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

Sharks: Misunderstood Creatures of the Sea
When: Wednesday, July 17
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Ponte Vedra Library, 101 Library Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach
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. This program is FREE and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Trout Creek Sunset Kayak Trips
When:

  • Thursday, July 18
  • Friday, July 19
  • Saturday, July 20
  • Sunday, July 21

Time: 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Where: Trout Creek Park, 6795 Collier Road, St. Augustine
Details: Come explore Palmo Cove with St. Johns County Naturalists. Participants will paddle the creek out to the St. Johns River and learn about the unique history and diverse wildlife of the area. At the end of the tour, we will get to experience a beautiful sunset on the water.
Fees:

  • 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

To register, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335. 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 length minimum for participants bringing their own boat.

Sharks: Misunderstood Creatures of the Sea
When: Tuesday, July 23
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 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. This program is FREE and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Kids Nature Journaling
When: Wednesday, July 24
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Anastasia Island Library, 124 Sea Grove Main St., St. Augustine
Details: Join Park Naturalist Kelly Ussia for an interactive class about nature journaling. Can’t draw? No problem! There are many different ways you can create a journal to log your experiences in nature. Kids Nature Journaling Details. This program is FREE and no registration is required. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Night Under The Stars
When: Thursday, August 1 and Friday, August 2
Time: 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Where: St. Johns County Fairgrounds, 5840 S.R. 207, Elkton
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. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335. Night Under the Stars Registration

Living With Snakes & Gators
When: Thursday, August 15
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Anastasia Island Library, 124 Sea Grove Main St., 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 area as well as how to live with the amazing crocodillian neighbors. This program is open to all ages and is FREE. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Not In Your Backyard
When: Tuesday, August 20
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: St. Johns Golf Club, 4900 Cypress Lakes Blvd., Elkton
Details: Ever wonder how to identify and remove the plants that are “bad” for your yard and the environment? Join Park Naturalist Kelly Ussia and learn about invasive plant species within Northeast Florida. This program is FREE, but you must RSVP to attend. For more info and to register, contact Kara Pound at kpound@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0383.

Turtles of Florida
When: Wednesday, August 21
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Ponte Vedra Library, 101 Library Blvd., Ponte Vedra
Details: Join Park Naturalist Kelly Ussia for Turtles of Florida, 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. No reservations required. Seating is first-come, first-served. For more info, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335.

Palmo Sunset Kayak Trips
When: Thursday, August 22 through Saturday, August 24
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Where: Palmo Boat Ramp, 8600 Palmo Fish Camp Road, St. Augustine
Details: Come explore Palmo Cove with St. Johns County Naturalists. Participants will paddle the creek out to the St. Johns River and learn about the unique history and diverse wildlife of the area. At the end of the tour, we will get to experience a beautiful sunset on the water.

Fees:

  • 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

To register, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904-209-0335. 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 length minimum for participants bringing their own boat.

Not In Your Backyard
When: Friday, August 23
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Where: GTM Research Reserve, 505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach
Details: Ever wonder how to identify and remove the plants that are “bad” for your yard and the environment? Join Park Naturalist Kelly Ussia and learn about invasive plant species within Northeast Florida. Not In Your Backyard Details. This program is FREE, but you must RSVP to attend. For more info and to register, 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.