Manatee County offers new way to explore nature preserve

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Manatee County Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge in front of electric tram // Chris Young, 4/3/24

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An almost 700-acre preserve in northwest Bradenton is home to untouched nature and wildlife. And on Wednesday, Manatee County officials announced a more inclusive way for all to explore the preserve.

Robinson Preserve has osprey nests, trails, and mangroves over 100 years old. And now, they have a new way to see it all.

“We came up with this great idea, through a grant, for an electric tram, you don’t want be on a diesel-powered tram – you’d scare all the wildlife off, right? So we got a great electric tram, to take people who are either disabled or just older folks who can’t walk throughout the park – to take them to the park on a guided tour.”

Kevin Van Ostenbridge is the Manatee County District 3 Commissioner. He was joined by other community leaders to highlight the new tram.

The tram is for all ages, and especially for those who can no longer walk the trail.

Visitors get a close-up view of the sweeping natural landscapes at the park.

Charlie Hunsicker is the Director of Manatee County Natural Resources. He says preserves like these are important, especially amidst rapid development in the state

“What preserves like this do is provide the balance we need to keep the natural balance between our healthy environments and our healthy economy going.”

Robinson Preserve Tram Tours are scheduled on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month from September through May.

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