St. Johns County Naturalist Programs

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 

Beach Cleanup at Vilano Beach
When: Wednesday, July 11
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Where: Beach Access Area, 2750 Anahma Drive, Vilano Beach
Details: Join Park Naturalist Kelly Ussia in being good stewards of our beaches and participate in a beach cleanup at Vilano Beach. All necessary supplies will be provided. Plan accordingly for water, weather, sun, and bugs. This program is FREE. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Yoga for Kids at the Beach
When: Friday, July 20
Time: 4:00 – 4:45 p.m.
Where: Frank B. Butler Park East, 5860 A1A South, St. Augustine 32080
Details: Learn to relax your mind and body with some simple, kid-friendly stretches, exercises and activities. Please wear loose clothing and bring your own towel or mat. This program is FREE and open to kids ages 5 to 12. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us. June 15 Yoga for Kids Registration | July 20 Yoga for Kids Registration

Sunset Kayak Trip
When:

  • Thursday, July 5
  • Friday, July 6
  • Saturday, July 7
  • Sunday, July 8

Time: 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: McCullough Creek Soft Launch, 2310 CR 13 South, Elkton
Details: Explore McCullough Creek with our Park Naturalists as you paddle out to the St. Johns River and learn about the unique history and diverse wildlife of the area. At the end of the tour, participants will get to experience a beautiful sunset on the water. The cost of this program is as follows: (1) SJC Resident Providing Own Boat: $20 per person (2) Non SJC Resident Providing Own Boat: $30 per person (3) SJC Resident Using a County Boat: $40 per person (4) Non SJC Resident Using a County Boat: $50 per person.
Registration: Contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904.209.0335. When setting up a reservation, include a phone number, email, date of the trip you would like to attend, residency status, and if you will be using a county kayak.

Sunset Dolphin Walk
When: Wednesday, July 18 & Saturday, July 21
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Beach Access Area, 2750 Anahma Drive, Vilano Beach
Details: Walk the beach looking for dolphins while enjoying a beautiful sunset. We’ve partnered with Marineland Dolphin Adventure for a free beach walk. Learn about dolphin anatomy and behavior as well as other marine species. Click to register for Sunset Dolphin Walk. This program is FREE. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Coastal Restoration Course
When: Monday, August 13 through Wednesday, August 15
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Where:
THE PLAYERS Community Center, 175 Landrum Lane, Ponte Vedra Beach
GTM Research Reserve, 505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach
GTM Research Reserve Marineland, 9741 Ocean Shore Boulevard, Palm Coast
Details: We’ve partnered with Duval County IFAS Extension to offer you the Florida Master Naturalist Program’s Coastal Restoration Course. This program is for adults of all knowledge levels, and affords them the opportunity to learn more about living shorelines. The course is comprised of classroom presentations, hands-on activities, and field trips and is taught by certified instructors Kelly Ussia and Carol Wyninger. For more information, registration, and payment, click here for Coastal Restoration Course. Contact Kelly Ussia with any questions at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Florida Master Naturalist Program: Freshwater Systems Module
When: Every Monday and Wednesday, September 17 through October 3
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Where: THE PLAYERS Community Center, 175 Landrum Lane, Ponte Vedra Beach
Details: We’ve partnered with Duval County IFAS Extension to offer you the Florida Master Naturalist Program’s Freshwater Systems Module. This program is for adults of all knowledge levels, and affords them the opportunity to learn more about Florida’s freshwater environment. The class is comprised of classroom presentations, videos, field trips, and practical interpretation and is taught by certified instructors Kelly Ussia and Carol Wyninger. For more information, registration, and payment, click here for Freshwater Systems Module. Contact Kelly Ussia with any questions at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.



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