The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 11 No. 36 - June 8, 2011


Summer fun at the preserves


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

One of the upcoming programs at Robinson Preserve
will be a wagon tour led by a naturalist, who will explain
the preserve's history, wildlife and flowers.

Summer is here and it's a great time to get outside and explore Manatee County's natural beauty. There are all sorts of great water-themed programs happening through the Manatee County Department of Natural Resources.

E-mail or call the phone numbers below to register. Here's a list of events this month at the preserves.

• Saturday, June 11, 9 and 10:30 a.m., Naturalist-led wagon tours. Roll through Robinson Preserve in a covered wagon. Your naturalist tour guide will explain the preserve's history, resident wildlife, fabulous flowers and describe preserve highlights. Two 60-minute trips will be taken during the day. A fee of $3 per adult and $2 per child will be charged. Program suitable for all ages. Reservations will not be taken for these tours; seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. To ensure a seat, arrive 15-20 minutes in advance of your departure time.

• Saturday, June 11, 1 to 5 p.m., Pine Island Paddle Patrol Volunteer Workday at SR64 Boat Ramp at Pine Island Preserve. Check out one of Manatee County's best kept secrets. During this volunteer workday, you will paddle out to Pine Island, a small preserve accessible only by boat. Along the way, we will help clean up the SR64 Boat Ramp by paddling in and collecting trash to take out. Program suitable for all ages. Participants can bring their own kayak or use a county sponsored kayak from the WCIND funded volunteer fleet (limited number of kayaks available on a first-come, first-served basis). Children age 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult and wearing personal flotation device. Reservations are required by calling 941-742-5757, ext. 9.

• Saturday, June 11, 2 to 4 p.m., Wild Kids' Weekends: Wet And Wild Wonders at Emerson Point Preserve. Wade into the water with dip nets to find out what lurks beneath the waters of Manatee County's waterways. Participants will have the chance to take a sealife safari as they collect fish, sea stars, crabs, and more, and then examine them on shore. Program suitable for children age 6 and older. Reservations are required by calling 941-742-5757, ext. 4.

• Wednesday, June 15, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wild Fl 101: The Psychology Of Wading Birds at Robinson Preserve. Join naturalist Melissa for a peek into the mind of beautiful long-legged wading birds. You'll hunt for herons and egrets during their evening walk and discuss their habits and hang-ups. Along the way, they will test your skills at living like a wading bird to see if you can you catch your own food like a great blue heron, dance like a reddish egret and sound like a night heron. Program suitable for participants age 13 and older. Reservations are required by calling 941-748-4501, ext. 4605.

• Saturday, June 18, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., Sealife Safari Shutter Stroll. Grab your camera and get ready to wade into the waters of the Manatee River at Emerson Point Preserve. Dip net to capture your own models, or use those provided by NRD naturalists, learning about sealife and macro photography. Nature photographer Dotty Motta will be on hand to help share tips and tricks about this specialized type of photography. Macro lens or setting and tripod recommended. Program suitable for adults. Reservations are required by calling 941-742-5757, ext. 9.

• Saturday, Sunday and Monday, June 25, 26 and 27, 7 a.m. to noon, JayWatch. For the first time ever, Manatee County's Natural Resources Department is partnering with the Nature Conservancy's JayWatch and Quest Ecology at Duette Preserve. The survey, conducted over a three-day period, offers a snapshot of the scrub jay families living within the preserve. Volunteers are needed to assist with this monitoring program. Individuals who would like to help track, sight and record scrub jay sightings are welcome to attend. Call 941-748-450,1 ext. 4605.

• Saturday, June 25, 4 to 5:30 p.m., Wrack Line Hike at Robinson Preserve. The tide is out and the time for discovery is just right. Join naturalist Aedan for a hike among the material that the sea left behind. Each day, the tidal waters recede and leave a treasure trove of material on the beach. Reservations are required and space is extremely limited; call 941-742-5757, ext. 8.

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