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

Family Fishing
Wednesday, February 26 – Knot Tying
Where: Vaill Point Park, 630 Vaill Point Rd., St. Augustine
Details: Join us for a hands-on, family fishing series from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday in February. All children must be a minimum of 5 years old and be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the program. This program is FREE, but you must register on CivicRec to attend. Family Fishing Registration. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Estuaries
Tuesday, February 25 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Anastasia Island Library
Details: Estuaries are places where freshwater and saltwater meet, but they are so much more than that. Join Park Naturalist, Kelly Ussia, for an engaging talk about this ecologically and economically important ecosystem. These events are FREE and open to all ages. Seating is first-come, first-served. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

904 Naturalist Series – Exploring the Circles of Place
When: February 12, 15, 19, 20, and 22 and March 1 and 4
* Wednesday classes from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Field Trip TBA
Where: Wednesday classes held at Main Library, 1960 N. Ponce De Leon Blvd., St. Augustine
Details: In Exploring the Circles of Place, we will learn about an intimate connection within your local wilderness. This is the center core of the 904 Naturalist project. Be prepared to spend observation time in nature, learning the local systems and mapping out your area on so many levels. To connect to the natural world as the masters did, you must emerge yourself beyond the paved trail and find your own reflection in nature. This event is FREE, but you must register for the entire program to attend. Exploring the Circles of Place Registration. For more info, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

Basics in Nature Photography
Thursdays, February 27 and March 5, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Where: Alpine Groves Park, 2060 SR 13, St. Johns
Details: Do you have a nice camera and always leave it on auto? Do you wish you could capture the amazing beauty of the nature around you? Join local photographer Nicholle Goodnight for a hands-on class to sharpen your photography skills. Participants will need to bring their own camera equipment and be at least 12 years in age. This program is FREE. You must attend all three classes to participate. Basics in Nature Photography Registration. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Night Under the Stars
Date: Thursday, February 27 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Where: St. Johns County Fairgrounds, 5840 SR 17, Elkton
Details: We have partnered with Ancient City Astronomy Club (ACAC) for an evening that is out of this world. Bring your friends and family and learn all about the night sky including constellations, star names, and more! Telescopes and binoculars will be on-hand to view the moon, planets, and other celestial objects. This program is FREE, but you must register on CivicRec to attend. Night Under the Stars Registration. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Weed Wrangle
When: Saturday, February 29 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Where: Mary Street Beach Access Point, 5780 Gloria Ave., St. Augustine
Details: Join Parks Naturalist, Kelly Ussia and take part in a statewide volunteer effort to help rescue our public parks and green spaces from invasive species through hands-on removal of especially harmful trees, vines and flowering plants. This site will focus on hand pulling of the invasive Mother of Millions plants. All necessary supplies will be provided and we recommend you bring water and wear sunscreen, long pants. You must wear closed toed shoes. For more information or to find other Weed Wrangle sites in the region please visit the Florida Invasive Species Partnership page.

Wellness Walk: A Stroll for Well-being
When: Sunday, March 1 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Where: Arboretum Trail at the St Augustine AMP Parking lot, 1340C A1A S, St. Augustine
Details: Join St Johns County Naturalist AyoLane Halusky and learn about the environment and Forest Therapy skills. Walk with intention and reduce stress. For more info, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

Florida Master Naturalist – Coastal Restoration
Wednesday, March 4 through Friday, March 6, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: GTM Research Reserve & GTM R.R. Marineland
Details: We’ve partnered with GTM Research Reserve to offer a Florida Master Naturalist Program focused on Coastal Restoration. This program is for adults of all knowledge levels and is comprised of classroom presentations, hands-on activities, and field trips. Coastal Restoration Registration. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

904 Naturalist Series – Exploring the Life of Birds
When: March 11, 15, 22, 25, 28 and April 1
Wednesday classes from 3 –  6 p.m. and Field Trip TBA
Where: Wednesday classes at Main Library, 1960 N. Ponce De Leon Blvd., St. Augustine
Details: In Exploring the Life of Birds, we will learn how to connect with and the language of 6 native Florida birds. This event is FREE, but you must register for the entire program to attend. Exploring the Life of Birds Registration. For more info, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

Fort Matanzas Kayak Trips

  • Thursday March 12 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Friday March 13 from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Saturday March 14 from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Friday March 27 from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday March 28 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Sunday March 29 from 12 – 3 p.m.

Where: Fort Matanzas National Monument, 8635 A1A South, St. Augustine
Details: St. Johns County Parks and Recreation Department has partnered with the National Park Service to bring you an exciting kayak trip! During this trip you will get to view the fort from a whole new perspective and paddle through the marsh to experience Southeast Intracoastal Waterway Park. Seats are limited. Fort Matanzas Kayak Trip Registration. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Owl Prowl Canopy Shores Park

Where: 804 Christina Dr., St. Augustine
Details: Join us to learn these fascinating creatures of the night and explore the park at sunset in search of our resident owls. This program is FREE and open to all ages, but you must register on CivicRec to attend. For more info, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

Owl Prowl Vaill Point Park
When: Thursday, March 21 from 7:15 – 9:45 p.m.
Where: Vaill Point Park, 632 Vaill Point Rd. St. Augustine
Details: Join us to learn these fascinating creatures of the night and explore the park at sunset in search of our resident owls. This program is FREE and open to all ages, but you must register to attend. Owl Prowl Vaill Point Registration. For more info, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

Estuaries – Endangered Species

  • Tuesday, March 24 from 1 – 2 p.m. at Anastasia Island Library
  • Wednesday, March 25 from 3 – 4 p.m. at Ponte Vedra Library

Details: Florida is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, unfortunately some of these species are in decline and without intervention may go extinct. Join Parks Naturalist, Kelly Ussia, for an engaging and informative program focused on the listed species of Florida and what you can do to ensure their continued survival. These events are FREE. Seating is first-come, first-served. 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.