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

Yoga for Kids at the Beach
When: Friday, September 21 and Friday, October 19
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.usKids Beach Yoga Registration 9/21 | Kids Beach Yoga Registration 10/19

Turtles of Florida
When: Tuesday, September 18
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Where: St. Johns County Library Southeast Branch, 6670 US 1 South, St. Augustine
Details: Join Park Naturalist Kelly Ussia for a family-friendly presentation about the different turtles found throughout the State of Florida. Ever wonder about the turtles in the pond behind your house? Or the tortoise you saw walking around the park? Now is your chance to learn about these unique reptiles that live in many different habitats. This program is FREE. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Living with Snakes & Gators
When: Friday, September 21
Time: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Where: St. Johns County Main Library, 6670 US 1 South, St. Augustine
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 these amazing neighbors. This program is FREE. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Trout Creek Family Fishing Tournament
When: Saturday, September 29
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Trout Creek Park, 6795 Collier Road, St. Augustine
Details: Join us for a family fishing tournament where each boat must have at least one adult and one young angler. There will be three fishing categories including slam, total bag, and biggest fish. Rule for the tournament will be announced at 8 am and all fish must be weighed by 2pm. The tournament fee is $10 per angler with all anglers in each boat to be registered. For more information or to register, contact Josh Bratovich at jjbratovich@sjcfl.us or 904.209.0320.

Florida Fishing: Know Before You Go
When:

  • Tuesday, September 25 – Rules, Regulations, Fish IDs
  • Tuesday, October 23 – Fishing Equipment
  • Tuesday, October 30 – Baits & Tackle

Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: St. Johns County Library Anastasia Island Branch, 124 Sea Grove Main Street, St. Augustine
Details: Thinking about trying your luck in our local waters? Learn all about Florida fishing during three events brought to you free from a partnership between Parks and Recreation and the Library. This program is FREE and open to all ages. For more information or to register, contact Will Pate at 904.209.3730 or mpate@sjcfl.us or Donna Frantz at 904.209.0326 or dfrantz@sjcfl.us.

Jaws of the Sea
When:

  • Tuesday, October 2
  • Thursday, October 4
  • Tuesday, October 16
  • Tuesday, October 30

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Where: Nease Beachfront Park, 3171 Coastal Highway, Vilano Beach
Details: Join us along with partners Marineland Dolphin Adventure for an interactive guided beach walk all about sharks. During the walk, you will learn about shark biology, common sharks of our area, local shark research, as well as human and shark encounters. Participants will even get a chance to look for their own shark’s teeth to take home. Jaws of the Sea Registration. This program is FREE. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Everyone Can Conserve: Reptiles
When: Thursday, October 4
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Solomon Calhoun Center, 1300 Duval Street, St. Augustine
Details: We’ve partnered with GTM Research Reserve for a family-friendly conversation night about the unique reptiles that call Florida home. This is an educational program that will feature live animals. Snacks and refreshments will also be provided. Everyone Can Conserve Registration. This program is FREE. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Fort Matanzas Kayak Trips
When:

  • Thursday, October 11 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Friday, October 12 at 11:00 a.m.
  • Saturday, October 13 at 11:30 a.m.
  • Sunday, October 14 at 12:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 25 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Friday, October 26 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, October 27 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Sunday, October 28 at 11:00 a.m.

Where: Fort Matanzas National Monument, 8653 A1A South, St. Augustine
Details: We partnered with the National Park Service to bring you exciting kayak trips along the Intracoastal Waterway. During this trip, you’ll get to view Fort Matanzas from a whole new perspective and paddle through the marsh to experience Southeast Intracoastal Waterway Park. Seats are limited. Fort Matanzas Kayak Trips Registration. This program is FREE. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Owl Prowls

Details: Learn about the creatures of the night as you explore our county parks at sunset in search of the resident owls. Bring your questions and share your stories about the nighttime forest activities. This program is FREE. For more information, contact AyoLane Halusky at 904.209.0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us.

Saltwater Fishing 101

  • Wednesday, October 17 – Casting
  • Wednesday, October 24 – How to Assemble a Fishing Rig
  • Wednesday, October 31 – How to Pick a Good Fishing Spot
  • Wednesday, November 7 – Traps and Nets
  • Wednesday, November 14 – Cooking Your Catch

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Where: Usina Boat Ramp, 603 Euclid Avenue, St. Augustine
Details: Learn the ins and outs of saltwater fishing in Florida. Ever wonder about how to assemble a fishing rig, how to pick a good fishing spot, or how to cook your catch? This class will cover all this and more. Sign up for one class or attend the whole series of Saltwater Fishing 101. Bring your own gear and learn while you fish! This program is FREE. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us. *** Please note that all participants must have a Saltwater Shoreline License, this is a free license from FWC.

Night Under The Stars
When: Thursday, October 18
Time: 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Where: Frank B. Butler Park East, 5860 A1A South, St. Augustine
Details: We have partnered with Ancient City Astronomy Club (ACAC) for an educational evening that is out of this world! ACAC will lead an Astronomy 101 class that’s all about the night sky. Bring your friends and family to learn about the constellations, star names, and more. Telescopes and binoculars will be on-hand to view the moon, planets, and other objects. This program is FREE. Space is limited. Registration is required. Night Under the Stars Registration. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Owl & Sunset Symphony
When: Friday, October 19
Time: 6:45 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
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 information, contact AyoLane Halusky at 904.209.0348 or ahalusky@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.