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

Freshwater Fishing 101

Where: Alpine Groves Park, 2060 SR 13, St. Johns
Details: Learn the ins and outs of fishing freshwater in Florida. Ever wonder about what to put in your tackle box, how to use nets and traps, or what the fishing regulations are? This series of classes will cover all of this and more. Sign up for one class or attend the whole series. Bring your own gear and learn while you fish! *** All participants must have a Freshwater Fishing License or be a Florida Resident age 65 and up. To obtain a license, visit gooutdoorsflorida.com. This program is FREE, but you must register on Eventbrite to attend. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

904 Naturalists Series – Exploring the Life of Mammals
When: January 8, 11, 15, 18, 19, and 29, 2020
* Wednesday classes from 3-6pm and Field Trip TBA
Where: Wednesday classes held at Main Library, 1960 N. Ponce De Leon Blvd., St. Augustine
Details: In Exploring the Life of Mammals, we will get to know six different mammals indigenous to Northeast Florida both in and out of the classroom. Be prepared to write, draw, envision, and possibly track an animal of your choice, in your own way. To reveal the story of an animal's life you will need to learn the first written language left behind by its creator. This event is FREE, but you must register for the entire program to attend. Life of Mammals Registration. For more info, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

Living With Snakes + Gators

Details: Join Park Naturalist Kelly Ussia for a family-friendly presentation about the snakes and alligators found throughout the State of Florida and maybe even in your backyard. Learn about the various species of snakes in our areas as well as how to live with the amazing crocodillian neighbors. This program is FREE and open to all ages. No reservations required. Seating is first-come, first-served. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Anastasia Island Beach Mouse Tracking
When: Sunday, January 12 from 9-11am
Where: Frank B. Butler Park East, 5860 A1A South, St. Augustine
Details: Join Park Naturalist AyoLane Halusky and walk the edges of the habitat of the Anastasia Island Beach Mouse. Learn about the principles of tracking and how to read the nature news. This event is FREE and open to all ages, but you must register to attend. Mouse Tracking Registration. For more info, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

Not In Your Backyard – Invasive Plants
When: Thursday, January 16 from 2-3pm
Where: Anastasia Island Library, 124 Sea Grove Main St., St. Augustine
Details: Join Park Naturalist Kelly Ussia for an opportunity to learn about invasive plant species within Northeast Florida. Ever wonder how to identify and remove the plants that are "bad" for your yard and the environment? Then this lecture is for you. Participants will learn about the top coastal invasive species, how to remove them, and recommendations on natives to plant. This program is FREE and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Owl + Sunset Symphony
When: Friday, January 17 from 5:30-8pm
Where: Beluthahatchee Park, 1501 SR 13, Fruit Cove
Details: Learn about owls and enjoy nature's symphony as you experience the transition from light to dark. Water birds and owls often come out to join the evening symphony. A representative from The Stetson Kennedy Foundation will share some local history. Owl + Sunset Symphony Registration. This program is FREE. For more info, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

Annual River Blessing
When: Saturday, January 25 from 9-11am
Where: Alpine Groves Park, 2060 SR 13, St. Johns
Details: Gather at Alpine Groves Park for a selection of speakers including St. Johns and Matanzas Riverkeepers followed by a silent, non-denominational ceremony of passing the bowl of water guided by a heartbeat drum by First Nations. Participants are welcome to bring their own drums. Following the blessing, attendees are welcome to tour Beluthahatchee Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This program is FREE. For more info, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

Sustainable Living
When: Tuesday, January 28 from 1-2pm
Where: Anastasia Island Library, 124 Sea Grove Main St., St. Augustine
Details: Join Park Naturalist Kelly Ussia for an interactive presentation about how to make your lifestyle more sustainable. Do you already have the reusable bags and water bottles, but want to know how to have a bigger environmental impact? Then this talk is for you. This program is FREE and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Florida-Friendly Landscaping – Right Plant, Right Place
When: Friday, January 31 from 9:30-11am
Where: The PLAYERS Community Center, 175 Landrum Ln., Ponte Vedra Beach
Details: St. Johns County Parks and Recreation has partnered with UF/IFAS Extension St. Johns County for a lecture on Florida-Friendly Landscaping. Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) means using low-maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices. Learn how you can have a beautiful landscape that could save you time, energy and money while protecting our future. Program will focus on how to select the appropriate Florida-Friendly plants for your landscape. This program is FREE. Landscaping 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.