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

New! Free Intermediate Level Guided Kayak Trips: March 2, 3, 4, & 5
St. Johns County Parks and Recreation is happy to announce that we will be partnering with the Florida Park Service to bring you a new and exciting kayak trip! In March, we will launch from the Usina Boat Ramp, at 603 Euclid Ave., St. Augustine. The Usina Boat Ramp is a Florida Communities Trust Park, meaning we get to offer this great trip for FREE! During the trip we will paddle down the Tolotmato River and into the marsh to visit Fort Mose Historic State Park. Due to the nature of the currents in this area this is considered an intermediate level trip and is not for beginners. Trips are scheduled for Thursday, March 2 at 9 a.m., Friday March 3 at 10 a.m., Saturday March 4 at 11 a.m., and Sunday March 5 at 12 p.m. Seats are limited. To RSVP, or for additional information, please contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us. When setting up a reservation, please include a phone number, email, date of the trip you would like to attend, and if you will be using a county kayak. Please note that if you are brining your own kayak it must be at least 12 ft. long.

Owl Prowl: March 13 & 14
Join the St. Johns County Naturalist for an exciting new guided walk on Monday March 13 or Tuesday March 14 at Canopy Shores Park, 804 Christina Drive St. Augustine. The walk will begin at 7:30 p.m. Participants will get to learn about the creatures of the night, including the resident owls. Those who wish to attend should dress for the weather and bring a flashlight, bug spray, and water. For more information or to register for the program please contact AyoLane Halusky at 904-209-0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us. When setting up a reservation, please include a phone number, e-mail address, and indicate the number in your party.    

Children's Shorebird Nesting Program: March 14
Looking for a fun educational opportunity during spring break? St. Johns County has partnered with St. Johns County Audubon to present our very first shorebird nesting program. This program is for children third grade and up. Participants will get the opportunity to learn about the unique birds that nest along our beaches. In addition, children will get the opportunity to participate in activities that mirror what the real bird biologists do to protect our local nesting sites. The program is FREE and will take place on Tuesday March 14 at 10 a.m. at Nease Beachfront Park, located at 3171 Coastal Highway, Vilano. For more information or to register for the program please contact Kelly Ussia at 904-209-0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us. When setting up a reservation please include a phone number, email address, and indicate the number of children in your party.    

How To Read Nature's News, the Story is in the Tracks: March 19
Join St. Johns County Naturalist, AyoLane Halusky, to learn the ABCs of tracking on Sunday March 19 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Gourd Island Conservation Area, 10182 Russell Sampson Rd, St. Johns. The program will provide the participants with a crash course in animal tracking, including gate patterns, pressure points, and track identification. This program will last 2.5 to 3 hours. For more information or to register for the program please contact AyoLane Halusky at 904-209-0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us. When setting up a reservation please include a phone number, email address, and indicate the number in your party.    

ACA Kayak Quickstart Course: March 25
The St. Johns County Parks and Recreation Department is hosting an ACA Kayak Quickstart Course on March 25 at Trout Creek Park, 6795 Collier Road, St. Augustine, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. The 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 participant. Spots are limited. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us. When setting up a reservation please include a phone number, email, and if you will be using a county kayak.

Florida Master Naturalist Program: Upland Systems Module St. Johns County Parks and Recreation and the Duval County IFAS Extension have partnered to offer you the Florida Master Naturalist Program's Upland Systems Module. The classes will be offered February 13, 15, 22nd, 27, and March 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Players Community Senior Center, 175 Landrum Lane, Ponte Vedra. This program is for adults of all knowledge levels and affords them the opportunity to learn more about Florida's uplands environment. To get additional information regarding cost, content, and scheduling or to register for the class please visit the Florida Master Naturalist Program website. For further questions, 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