Explore nature this winter
submitted | manatee county natural resources dept.
This great blue heron found a bonnet head shark for
dinner in the waters off Robinson Preserve.
• Saturday, Dec. 15, 9 a.m. to noon, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program's Neal Preserve Bay Wise Kayak Tour. Get ready to explore Neal Preserve by water. During this trip you'll have the opportunity to check out the preserve in the company of fabulous marine biologist Brad from Mote Marine before it opens.
Discover the plants, animals, and habitats that make Sarasota Bay an Estuary of national significance. Participants must bring their own kayaks and safety gear. This program is sponsored by Sarasota Bay Estuary Program.
Reservations are required. Make your reservations online at http://sarasotabay.org/eco-tourism/bay-wise-kayak-tour-program/.
• Saturday, Dec.15, 9 to 11 a.m., Master Gardener Tour. The Master Gardeners return to Emerson Point Preserve to present their plant walks. Take a relaxing stroll through the preserve to see which winter wildflowers are in bloom.
This is a wonderful way to learn more about coastal Florida and the unique plants and habitats at Emerson Point. Suitable for all ages. Call the Master Gardener Office for reservations at 941-722-4524.
• Saturday, Dec. 15, 2 to 3:30 p.m., Families Flock Together: Nature Into Your House. Deck the halls with boughs of holly. Learn to decorate for the holidays using natural materials from your backyard. In this Emerson Point Preserve workshop, you'll learn how to make terrarium ornaments, bring a fresh yuletide scent into your house, and make festive candleholders.
The whole family is invited to partake in this fun. Bring any old fabric scraps, glass jars or sewing needles and thread to share with others! This program is suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. Call 941-742-5757 ext. 4.
• Sunday, Dec.16, 9 to 11 a.m., Master Gardener Tour. Learn more about Florida's native plants with Master Gardener Sam on a relaxing stroll through beautiful Robinson Preserve.
As the weather turns cooler, the plants undergo a colorful transformation. See Robinson's salt marsh full of beautiful fall colors. Suitable for all ages, call the Master Gardener Office for reservations at 941-722-4524.
• Thursday, Dec. 20, 4 to 5:30 p.m., Wild Florida 101: Edible Plants of Winter. Explore nature's bounty in the winter. This two-part program features a short hike through Robinson Preserve to explore some of these useful plants in their natural habitat, followed by a discussion and tasting of dishes made with native ingredients.
Suitable for participants age 13 and older. Reservations are required, call 941-748-4501, ext. 4616.
• Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Dec. 26, 27 and 28, 2 p.m., Naturalist-led wagon tours through Robinson Preserve. Your tour guide will explain the preserve's history, resident wildlife, flowers, and describe preserve highlights. One 60-minute trip will be taken during the day. This program is suitable for all ages.
Arrive 15 minutes in advance. Reservations are required for this special wagon tour as seats are limited and will be in high demand. Call 941-742-5757, ext. 1.
• Friday, Dec. 28, 6:30 to 9 p.m., sunset full moon paddle through Robinson Preserve. What a great way to spend a Friday evening. Come out and enjoy the salt marshes escorted by the full moon. This is an easy paddle that can be enjoyed by beginning kayakers.
Participants must bring their own kayak and safety equipment. Children age 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult and wearing personal flotation device. Reservations are required. Call 941-742-5757, ext. 7.
• Saturday, Dec. 29, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Crazy For Geocaching Family Workshop at Emerson Point Preserve. Get ready to explore the exciting world of geocaching. Bring the whole family to learn more about this exciting activity and discover Manatee County's new Taking Flight GeoTour.
During this workshop, they will teach how to use your device or phone app and get you started on the Taking Flight GeoTour by finding caches hidden throughout the preserve.
Passports for the tour will be available at this event. Some portable GPS units will be available for use, but if you have one please bring your own or a smartphone with a geocaching app.
Event sponsored by the Sarasota Estuary Program, Tampa Bay Estuary Program, and Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program. Program is suitable for all ages. Reservations are required. Call 941-748-4501, ext. 4605.