YMCA of the Suncoast

Associated Agency: 
Camp Muskogee

The YMCA of the Suncoast believes that all children deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve. The YMCA wants all children, regardless of their finical situation, to have the opportunity to enjoy an outdoor environment where they can develop an appreciation of nature.

Rye Preserve

Associated Agency: 
Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department

Experience a slice of old Florida at the Rye Preserve! Rye Preserve is a 145-acre property located just northwest of the Lake Manatee Dam. The property features nature trails, horseback trails, picnic areas, a playground and a canoe/kayak launch.

The preserve's trail system leads visitors through four distinctive ecosystems including sand pine scrub, xeric oak scrub, oak hammocks, and the river community. A variety of interesting creatures can be seen in these areas including the rare gopher tortoise and Florida scrub-jay.

Robinson Preserve

Associated Agency: 
Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department

Robinson Preserve offers visitors numerous ways to explore the coastal habitats. Scale the 40-foot tall observation tower for a view of four counties and five water bodies or check out the view from the camera in the Valentine House Visitor's Center. Bike or roller blade on 2.5 miles of paved trail, and hikers can explore more than 5 miles of shell and coastal trails. For paddlers, Robinson Preserve's 2.5 miles of blueways present a chance to navigate through mangrove tunnels, marshes, and more. The opportunities are endless.

Duette Preserve

Associated Agency: 
Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department

Duette Preserve is composed of over 21,000 acres of land located in eastern Manatee County. This unique property is owned and managed by the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners. As the headwaters of the Manatee River, the Preserve was originally purchased to provide protection for Manatee County's municipal water supply. Duette Preserve also protects and enhances the native plant communities and the diverse species which inhabit these areas.

Emerson Point Preserve

Associated Agency: 
Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department

Emerson Point Preserve is a 365 acre preserve located at the tip of Snead Island in western Palmetto. At Emerson Point, visitors can take in the beauty of Florida's wildlife and native plant communities while exploring both prehistoric and historic sites.

Photo Credit: John Ilko

Jiggs Landing

Associated Agency: 
Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department

Jigg's Landing offers freshwater fishing and canoeing opportunities on the Evers Reservoir and Braden River. The property was purchased in 1944 by Al (Jiggs) and Agnes Metcalf and included a 7-acre piece of property. They created a fish camp on the banks of the Braden River, that has become a landmark to residents. The camp has served Manatee County for more than 40 years.

Arch Creek Park

Associated Agency: 
Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department

Designated as a Florida State Historical Preserve, this small park is a living legend rich in history. The now extinct Tequesta Indians occupied the site from 500 B.C. to 1300 A.D. The park was created around a natural limestone bridge formation that was once part of an important Indian trail for both the Tequesta and Seminoles, and later used by the federal government as part of the military trail during the Seminole wars. The park has a museum containing fossils, artifacts left by natives, and other unique relics of early Miami.

Region: 

Castellow Hammock Park

Associated Agency: 
Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department

Located in the heart of the Redland Agricultural area the nature Center is named after James Castellow an early South Florida homesteader and citrus farmer. The park, Miami-Dade's first environmental education center, has long been a hotspot for nature lovers in Miami-Dade.

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Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is on a mission to "Connect People with the Living Earth."

Natural outdoor exhibits for more than 1,500 animals from Florida and similar habitats include a Native Florida Wildlife Center and manatee hospital, Asian Gardens, Primate World, Free-Flight Aviaries, Wallaroo Station children's zoo, and Safari Africa. The Zoo also features rides, shows and hands-on interactive exhibits designed to give you a WILD experience.

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