July is the perfect month to appreciate our local beaches, estuaries and nature preserves. Here are some opportunities to hike, kayak, celebrate and learn about our amazing local ecology. Here are some events for the month ahead.
Adventures in the Estuary Summer Camp
Register today as spaces are filling up fast for this adventurous learning experience at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (Guana Reserve). This is a hands-on camp where students learn the real science behind our local estuaries. Third through 5th grade camp is from July 9 – 13 and July 23 – 27. Sixth through 8th grade camp is from July 16 – 20 and all classes are from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Cost for 1st through 5th grades is $65. Sixth through 8th grades is $85 which includes a kayak tour. Register here or call (904) 823-4500 for more information.
Chill Out at the Movies
Relax and watch a free movie at Guana’s Environmental Education Center. The movies are shown every Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. July’s movie is End of the Line, a fascinating movie about the effects of overfishing and declining fish populations. Call (904) 823-4500 for more information.
Hike Fort George Island
On Sunday, July 1 from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m., enjoy a 3.3 mile hike through the hills, woods and beaches of Fort George Island. RSVP to Sharon Sugden at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Real Florida Kayak Trip
Take a guided kayaking adventure with Friends of the Washington Oaks through the undeveloped watershed in Faver-Dykes State Park on Sunday, July 1 from 8:15 to 11:15 a.m. An interpretive naturalist will lead the way and provide kayaking instruction. All levels of experience welcome. Cost is $55 per person and includes equipment and admission. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Friends of the Washington Oaks. Call (904) 347-1565 for information and reservations
John Muir in the New World
On Monday, July 2 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., the Sierra Club will host a showing of John Muir’s autobiography at the Ponte Vedra Library. Muir was not only the founder of the Sierra Club, but was instrumental in the creation of National Parks, including the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. Call Larry Lickenbrock for more information at (904) 537-6047. Snacks provided, but please bring your own drinks.
Pellicer Creek Kayaking
On Tuesday, July 3 and Saturday, July 21 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. join the Friends of Washington Oaks on a kayaking adventure. The trip will be led by a Florida Master Naturalist. Cost is $55 with part of the proceeds going to the Friends. Call Chris Kelley at (904) 347-1565 for more information.
Family Day at the Beach
Gather at the Guana Reserve Environmental Education Center on Thursday, July 5 at 8:30 a.m. for a Family Day beach cleanup following the 4th of July. The Reserve will furnish bottled water, gloves and trash bags. Help to clean the beach and protect the beach critters. Call (904) 823-4500 for more information.
Brown Bag Lunch Lecture
On Friday, July 6 meet at the Guana Reserve Environmental Education Center at noon for a lecture on the wildlife of St. Johns County. Call (904) 823-4500 to register.
Archeological Field School
The University of North Florida is offering a week-long archeology field school from July 9 – 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. This is a hands-on course that includes excavating, mapping, artifact identification and record-keeping. Cost is $199/week.
Black Creek Hike
Join the local Sierra Club members for a 5-mile hike along Black Creek in Middleburg on Tuesday, July 10 from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. Cpntact Bill Armstrong at (904) 880-7702 or email@example.com for reservations and information.
Join members of the North Florida Land Trust for an Open House meeting to learn more about land conservation on Thursday, July 12 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at their office at 10036 Sawgrass Dr. W., Suite 10 in Ponte Vedra Beach. Enjoy some wine and appetizers while meeting Board Members and staff.
Family Trail Hike
Hike the amazing trails of the Guana Reserve on Saturday, July 14 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. with a Reserve volunteer. Meet at the trailhead pavilion for the 1.5 mile hike.
Low Tide Bike Ride
On Saturday, July 14 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, July 28 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Anastasia State Park will host a three and a half mile bike ride and bird watch during low tide to promote healthy lifestyles. An ecology chat at conch island will be held on the north end of the island before heading back..
Kayak at 6-Mile Landing
Spend Sunday morning, July 15 from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. on beautiful Guana Lake in the Guana Reserve. Contact Sharon Sugden at firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations. No children.
Reel Paddling Film Festival
Enjoy the best paddling films ever on Friday, July 20 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the Atlantic Theatre, 751 Atlantic Blvd. in Atlantic Beach. Tickets are $5 in advance or $7 at the door. Advance tickets are available at BlackCreek Outfitters or Folio Weekly. For more information call (904) 645-7003.
Saltwater Fishing Workshops
A series of workshops will be hosted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Washington Oaks Gardens State Park in July. The workshops will focus on basic techniques for fishing as well as conservation and safety. Adult workshops will be held every Thursday in July and youth workshops will be every Friday. Gear will be provided. The workshops are from 9:00 a.m. to noon each day, and the cost is $20 per person. Contact Melissa Kafel at (386) 446-6783 or email@example.com to register.
At Water’s Edge
For those with more artistic taste, the First Street Gallery at 200 First Street in Neptune Beach is showcasing the work of pastel artist Lyn Asselta of St. Augustine. The exhibit runs until August 21. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.