July is here already! Celebrate our independence all month long by enjoying our natural First Coast environment.
On Saturday, July 6 head to the Riverside Arts Market to celebrate the St. Johns River at the River Ruckus from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Make a splash at the River Ruckus, a family-friendly event that will include the First Coast Outfitters flotilla, free boat tours, live music and a kids’ craft station. In addition, you can hear about Justin Riney’s experience as part of the Expedition Florida 500. He’ll be describing his journey paddling 500 miles around Florida’s coastal and inland waters in 365 days during a press event.
Adventures in the Estuary
Only 15 spots remain for the Adventures in the Estuary Summer Camp for science-minded kids ages 10 through 12. Held at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve), the camp is an excellent way for kids to learn about the importance of estuaries. They’ll explore the reserve while learning about the plants and animals of the estuary, helping with research projects and enjoying arts and crafts.
Hiking, Beach Walks and Seining
The GTM Research Reserve hosts regular nature hikes and beach walks at various locations of the reserve. On the first Saturday of each month, join a volunteer for a guided cultural and historical hike of the Guana Peninsula. On the second Saturday, enjoy a guided nature hike and on the third Saturday take part in a Beaches 101 walk and exploration. Bring the kids for a family seining activity on the fourth Saturday of the month.
The Sierra Club’s 2nd Saturday’s outing will be on July 13 from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. at Cedar Point Preserve, complete with a potluck breakfast.
Learn About the Environment
The GTM Research Reserve’s Environmental Education Center offers lectures and other educational opportunities, including the series, “More than you ever wanted to know about . . .” On July 13 from 11:00 a.m. to noon the topic will be “Fishes of the Reserve.”
Kayaking and canoeing opportunities abound. The GTM Reserve offers various tours booked through Kayak Guana and Ripple Effects Eco-Tours.
And on Saturday, July 13 at 9:00 a.m., you can join the Greater Jacksonville Fun 6 Mile Paddling Race. Hosted by the Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute, the race will start at Jacksonville University’s Rowing Center and finish at St. Johns Marina.
On Saturday, July 20 from 8:30 a.m. to noon, do some trailblazing with the North Florida Land Trust at Bugtussle.