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  

Fish Camp
New Summer Camp! St. Johns County Parks and Recreation is teaming up with Florida Wildlife Commission to offer a fresh water fish camp for middle school students (must have completed 6th grade to be eligible). Campers will learn safe boat handling skills, types of fresh water fish and their habitat, the proper tackle to use in fresh water, and how to properly clean fish.

Camp runs from July 24 -28, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Trout Creek, 6795 Collier Rd. off SR 13.  The program is limited to 20 campers and registration is first come first serve. Registration fee is $170 and includes one rod/reel, tackle box and tackle. For more details, contact Ayolane Halusky at 904.209.0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us. Fish Camp Registration Form

St. Johns County Exploration Camp
New Summer Camp! Join the County's Park Naturalists at Exploration Camp, where children will have a week-long opportunity to explore the natural world. Campers will attend field trips, expand their understanding of our local ecosystems, sustainability, and how to collect and analyze data like a scientist. Campers will study the amazing wildlife in St. Johns County and participate in hands-on activities.

Camp Dates
Camp is divided into two weeks based on age groups to ensure that the information taught is age appropriate. Children must have completed kindergarten to be eligible for this program.

  • July 24 - 28 for ages 5 - 8 (must have completed kindergarten)
  • July 31 - August 4 for ages 9 -12

Location & Registration
St. Johns County Exploration Camp will be at Ketterlinus Gym, 60 Orange St., in downtown St. Augustine from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Camp fee is $100 per camper and registration is first come first serve.  Contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us to register. Exploration Camp Registration Form

Wild Edibles and Backyard Medicinal Plants of Florida
When: Thursday, June 29
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Where: Alpine Groves Park, 2060 SR 13, St. Johns
Details: Walk with the St. Johns County Naturalist and discover the many editable and medicinal plants that could be right in your backyard. Learn how to identify these plants as well as learn their various edible and medicinal uses. Please note that you will not be allowed to eat or taste any plants while on this walk.

For More Information or to Register: Contact AyoLane Halusky at 904.209.0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us. For reservations please include a phone number, email address, and the number of children in your party.

FREE Kayak Trip
When: Friday, June 23, Saturday, June 24, Sunday, June 25
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Where: Alpine Groves Park, 2060 SR 13, St. Johns
Details: Participants will get to explore the east side of the St. Johns River while learning about local history, importance of the St. Johns River, and local flora and fauna. Spots fill fast so reserve your seat today!
For More Information or to Register: Please contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us. For reservations please include a phone number, email address, date of the trip you would like to attend, and if you would like to use a county kayak.

Survival and Primitive Living Demonstration
When: Tuesday, June 27 & Wednesday, June 28
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Where: Vaill Point Park, 630 Vaill Point Rd, St. Augustine
Details: Join the St. Johns County Naturalist and learn about survival skills the local native people used to navigate and prosper in Florida. Demonstrations will include tracking, fire making, and other primitive living skills that you can still use today.
For More Information: Please contact AyoLane Halusky at 904.209.0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us

Moonlight Kayak Trip
When: Friday July 7, Saturday July 8, & Sunday July 9
Time: 7:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Where: Trout Creek Park, 6795 Collier Road, St. Augustine
Details: Come explore Trout Creek with the St. Johns County Naturalists. This trip will allow participants to experience Trout Creek in a whole new light, the moonlight. During this trip participants will learn about the unique history of our local area as well as the creatures of the night
Cost: The fee for this guided trip is $20 per person for participants bringing their own kayak, and $40 per person for participants using a county kayak.
For More Information or to Register: Please Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or (904) 209-0335. 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.

Sunset Dolphin Walk
When: Monday July 10, Tuesday July 11, & Wednesday July 12
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Vilano Beach, 2750 Anahma Dr., Vilano
Details: St. Johns County Parks and Recreation is excited to announce that we have partnered with Marineland Dolphin Adventure to offer a brand new FREE beach walk! Staff will guide participants on a beach walk while looking for dolphins and enjoying the sunset over the city of St. Augustine. During the walk you will get to learn all about dolphin anatomy and behavior, as well as other marine species.
For More Information or to Register: 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 the number in your party.


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