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

904 Naturalist Series: Life of Mammals
When: January 16, 18, 19, 23, 25, and 30
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Main Library Branch and various locations around St. Johns County
Details: Join Park Naturalist AyoLane Halusky to learn about the diverse environment that surrounds us and become a 904 Naturalist. There will be four programs with each one comprised of six classes held over three weeks. The first program is focused on the Life of Mammals including journal work, habitat study, and field trips to the Fairgrounds and Gourd Island Park. Participants must be able to attend all six classes. This program is FREE and open to adults ages 18 and up. For more information or to register, contact AyoLane Halusky at 904-209-0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us.

Sharks! Misunderstood Creatures of the Sea
When: Tuesday, January 22
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Anastasia Island Library, 124 Sea Grove Main St., St. Augustine
Details: Sharks are one of the most feared creatures of the sea, but what do you really know about them? Come learn about the shark species that frequent our waters, the unique adaptations these animals have, and the real facts about shark attacks. Seating for this event is first-come, first-served. All ages are welcome. This program is FREE. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904-209-0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Saltwater Fishing 101
When:

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Where: Usina Boat Ramp, 603 Euclid Ave., St. Augustine
Details: Learn the ins and outs of saltwater fishing in Florida. Ever wonder what to put in your tackle box, how to measure your catch, or how to clean what you've caught? Saltwater Fishing 101 Details. Please note that all participants must have a Saltwater Shoreline License. This is a free license from FWC. You must RSVP on Eventbrite to attend. This program is FREE. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Deep Creek Kayak Trips
When:

  • Thursday, January 31
  • Friday, February 1
  • Saturday, February 2
  • Sunday, February 3

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Where: Deep Creek Soft Launch, 7975 SR 207, Hastings
Fees:

  • SJC Resident providing own boat: $20 per person
  • Non-SJC Resident providing own boat: $30 per person
  • SJC Resident using county boat: $40 per person
  • Non-SJC Resident using county boat: $50 per person

Details: Join our Park Naturalists for a beautiful guided trip of Deep Creek. Participants will enjoy a scenic kayak trip surrounded by conservation land. For more info and to register, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335. When setting a reservation, please supply your phone number, email address, date of the trip you would like to attend, residency status, and if you will be using a county boat.

Everyone Can Conserve: Living Sustainably
When: Thursday, February 7
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Solomon Calhoun Center, 1300 Duval St., St. Augustine
Details: We’ve partnered with GTM Research Reserve for a family-friendly conservation night. Learn about a more sustainable lifestyle during this educational program featuring a presentation, hands-on activities, and light snacks and refreshments. Everyone Can Conserve Registration. This program is FREE. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Native Landscaping Lecture Series
When: Friday, February 8
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Where: THE PLAYERS Community Center, 175 Landrum Lane, Ponte Vedra Beach
Details: We’ve partnered with UF/IFAS for a lecture on Florida-Friendly Landscaping featuring low-maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices. Native Landscaping Details and Registration. This program is FREE. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Kayak Fishing
When: Wednesday, February 13
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Where: Deep Creek Soft Launch, 7975 SR 207, Hastings
Details: Join Park Naturalist AyoLane Halusky for a morning of freshwater fishing while you explore Deep Creek and spend time along the river. Kayak Fishing Fee and Registration Details. For more info and to register, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

Owl Prowls
When:

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Details: Join Park Naturalist AyoLane Halusky and learn about the creatures of the night. Explore Vaill Point Park at sunset in search of our resident owls. Bring your questions and share your stories about the nighttime forest activities. This program is FREE. You must RSVP on Eventbrite to participate. For more info, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

Owl + Sunset Symphony
When: Friday, February 15
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Beluthahatchee Park, 1501 SR 13, Fruit Cove
Details: Learn about owls and enjoy nature's symphony during the transition from light to dark. This program will feature a discussion about owls and nighttime creatures and then participants will go outside on the deck and watch birds fly to roost for the evening as the sun starts to go down. This program is FREE. You must RSVP on Eventbrite to attend. Owl + Sunset Symphony Registration. For more info, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

904 Naturalist Series – Circles of Place
When: February 20, 22, 23, 27 and March 1, 6
Time: 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Where: Main Library Branch and various locations around St. Johns County
Details: Join Park Naturalist AyoLane Halusky to learn about the diverse environment that surrounds us and become a 904 Naturalist. There will be four programs with each one comprised of six classes held over three weeks. The second program is focused on the Circles of Place. Use your observation skills, artistic senses, and patience to create a deeper connection with the habitats around you. Participants must be able to attend all six classes. This program is FREE and open to adults ages 18 and up. Circles of Place Registration. For more info, contact AyoLane Halusky at ahalusky@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0348.

Not in Your Backyard
When: Friday, February 22
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Where: Anastasia Island Library, 124 Sea Grove Main St., St. Augustine
Details: We've partnered with GTM Research Reserve for a lecture about invasive plant species in Northeast Florida. Not In Your Backyard Details. Seating for this event is first-come, first-served. This program is FREE. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Dune Ecology Lecture
When: Tuesday, February 26
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Anastasia Island Library, 124 Sea Grove Main St., St. Augustine
Details: Our beaches are dynamic and unique ecosystems. Learn what makes our dunes important habitats and why we should protect them. Join Park Naturalist Kelly Ussia for an engaging talk about one of our most precious natural resources. Seating for this event is first-come, first-served. This program is FREE. Dune Ecology Details. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Annual River Blessing – We have partnered with the Stetson Kennedy Foundation for the Annual River Blessing at Alpine Groves Park, 2060 SR 13 in Fruit Cove, on Saturday, January 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Gather at the riverfront next to the historic Bennett House for a selection of speakers followed by a silent, non-denominational ceremony of passing the bowl of water guided by a heartbeat drum by First Nations. This program is FREE. River Blessing Details. 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.