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 

January

Walk Through Time

When: Thursday, January 25
Where: Frank B. Butler Park East, 5860 A1A South, St. Augustine 32080
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Details: St. Johns County Parks and Recreation has partnered with the county Cultural Resource Coordinator to offer a new exciting program on the history of Butler Beach. Take a walk back in time and learn about the important cultural and ecological history of this unique area.
More Information & Registration: Please register here, or for more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904-209-0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

River Blessing

When: Saturday, January 27
Where: Alpine Groves Park, 2060 State Road 13, St. Johns
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Details: The River Blessing is spiritual but non-religious and is inspired by first nation’s teachings. We will have The Matanzas and St. Johns River Keepers present to speak about the river and offer inspirational words. Drums are welcome for a simple heart beat during the blessing.
For More Information: Please contact AyoLane Halusky at 904-209-0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us.

Beluthahatchee Open House

When: Saturday, January 27
Where: Beluthahatchee Park, 1523 State Road 13, St. Johns
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Details: Drop in for a tour of the historic Beluthahatchee Park. This site has the distinct honor of being the only site that is a National Literary Landmark that honors two writers, Stetson Kennedy and Woody Guthrie. Learn about the friendship shared between these two amazing men and tour Stetson Kennedy's home.
For More Information: Please contact AyoLane Halusky at 904-209-0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us.

February

Owl Prowl

When & Where:

  • Thursday, February 1 at 5:30 p.m.
    Vaill Point Park, 630 Vaill Point Rd., St. Augustine
  • Friday, February 9 at 6:00 p.m.
    Canopy Shores, 800 Christina Dr., St. Augustine
  • Thursday, February 15 at 6:00 p.m.
    Alpine Groves Park, 2060 SR 13, St. Johns

Details: Participate in a unique opportunity to explore a county park after dark with our County Naturalist. Learn about the creatures of the night, including the resident owls. today for this FREE guided walk.
Registration and More Information: Register here. For more information, please contact AyoLane Halusky at 904.209.0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us.

Children's Shorebird Nesting

When: Saturday, February 3
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Where: Nease Beachfront Park, 3171 Coastal Highway, Vilano
Details: St. Johns County Parks and Recreation has partnered with the St. Johns County Audubon to offer a FREE Children's Shorebird Nesting Program. This program is for children third grade and up. Participants will learn about the unique birds that nest along our beaches. In addition, children will participate in activities that mirror what the real bird biologists do to protect our local nesting sites.
Registration and More Information: Register here. For more information, please contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Everyone Can Conserve: Bird is the Word

When: Wednesday, February 7
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Players Community Center, 175 Landrum Lane, Ponte Vedra
Details: Join GTM Research Reserve and St. Johns County for a FREE family conservation night. People of all ages are welcome to learn about the incredible birds of our area. Participants will also have the opportunity to make bird houses to take home. Dinner will be provided for all who make reservations.
Registration and More Information:  Register here. For more information, please contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Introduction to Florida-Friendly Landscaping™

When: Friday, February 9
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Where: The Players Community Center, 175 Landrum Lane, Ponte Vedra
Details: St. Johns County Parks and Recreation has partnered with UF/IFAS Extension St. Johns County for a lecture on Florida-Friendly Landscaping. Florida-Friendly Landscaping (FFL) means using low-maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices. Learn how you can have a beautiful landscape that could save you time, energy and money while protecting our future. This program will provide an overview of the 9 Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles.
Registration and More Information: Register here. For more information, please contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Owl and Sunset Symphony

When: Friday, February 23
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Where: Beluthahatchee Park, 1523 State Road 13, St. Johns
Details: St. Johns County Parks and Recreation has partnered with the Stetson Kennedy Foundation for a sunset owl talk. Enjoy the sunset at Beluthahatchee while learning about its unique history as well as nature's evening symphony. If you're lucky, the local owls will join in the symphony. Participants are asked to bring their own lawn chair.
Registration and More Information: To register, please Register here. For more information, please contact AyoLane Halusky at 904.209.0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us.

Deep Creek Kayak Trip

When:

  • Thursday, February 8 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Saturday, February 10 at 11:00 a.m.
  • Sunday, February 11 at 11:30 a.m.

Where: Deep Creek Soft Launch, 7975 State Rd 207, Hastings
Details: Join St. Johns County Parks and Recreation for a beautiful guided trip of Deep Creek. Spots are limited.
Cost: The fee for this guided trip is $20 per person for participants bringing their own kayaks and $40 per person for participants using a county kayak.
Registration and More Information: Please contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us. When setting up a reservation please include your phone number, email address, date of the trip you would like to attend, and if you would like to use a county kayak.

Trout Creek Waterway Cleanup

When: Friday, February 16
Where: Trout Creek, 6795 Collier Road, Orangedale
Time: 10:00 a.m.  - 1:00 p.m.
Details: St. Johns County Parks and Recreation and Solid Waste have partnered to clean Trout Creek. Anyone interested in joining the cleanup effort may bring their own kayak or use a county kayak.
Registration and More Information:  Register here. For more information, please contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Fitness in the Park

When: Wednesdays, February 21 through March 28
Where: Canopy Shores Park, 800 Christina Dr., St. Augustine
Time: 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Details: St. Johns County Parks and Recreation has teamed up with the University of St. Augustine to provide adult fitness in the park. This is a six week program that is designed for individuals ages 60 and up. The first session, 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., is geared towards seniors with diabetes or that are pre-diabetic. The second session, 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., session is for all seniors looking to improve their overall physical health.
Registration and More Information: Register here. For more information, please contact AyoLane Halusky at 904.209.0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us.

Historical Switzerland Dedication Day

When: Saturday, February 24
Where: Alpine Groves Park, 2060 SR 13, St. Johns
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Details: St. Johns County and the Stetson Kennedy Foundation have partnered for a Historical Landmark dedication recognizing the Bennett Farmhouse, Hartley Store, and Beluthahatchee. At 10 a.m., attendees will gather at the Bennett House located by the St. Johns River at Alpine Groves Park for the dedication of all three historic properties. Attendees are encouraged to visit the Hartley Store and Beluthahatchee at the conclusion of dedication, both sites will be open to the public until 1 p.m.
Registration and More Information: Register here for the dedication ceremony. For more information, please 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