series at Emerson Point. We also have additional dates for favorites like the Rye archery programs and Robinson Preserve wagon tours. Spend your holiday out enjoying nature!  

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 3rd, 11 AM - 2:30 PM -
UPPER GAMBLE CREEK
 
Kayak guide Wayne will lead a 1-way paddle down this meandering river which 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 welcome. Participants must have their own canoe or kayak and safety gear. Wearing of a life jacket is mandatory. Children age 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 7. Mulholland Rd
Friday 5th, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM -
EXPLORING EMERSON POINT: THE INCREDIBLE OYSTER
Join Master Naturalist Jane for a class on Emerson Point's oysters. What is the importance of the oyster to the area? These delicious creatures have long played a role in the eating history of Manatee County but how do they survive in the Manatee River? Play the oyster game to learn how and get a new perspective on the history of these delicious shellfish. Program suitable for ages 13 and older.

Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 8 if you would like to attend. Emerson Point Preserve

Saturday 6th, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM -
NATURALIST-LED WAGON TOUR
 
Roll through Robinson Preserve in a covered wagon! Your tour guide will explain the preserve's history, resident wildlife, fabulous flowers, and describe preserve highlights. A second trip may be taken at 10:30 a.m. if a minimum of 12 people are present. Program suitable for all ages. Please arrive a minimum of 15 minutes in advance. Seats are available on a first-come, first served basis. Robinson Preserve
Saturday 6th, 4:00 PM - 7:30 PM -
A NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS FAMILY EVENT
 
Santa Claus will fly into G.T. Bray Park by helicopter for this fun family-friendly annual event! Santa's scheduled to land at 4 p.m. escorted by special Star Wars guests. After the landing, explore activities including 15 tons of snow, face painting, bounce houses, hayrides, visits with Santa, and more. Suitable for all ages. The event is free; $7.50 wristband includes unlimited ticketed activities. G.T. Bray Park
Tuesday 9th, 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

Wednesday 10th, 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. This is a great way to learn, first hand, about land management techniques and local ecology, while having a positive impact on the ecological value of County owned lands. 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 10th, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
AFTERNOON YOGA
Relax and unwind with a FREE 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 11th, 4:30 PM - 7:00 PM -
SUNSET STARRY NIGHT PADDLE 
Thursday 11th, 4:30 PM - 7:00 PM -SUNSET STARRY NIGHT PADDLE -Paddle through the mangroves of Emerson Point Preserve for a fabulous evening paddle. Join naturalist Wayne on a trip through Emerson Point's estuarine waterways and follow them out to Terra Ceia Bay for an outstanding sunset and return by starlight. Learn about mangroves, estuaries and sea grasses and their importance.While not for first time paddlers, beginners who can paddle 3 miles are welcome to attend. Participants must have their own canoe or kayak and safety gear. All participants will need to wear a life jacket. Reservations are required. Please call 941-743-5757 ext. 7.Emerson Point Preserve
Friday 12th, 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. After the tour, if there is time, we will take a visit to see the preserve's eagle family. Suitable for ages 16 and up. Reservations are required. Please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6039. Robinson Preserve
 Saturday 13th, 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 13th, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM -  
SARASOTA BAY GUARDIANS VOLUNTEER WORKDAY
Get ready to become part of the restoration revolution! We're recruiting volunteers to give a holiday gift of volunteering for the environment. This month we will be battling the invasive exotic plants that are plotting to take over G.T. Bray Park. Grab your gloves and clippers and get ready to help remove carrotwood tree, air potato, and other non-native nasties. Volunteers will receive Bay Guardians t-shirts and free lunch.
Sponsored by Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources, and Around the Bend Nature Tours.
Reservations are required! Please call 941-955-8085.GT Bray Park
Saturday 13th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM -
KID'S 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 target 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 (archery for older participants is available on 12/13 from 1:00PM-3:00PM) Reservations are required; please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6044. Rye Preserve

