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 

Fishing Clinic 101
When: Wednesdays, August 21, 28, and September 4
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Where: Trout Creek Marina, 6550 SR 13, St. Augustine - UPDATED LOCATION
Details: We are offering a series of five free clinics exploring the basics of fishing in Florida. Fishing 101 covers everything from fishing regulations, what bait to use, different nets, fish identification, fish cleaning, and how to tie a knot. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, and a water bottle, as well as a fishing rod and reel with fishing line. For more information or to register, contact Josh Bratovich at jjbratovich@sjcfl.us or 904.209.0320.

Beach Cleanup at Vilano Beach
When: Wednesday, September 5
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Where: Beach Access Area, 2750 Anahma Drive, Vilano Beach
Details: Join Park Naturalist Kelly Ussia in being good stewards of our beaches and participate in a beach cleanup at Vilano Beach. All necessary supplies will be provided. Plan accordingly for water, weather, sun, and bugs. This program is FREE. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Yoga for Kids at the Beach
When: Friday, August 17 and Friday, September 21
Time: 4:00 – 4:45 p.m.
Where: Frank B. Butler Park East, 5860 A1A South, St. Augustine 32080
Details: Learn to relax your mind and body with some simple, kid-friendly stretches, exercises and activities. Please wear loose clothing and bring your own towel or mat. This program is FREE and open to kids ages 5 to 12. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.  August 17 Yoga for Kids Registration & September 21 Yoga for Kids Registration

ACA Quickstart Kayak Course
When: Saturday, August 18
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Where: Trout Creek Park, 6795 Collier Road, St. Augustine
Details: This course will focus on the fundamentals of kayaking including kayak designs, trip planning, water safety, basic paddle strokes, and rescue techniques taught by two Level 2 Certified ACA instructors. Cost is $80 per person. Registration: Please contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904.209.0335. To set up a reservation, include a phone number, email, and if you will be using a county kayak.

Moonlight Kayak Trip
When: Thursday, August 23, Friday, August 24, Saturday, August 25, Sunday, August 26
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Where: Trout Creek Park, 6795 Collier Road, St. Augustine
Details: Come explore Trout Creek with our Park Naturalists 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: 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: Please contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904.209.0335. To set 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.

Night Under the Stars
When: Thursday, September 6
Time: 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Where: Frank B. Butler Park East, 5860 A1A South, St. Augustine
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. Register for Night Under the Stars. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at kussia@sjcfl.us or 904.209.0335.

Nocatee Kayak Trip
When:

  • Saturday, September 8 from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • Sunday, September 9 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 11 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Where: Palm Valley Boat Ramp, 383 South Roscoe Boulevard, St. Augustine
Details: Join us for a guided trip of the Intracoastal Waterway. Participants will learn about the complex salt marsh habitat and the plants and animals that call the marsh home.
Cost:

  • 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: Please 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.

Owl Prowl at Vaill Point
When: Thursday, September 13
Time: 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Where: Vaill Point Park, 630 Vaill Point Road, St. Augustine
Details: Learn about the creatures of the night as you explore Vaill Point at sunset in search of the resident owls. Bring your questions and share your stories about the nighttime forest activities. Register for Owl Prowl. This program is FREE. For more information, contact AyoLane Halusky at 904.209.0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us

Owl & Sunset Symphony
When: Friday, September 14
Time: 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Where: Beluthahatchee Park, 1501 SR 13, Fruit Cove
Details: Learn about owls and enjoy nature’s symphony as you experience the transition from light to dark. Water birds and owls often come out to join the evening symphony. A representative from The Stetson Kennedy Foundation will share some local history. Register for Owl & Sunset Symphony. This program is FREE. For more information, contact AyoLane Halusky at 904.209.0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us.

Owl Prowl at Alpine Groves
When: Saturday, September 15
Time: 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Where: Alpine Groves Park, 2060 FL-13, Switzerland
Details: Learn about the creatures of the night as you explore Alpine Groves at sunset in search of the resident owls. Bring your questions and share your stories about the nighttime forest activities. Register for Owl Prowl. This program is FREE. For more information, contact AyoLane Halusky at 904.209.0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us.

Owl Prowl at Canopy Shores
When: Sunday, September 16
Time: 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Where: Canopy Shores Park, 804 Christina Drive, St. Augustine
Details: Learn about the creatures of the night as you explore Canopy Shores at sunset in search of the resident owls. Bring your questions and share your stories about the nighttime forest activities. Register for Owl Prowl. This program is FREE. For more information, contact AyoLane Halusky at 904.209.0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us.

Turtles of Florida
When: Tuesday, September 18
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Where: St. Johns County Library Southeast Branch, 6670 US 1 South, St. Augustine
Details: Join Park Naturalist Kelly Ussia for 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. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Living with Snakes & Gators
When: Friday, September 21
Time: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Where: St. Johns County Library Southeast Branch, 6670 US 1 South, 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 areas as well as how to live with these amazing neighbors. This program is FREE. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904.209.0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Trout Creek Family Fishing Tournament
When: Saturday, September 29
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Trout Creek Park, 6795 Collier Road, St. Augustine
Details: Join us for a family fishing tournament where each boat must have at least one adult and one young angler. There will be three fishing categories including slam, total bag, and biggest fish. Rule for the tournament will be announced at 8 am and all fish must be weighed by 2pm. The tournament fee is $10 per angler with all anglers in each boat to be registered. For more information or to register, contact Josh Bratovich at jjbratovich@sjcfl.us or 904.209.0320.



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.