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2019 Field Trips

Pre-conference Field Trips on Monday, September 30, 2019

Covered buggy exploring reserve

Julington-Durbin Preserve – 1:00 – 3:30pm

Description: Join St. Johns River Water Management District’s Land Manager, Heather Venter, as you explore this 2,031-acre area via a covered buggy with several stops along the way. The site is located on a peninsula formed at the confluence of Julington and Durbin creeks, and has approximately nine miles of shoreline along the two creeks. Julington-Durbin Preserve is a sandy ridge of Sandhill that grades into mesic flatwoods then floodplain swamp and is home to deer, gopher tortoises, Sherman’s fox squirrels, eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, and a plethora of bird species.
Address and Parking Info: 13200 Bartram Park Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32258 Public parking and access is off of Bartram Park Boulevard.
Distance from Hotel: 16.4 miles - 23 minutes
What to wear: Close-toed shoes, hat and sunscreen
What to bring: Bug spray, camera and binoculars
For more site information online: https://www.sjrwmd.com/lands/recreation/julington-durbin/

Bridge leading to Saturiwa

Saturiwa Conservation Area / McCullough Creek Preserve – 1:00-3:30pm

Description of Saturiwa Conservation Area: This 94-acre private family homestead, acquired by Mike Adams in 1989, is located on the St. Johns River in southwest St. Johns County. Mike has worked diligently to restore the former longleaf pine forest from hundreds of years of resource exploitation. In the process, he has become a dedicated conservation advocate to community members, forest owners and schoolchildren.  It is named Saturiwa after a powerful Indian chief in the region of the now extinct Timucua Tribe.
Site features: A variety of wildlife, including many rare and protected species, rich in ecological diversity and artifacts illustrating Florida’s dramatic history. Mike will lead an interpretive hike through the diverse habitats to the boardwalk on the St. Johns River.
Description of McCullough Creek Preserve: McCullough Creek Preserve is approximately 1400 acres owned by St. Johns County. This land was purchased through tree bank funds and county funds for the purposes of wetland mitigation credits and passive recreation. It is currently being permitted through SJRWMD and ACOE for mitigation. Recreation and land management plans are currently being developed. St. Johns County Naturalist, AyoLane Halusky will lead an interpretive hike through the property. 
Address and Parking Info: The field trip begins at 2425 CR 13 S, Elkton, FL 32033. Follow the unpaved driveway into the site and park near the home.
Distance from Hotel: 19.6 miles – 29 minutes
What to wear: Hat and sunscreen
What to bring: Water, camera and binoculars
For more site information online: 

Post-conference Field Trips on October 2, 2019

Animals on the beach

Anastasia State Park – 1:30-4:00pm

Description: As one of the top 5 busiest state parks in Florida, with approximately 1 million visitors a year, Anastasia State Park (ASP) aims to balance management for both people and the environmental communities. After an introduction from Park Manager Mark Giblin, you will join ASP Biologist Alice Bard on a hunt for the Anastasia Island beach mouse. You will search for their burrows and tracks, and discuss the challenges and opportunities involved in managing the largest population of Anastasia Island beach mice. Then join ASP Biologist Jason DePue to learn more about the largest nesting shorebird colony on the east coast of Florida. Once on a steady decline, through weekly surveys they are now finding many species of shorebirds in the park that have never nested there before.
Address and Parking Info: 300 Anastasia Park Road, St. Augustine, FL, 32080. Park entry fees will be waived for field trip participants. Participants will meet at the beach lot.
Distance from Hotel: 17.8 miles - 33 minutes
What to wear: Hat and sunscreen
What to bring: Water, camera and binoculars
For more site information online: https://www.floridastateparks.org/anastasia

