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

Pollinators
When: Wednesday, September 11 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Ponte Vedra Library, 101 Library Blvd., Ponte Vedra
Details: Pollinators play a vital role in our ecosystem, but did you know that bees are not the only pollinators out there? Learn why your butterfly garden should really be called a pollinator garden. Pollinators details. 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.

Moses Creek Kayak Trips

When:

  • Thursday, September 12 from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • Friday, September 13 from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, September 14 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 15 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Where: Matanzas River Access Point (east side of 206 Bridge), near 315 Coastal Drive, St. Augustine
Details: We've partnered with the Matanzas Riverkeeper for a guided trip of the Matanzas River and Moses Creek. Participants will learn about the history of the area, ecology of the local ecosystems, and what you can do to help keep this area pristine.
The cost of this program is as follows:

  • SJC Resident Providing Own Boat: $20 per person
  • Non SJC Resident Providing Own Boat: $30 per person
  • SJC Resident Using a County Boat: $40 per person
  • Non SJC Resident Using a County Boat: $50 per person

Registration: Contact Kelly Ussia at 904-209-0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us. 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. There is a 12-foot boat minimum for those bringing their own boats.

Cycles of Nature
When:

  • Friday, September 20 from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
  • Tuesday, October 1 from 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
  • Friday, October 4 from 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Where: Butler Park East, 5860 A1A South, St. Augustine
Details: We have partnered with Marineland for a beautiful and educational sunrise walk on the beach. Just like the sun rises and sets every day, there are lots of things in nature that occur on a cyclical basis. This walk will focus on how nature tends to repeat itself and how humans can help protect these delicate cycles. This program is FREE and open to all ages, but registration is required. Cycles of Nature Registration. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-033.

ACA Quickstart Kayak Course
When: Saturday, September 21 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Where: Trout Creek Park, 6795 Collier Rd., St. Augustine
Details: This course will focus on the fundamentals of kayaking including kayak designs, trip planning, and water safety. In addition, participants will get the opportunity to learn and practice basic paddle strokes and rescue techniques. The course will be led by two Level 2 Certified ACA instructors. The program is $80 per person. ACA Quickstart Kayak Course Details. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335. When setting up a reservation, include a phone number, email, and if you will be using a county kayak.

Vilano Beach Cleanup
When: Friday, October 11 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Vilano Beach Beach Access, 2750 Anahma Dr., Vilano
Details: Join St. Johns County Parks Naturalist Kelly Ussia in being good stewards of our beaches and participate in a cleanup at Vilano Beach. All necessary supplies will be provided. Just bring water and wear sunscreen and clothes appropriate for being on the beach. This event is FREE and pre-registration is not required. Vilano Beach Cleanup Details. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us.

Bats! An Educational Program
• Wednesday, October 16 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Ponte Vedra Library
• Wednesday, October 30 from 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Anastasia Library
Details: Florida is home to 13 species of bats. Bats are unique winged mammals that play an important role in our ecosystem. Join St. Johns County Naturalist Kelly Ussia for an engaging and educational hour devoted to these amazing creatures. This event is FREE and pre-registration is not required. Bats! Details for Ponte Vedra Library. Bats! Details for Anastasia Library. 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.