Summer is just around the bend. Hike, canoe, kayak and learn about our fabulous local ecosystem during the month ahead.
National Trails Day
Saturday, June 1st is National Trails Day. Celebrate at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park at 10:00 a.m. with a ranger-guided hike and discussions of native wildlife. Call (386) 446-6780 for more information. You can also hike 7 miles of trails along the St. Johns River at the Bayard Conservation Area (John P. Hall Nature Preserve) from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. RSVP the outing leader, Bill Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (904) 880-7702.
Bring the family to this hands-on, fun and educational nature program. Get up close and personal with “Warm Fuzzies and Prehistoric Pals” at 11:00 a.m. on June 1 at Dutton Island Preserve in Atlantic Beach.
National Pollinator Day
On June 22, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., take the opportunity to learn about how critically important pollinators are to our very existence! Bees, hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators help produce 80 percent of our flowering plants and 30 percent of our food crops. The Guana Tolomato Matanzas Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) will host a fascinating day of pollinator education. Activities include a pollinator-friendly plant sale; local honey sale; presentations by a bee biologist and a master beekeeper; videos of native pollinator; and a tour of the native plant garden. For more information, call (904) 823-4500.
The GTM Research Reserve leads guided hikes on the first three Saturdays of every month from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. The first Saturday is a cultural and historical hike of the Guana peninsula. On the second Saturday, join a 1.5 mile nature hike of the reserve’s trails. And on the 3rd Saturday, enjoy a educational beach exploration for the entire family. For more information, call (904) 823-4500.
On June 8, from 8:00 a.m. to noon you can hike beautiful Hanna Park with the Sierra Club. RSVP the outing leader, Bill Armstrong at email@example.com or call (904) 880-7702.
Gopher Tortoise Talk
Join a Park Ranger at the Ribault Club on Fort George Island Cultural State Park on Saturday, June 8 at 2:00 p.m. to learn about gopher tortoises.
Bring the kids to the GTM Research Reserve on the 4th Saturday of the month from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. for a lesson in seining. Collect some of our ocean species to learn about the animals and their habitat. All gear is provided. Register here.
Free lectures about our coastal natural world are held at the GTM Research Reserve’s Marineland office on the third Tuesday of the month from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Register early as seating is limited.
Guided kayak eco-tours of Guana Lake and Guana River are available through Ripple Effects. Various types of tours are available, from family friendly events to romantic moonlight kayak tours. Call (904) 347-1565 for information and reservations.
Adventures in the Estuary
Register the kids for Adventures in the Estuary Summer Camp at the GTM Research Reserve. Children will learn about the habitats, animals and plant life of the estuary. In addition, they can enjoy games and crafts. The camp for kids ages 10-12 includes a kayak trip. June 10-14 and July 8-12 is for campers ages 7 – 10. June 24-28 and July 22-26 is for campers ages 10-12.
Exploration Florida 500
This yearlong exploration of Florida’s coastlines and waterways celebrates the 500 year anniversary of Ponce de Leon’s landing on Florida’s coast. Participants will paddle, dive, spearfish, sail and airboat their way through Florida’s waterways. The goal is to highlight the importance of stewardship efforts to preserve the marine ecosystem. Paddlers will be arriving from the Atlantic Ocean to the St. Johns River on July 4 from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. Get more information on their Facebook page.