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 

HALLOWES COVE HISTORICAL GUIDED KAYAK TOUR
When: Friday, April 27 at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, April 28 at 11:00 a.m., Sunday April 29 at 12:00 p.m.
Where: Riverfront Park, 4065 State Road 13, St. Johns
Details: We’ve partnered with the St. Johns County Cultural Resource Coordinator for a unique tour of the historic St. Johns River. The fee for this guided trip is $20 per person for participants bringing their own kayaks, which must be a minimum of 12ft long, and $40 per person for participants using a county kayak. Spots are limited. For more information, please contact Kelly Ussia at (904) 209-0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us. When setting up a reservation, include a phone number, email, date of the trip you would like to attend, and if you would like to use a county kayak.

Fort Mose Kayak Trip – In partnership with the State Park Service, we’re hosting a guided kayak trip of the Tolomato River and Robinson Creek. The trip will leave from Usina Boat Ramp, 603 Euclid Avenue, St. Augustine, and conclude at Fort Mose State Park where participants will learn about the history of the fort and tour the museum. Spots are limited. We will be hosting trips on the following dates:

  • Thursday, May 3 at 11:30 am
  • Friday, May 4 at 12 pm
  • Saturday, May 5 at 1 pm
  • Sunday, May 6 at 1:30 pm
  • Thursday, May 17 at 11 am
  • Friday, May 18 at 11:30 am
  • Saturday, May 19 at 12 pm
  • Sunday, May 20 at 1:30pm

Click to register for Fort Mose Kayak Trip. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904-209-0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

WILD EDIBLES AND BACKYARD MEDICINAL PLANTS
When: Thursday, May 10
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, AyoLane Halusky, 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.  Click to register for Wild Edibles on May 10. For more information, please contact AyoLane Halusky at (904) 209-0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us.

Florida-Friendly Landscaping: Attract Wildlife – We’ve partnered with the St. Johns County Agricultural Center 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. This program will focus on how to attract pollinators and other wildlife to your landscape. Join us on Friday, May 11 from 10 am to 11 am at The Players Community Center, 175 Landrum Lane, Ponte Vedra. Click to register for Attract Wildlife. This program is FREE. For more information, contact Kelly Ussia at 904-209-0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Owl & Sunset Symphony – In partnership with the Stetson Kennedy Foundation, we’re hosting a sunset owl talk at Beluthahatchee Park, 1523 State Road 13, Fruit Cove on Friday, May 11 from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Enjoy 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. Participants are asked to bring their own lawn chair. Click to register for Owl and Sunset Symphony. This program is FREE. For more information, contact AyoLane Halusky at 904-209-0348 or ahalusky@sjcfl.us.

SJC Exploration Summer Camp – Join our Park Naturalists for a weeklong Exploration Camp where children will get the opportunity to explore the natural world around us. Campers will have an exciting week chock-full of field trips while expanding their understanding of our local ecosystems, sustainability, and how to collect and analyze data like a scientist. There will be two weeklong sessions: July 23-27 for ages 5-8 (*completed kindergarten) and July 30-August 3 for ages 9-12 from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at Ketterlinus Gym, 60 Orange Street, St. Augustine. Cost is $100 for the week. For more information or to register, contact Kelly Ussia at 904-209-0335 or kussia@sjcfl.us.

Boating & Fishing CampPROGRAM FULL – We are teaming up with Florida Wildlife Commission to offer a freshwater Boating & Fishing Camp for middle school students. Campers will learn boat safety skills as well as about freshwater fish and their habitat, the proper tackle to use in freshwater, and how to properly clean fish. Camp will be held from Monday, July 23 through Friday, July 27 from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at Trout Creek Community Center, 6795 Collier Rd. off of SR-13. Campers must have completed 6th grade to be eligible for this camp. The program is limited to 20 campers and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is $170 and includes one rod and reel, tackle box, and tackle. Register for Boating & Fishing Camp online. For more details, 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