St. Johns County Naturalist Programs

Explore St. Johns County

AyoLane Halusky, County Naturalist   |   P: (904) 209-0348   |   F: (904) 209-0321   |   E: ahalusky@sjcfl.us

Activities at St. Johns County Parks may be scheduled for school trips, home school groups, Scouts, 4-H and other youth or adult groups. Park Naturalist Programs are free and open to the public. Contact AyoLane Halusky, County Naturalist at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or call (904) 209-0348 to schedule activities.


Announcements, Events, Activities

Vilano Beach Cleanup
When: Friday, October 11 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Vilano Beach Beach Access, 2750 Anahma Dr., Vilano
Details: Join St. Johns County Parks Naturalist Kelly Ussia in being good stewards of our beaches and participate in a cleanup at Vilano Beach. All necessary supplies will be provided. Just bring water and wear sunscreen and clothes appropriate for being on the beach. This event is FREE and pre-registration is not required. Vilano Beach Cleanup Details. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us.

Bats! An Educational Program

Details: Florida is home to 13 species of bats. Bats are unique winged mammals that play an important role in our ecosystem. Join St. Johns County Naturalist Kelly Ussia for an engaging and educational hour devoted to these amazing creatures. This event is FREE and pre-registration is not required. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Doug Crane Kayak Trips

  • Thursday, October 17 from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Friday, October 18 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 19 from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 20 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Where: Doug Crane Boat Ramp, 1039 Shore Drive, St. Augustine
Details: Join our Park Naturalists for a kayak trip on the marshes of the Matanzas River. This trip will provide a unique opportunity to experience the natural areas you likely only view while driving over the 312 bridge. The cost of this program is $20-$50 per person. To register, contact Kelly Ussia at 904-209-0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us with your phone number, email, date of the trip you would like to attend, residency status, and if you will be using a county kayak. There is a 12-foot boat minimum for those bringing their own boats. Doug Crane Kayak Trips Details.

Treasures of the Beach

  • Tuesday, October 22 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, October 24 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Where: Nease Beachfront Park, 3171 Coastal Highway, Vilano
Details: Our East Coast beaches are constantly changing and bringing new items up for us to see. Shells, sea beans, grasses, shark teeth, and marine debris are just a few of the items we will help you identify. Join Park Naturalist Kelly Ussia for an engaging walk and talk about the amazing treasures you can find at the beach. This program is FREE and open to all ages, but registration is required. Treasures of the Beach Registration. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Owl Prowls

Details: Join Park Naturalist AyoLane Halusky and learn about the creatures of the night. We will explore our county parks at sunset in search of our resident owls who live in our park. Bring your questions and share your stories about the night time forest activities. This event is FREE. For more info, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

Owl & Sunset Symphony
When: Friday, October 25 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Beluthahatchee Park, 1501 SR 13, Fruit Cove
Details: Join Park Naturalist AyoLane Halusky and become a phenologist for the evening. Learn about the owls and enjoy nature’s symphony as we experience the transition from light to dark. Water birds and owls often come out to join. A representative from the Stetson Kennedy foundation will be on-hand to share a little local history. Please note there will be a discussion about owls and night time creatures and then we will find a place outside on the deck to watch the bird fly into roost for the evening as the sun starts to go down. This event is FREE. Owl & Sunset Symphony Registration. For more info, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

Bats at Sunset – Alpine Groves Park
When: Sunday, October 27 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Where: Alpine Groves Park, 2060 FL-13, Switzerland
Details: Join Park Naturalist AyoLane Halusky and learn about the creatures of the night. We will explore Alpine Groves at sunset in sunset in search of our resident bats who live in our park. Bring your questions and share your stories about the night time forest activities. Meet us at the 2nd parking lot near the river. This event is FREE. Bats at Sunset Registration. For more info, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

Florida Master Naturalist Program: Conservation Science
When: December 4-6 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Where: Various locations around St. Johns County
Details: Join Park Naturalist Kelly Ussia to better understand the various pieces to a complex conservation puzzle. This course is comprised of classroom presentations, guest speakers, hands-on activities, and field trips to places like the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, GTM Research Reserve, and Wetland Preserve. This program is open to all knowledge levels and ages 18+. Florida Master Naturalist Registration. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.



Vision

To provide St. Johns County residents and visitors with opportunities to become better educated about the wilderness systems, historical relevance and sharing St. Johns County's Blue and Green-Ways areas along side the natural communities, mutually benefiting from each other.

Mission

To provide opportunities for the visitors and citizens of St. Johns County to experience and learn about our local natural and historical areas, creating a deeper connection while supporting sustainable communities that work with the Earth's natural systems.

Goals and Values

  • Education: Offering programs that teach individuals and groups about our environment, flora and fauna, local history, and the interaction between natural systems and the developed world. These programs are designed to foster connections with the environment by dispelling fears and fables and empowering individuals with knowledge, safe wilderness practices, and positive experiences.
  • Exploration: Come kayak and hike through our Green- and Blue-way spaces with a trained naturalist. Develop a life-long connection with the environment while exploring our passive parks and waterways. Offering group and individual tours, special events and programs. Public and private, day and overnight trips can be arranged seasonally.
  • Preservation: As we come together as a community that understands the value of our natural areas, we can develop ways to promote, protect, and preserve local wilderness and waterways for future generations. The St. Johns County Naturalist Program will work with local conservation groups and volunteers in environmental programming, events, and clean-ups.

Programs & Activities

  • Nature Walks and Programs
  • Kayaking
  • Master Naturalist Classes
  • Volunteer & Educational Opportunities
  • Explore Blue-way and Green-way Trails

SJC Parks and Recreation – Where everybody plays.