Aerial view of reserve

Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTMNERR) – 1:30-4:00pm

Description: Join Regional Program Administrator Mike Shirley for an easy 2.5 mile round trip hike to learn about GTMNERR’s archaeological sites that are at risk from coastal erosion and rising sea levels. Along Florida’s 8,000 miles of shoreline, nearly 4,000 archaeological sites and over 600 recorded historic cemeteries are at risk from coastal erosion and rising sea levels. On the hike, you will visit a depression marsh restoration site, view mangrove/saltmarsh transitions, Shell Bluff and discuss monitoring, research and management challenges. Experts will be available to give a brief overview of these topics and answer questions. The field trip will start at the Visitor Center.
Address and Parking Info: 505 Guana River Rd, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082. Free Parking will be available at the visitor center, the entrance/parking fee for the GTM NERR Visitor Center will be waived for field trip participants.
Distance from Hotel: 23.6 miles away - 38 minutes
What to wear: Hat and sunscreen
What to bring:Water, camera and binoculars
For more site information online: https://www.gtmnerr.org/


Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
Address: 1 South Castillo Drive, Saint Augustine, FL 32084
Distance from Hotel:15.3 miles - 28 minutes
Description: The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest and largest masonry fort in the continental United States.
Costs: $15.00 - valid for 7 consecutive days
Phone: (904) 829-6506
Website: https://www.nps.gov/casa/index.htm

Faver Dykes State Park
Address:1000 Faver-Dykes Road, St. Augustine FL 32086
Distance from Hotel: 29.7 miles - 33 minutes
Description:Faver-Dykes State Park is conveniently located on the outskirts of America’s oldest city in St. Augustine and close to the highway. Site features: Pine Loop Trail, Birding, boating, campfire circles, camping, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, nature trail,and wildlife viewing.
Costs: $5 per vehicle; $18 camping fee, plus non-refundable $6.70 reservation fee (50% discount for Florida residents that are 65 years or older)
Phone: 904-794-0997
Website: https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/faver-dykes-state-park

Fort Mose Historic State Park
Address: St. Augustine, FL 32084
Distance from Hotel: 14.5 miles - 23 minutes
Description: A little-known chapter in Florida history is that of Fort Mose, the first free African settlement in the South in pre-Colonial America. The park offers picnic areas, observation and birding boardwalk, kayak launch boardwalk, a visitor center and museum.
Costs: Admission to park grounds is free.
Phone: 904-823-2232
Website: https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/fort-mose-historic-state-park

Pellicer Creek Corridor Conservation Area
Address: 5800 N Old Kings Rd, Palm Coast, FL 32137
Distance from Hotel: 30.8 miles - 45 minutes
Description: The 2,535-acre site demonstrates examples of several regionally significant ecological communities, including saltwater marsh, freshwater marsh, wet prairie, mixed wetland hardwoods, pine flatwoods, longleaf pine, xeric oak and upland hardwood forest. Site features: Hiking, canoeing, boating, horseback riding, bicycling, wildlife viewing, nature study and bank fishing.
Costs: None.
Phone: (386) 329-4404
Website: https://www.sjrwmd.com/lands/recreation/pellicer-creek/

Ravine Gardens State Park
Address: 1600 Twigg St, Palatka, FL 32177
Distance from Hotel: 37.7 miles - 47 minutes
Description: Ravine Gardens State Park is one of the nine New Deal-era state parks in Florida. The park has two ravines up to 120 feet deep with steep banks at 45 degree angles. Site features: Geo-seeking, guided hikes, wildlife viewing, gardens, and interpretive exhibit.

  • Ranger-led guided hikes of varying lengths are available for groups of 10 – 30 individuals for $2 per person.
  • $5 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
  • $4 Single Occupant Vehicle.
  • $2 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.

Phone: 386-329-3721
Website: https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/ravine-gardens-state-park

St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
Address: 81 Lighthouse Avenue (use 100 Red Cox Road for gps), St. Augustine, FL 32080
Distance from Hotel: 17.5 miles - 33 minutes
Description: Climb 219 steps to the top for breathtaking views of the nation's oldest city and the Atlantic Ocean.
Costs: Self-guided tours, tours by reservation $30 per adult
Phone: (904) 829-0745
Email:  info@staugustinelighthouse.org  
Website: http://www.staugustinelighthouse.org/

 Last Modified 4/3/23