Public offered two opportunities to enjoy Conservation Foundation’s Myakka Headwaters Preserve

Events planned on May 19 and May 20

The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast will host two events this month at its “forever-protected Myakka Headwaters Preserve,” to enable members of the public to explore the site, it has announced.

The first occasion will be an Artists’ Day on Friday, May 19, a news release says. The second will be “a morning of education and exploration,” which is planned for Saturday, May 20.

The self-guided Artists’ Day event will take place from 7 a.m. to noon, the release notes. Participants will be provided a trail map upon entry, the release says, but they need to bring their own supplies for the media of their choice.

The May 20 event will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at noon, the release adds. It will include “guided preserve tours and lunch on the land.” Conservation Foundation representatives will be on-site during both events “to answer questions about the property and the organization’s vital work,” the release points out.

“Our Myakka Headwaters Preserve is a gorgeous slice of natural Florida and the perfect place to spend a morning soaking up the many benefits that nature provides to our mind, body, and soul,” said Christine P. Johnson, president of the Conservation Foundation, in the release. “We look forward to hosting these events, which are designed to get more people out on the land, connected with nature.”

The not-for-profit land trust’s 432-acre Myakka Headwaters Preserve — where seven creeks converge to form the Myakka River — “is an exceptional part of Myakka and the greater Florida ecosystem,” the release notes. “The property contains numerous diverse landscapes, including floodplain forests, marshland, longleaf pine flatwoods, and oak hammocks. Fields of wildflowers host pollinators of all shapes and sizes, and fern-lined streambanks rise just a foot or two above the clear-flowing water, which supports submerged aquatic vegetation unable to grow in the sunlight-blocked blackwaters found elsewhere in the Myakka River,” the release explains.

Since purchasing the preserve’s first 363 acres in 2020, the Conservation Foundation “has been diligent in its efforts to restore the shoreline, strengthen the health of the river, and support the wildlife who call this special place home,” the release adds.

In 2022, the Foundation conserved an additional 69 acres at the southern end of the original property, the release says. “Volunteers have planted thousands of native trees and wildflowers along the shoreline and throughout the 432 acres over the past several months as part of the organization’s ongoing Myakka Restoration initiative,” the release points out.

Both the May 19 and May 20 events are free and open to the public, though registration is required, the release says. To learn more and sign up, visit