Saturday 13th, 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. 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  
Tuesday 16th, 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM -
RYE PRESERVERS VOLUNTEER WORKDAY

Everyone interested in giving one day a month to beautify Rye Preserve is welcome to attend. Program is suitable for all ages. Please let us know if you would like to attend by calling 941-748-4501 ext. 6035 to register. Rye Preserve
Thursday 18th, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM - HOMESCHOOL SCIENCE CLUB: CELEBRATION OF SCIENCE  
Join us as we celebrate our first full year of the Home School Science Club! We will take time to review some of our favorite activities from the past year and we will also have an opportunity to build a holiday ornament featuring themes from our past programs. We want to thank you for a wonderful year and hope you will enjoy this opportunity to celebrate learning about science in our preserves! Program is suitable for ages 6 and up. Reservations are required; please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6044. Emerson Point Preserve

Friday 19th, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM -
TAI CHI & QIGONG 
Explore a FREE Tai Chi class surrounded by the beautiful nature of Robinson Preserve. This gentle movement modality 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, suitable for beginners as well as longtime practitioners, will include an exploration of several different styles of Tai Chi and Qigong. The program will be led by Sensei Brian Nell, a fourth degree blackbelt in kung fu and a certified Tai Chi instructor. Program sponsored by Cypress Pillar Healing Arts. Suitable for ages 13 and up. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 6 to reserve your spot today. Robinson Preserve
 Saturday 20th, 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM -
PERICO PRESERVE SNEAK PEEK SHUTTER

 Catch a special "sneak peek" tour of Perico Preserve in the early morning light! We'll be visiting during the "golden hour," at a time that's perfect to snap photos of the growing preserve and its wildlife visitors. Learn tips and tricks for outdoor photography with Photographer Dotty Motta and discover the restoration work at the preserve. Suitable for ages 13 and up. Reservations are required. Please call 941-742-5757 ext. 9. Perico Preserve
 Saturday 20th, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM -
MASTER GARDENER TOUR
 
Discover which plants bloom in the cooler winter 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 20th, 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 will be continuing with the makeover of the butterfly garden and classroom area, pulling exotics, and removing litter. Program is suitable for all ages. Please let us know if you would like to attend by calling 941-748-4501 ext. 6035 to register. Emerson Point Preserve 
Saturday 20th, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM - 
SALT MARSH EXPLORERS
Where the sea meets the sand, life flourishes. Bring the family, put on your walking shoes and get ready to explore the salt marsh! Be the first to check out our new WCIND funded Explorer's Backpacks, stuffed full of tools and activities to get you fully outfitted for an expedition into the salt marsh. Break out the binoculars and get a bird's eye view of our avian inhabitants. Put your navigation skills to the test with a compass challenge. Join us as we head out into this unique habitat and explore the wonders of the salt marsh.
Program suitable for all ages. Please call 941-748-4501 ext. 6039 to register. Robinson Preserve

Sunday 21st, 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 cooler, Robinson Preserve's resident plants undergo a miraculously colorful transformation. See Robinson's salt marsh full of beautiful fall 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
Monday 29th, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM -
NATURALIST-LED WAGON TOUR
 
Roll through Robinson Preserve in a covered wagon! Your tour guide will explain the preserve's history, resident wildlife, fabulous flowers, and describe preserve highlights. A second trip may be taken at 10:30 a.m. if a minimum of 12 people are present. Program suitable for all ages. Please arrive a minimum of 15 minutes in advance. Seats are available on a first-come, first served basis. Robinson Preserve
Monday 29th, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM -
NATURALIST-LED WAGON TOUR
 
Roll through Robinson Preserve in a covered wagon! Your tour guide will explain the preserve's history, resident wildlife, fabulous flowers, and describe preserve highlights. Program suitable for all ages. Please arrive a minimum of 15 minutes in advance. Seats are available on a first-come, first served basis. Robinson Preserve
We hope to see you out in the preserves!
 
Sincerely,
 

Melissa Nell
Manatee County Natural Resources