Guided Nature Programs

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jones hammock hike2 

St. Lucie County’ Environmental Resources Department is proud to offer educational programming on its publicly owned lands. These programs are FREE, unless otherwise specified and open to the public.  Programs are usually limited to 20 people to allow participants to immerse themselves into the County’s beautiful wild areas, and reservations are required. Programs target ages 12 and older, unless otherwise noted.  All minors must be accompanied by an adult.  We hope you’ll join us!

Guided Nature Programs are offered week days, weekends and some evenings, it is a fun and safe opportunity to explore the local preserves.  Each program presents a new topic from critters like owls, local history, native plants, tracking and scat ID to how to become an environmental steward and almost everything in-between. 

 


April 2018 Programs

Click HERE to sign up for April Guided Nature Programs.

Thursday, April 12th, 2018;  9:00 am to 11:00 am

Spruce Bluff Preserve: Early Inhabitants Hike

This cultural preserve boasts a rich history of both Native Americans & pioneers. Many wonder how they survived on the harsh land and through Florida’s unforgiving climate. We’ll explore and identify many of their food sources and adaptive ways of life along this winding trail through the upland and lowland habitats of this 97-acre preserve.

 

Saturday, April 14th, 2018;  9:30 am to 12:00 pm

Steven J. Fousek Preserve: Photographing Nature Hike

Explore the trails in search of flowers, butterflies, wildlife and more.  Capture great images by incorporating artistic techniques as we scout for nature’s beauty in the site’s native species and habitats.  This peaceful preserve features hammock and wet prairie.  Bring your camera or smartphone. 

 

Saturday, April 14th, 2018;  6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Oxbow Eco-Center Preserve: An Evening on Edge of the Riverbank Hike

Unknown to many people, this hike focuses on the North Fork of the St. Lucie River Greenway and why this site plays an important role as an ecological corridor.  Enjoy a peaceful evening along the banks of the river immersed in nature’s raw beauty and sounds.

 

Sunday, April 15th, 2018;  9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Richard E. Becker Preserve: Ten Mile Creek Kayak Excursion

Discover one of the wild tributaries of the St. Lucie River by kayak on this guided adventure along Ten Mile Creek. Learn to identify numerous birds, trees, and flowers along the way. Kayaks, US Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices, and paddles provided (you may also provide your own equipment if desired).  The cost is $10 per person.  No online registration, please call (772) 462-2526 to reserve your space. RSVP a must!

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Monday, April 16th, 2018;  9:00 am to 11:00 am

Ocean Bay Beachside Preserve: Changing Beaches Family Hike & Beach Clean-up

Join us to see how the beach and life around it has changed month to month.  As we walk the sandy shore, we’ll explore the exciting wrack line and find the treasures offered up by the sea. At the end of this monthly adventure, you’ll get a chance to become an environmental steward by removing the man-made trash and restoring the beach’s pristine beauty.  All are welcome but this hike is most appropriate for families with children ages 5 & older.  All minors must be accompanied by an adult. 

 

 Wednesday, April 18th, 2018;  7:30 am to 10:00 am

Jones Hammock Preserve: Morning Hike for Birders

It's an all-avian hike along a secluded wetland and river.  Birders be sure to bring your binoculars, scopes, field guides, and checklists.  This preserve, adjacent to the North Fork of the St. Lucie River, boasts rich resident and migratory birdlife which are attracted to the river’s bountiful food supply.  This hike is sure to impress any avid birder.

 

Saturday, April 21st, 2018;  7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Steven J. Fousek (Teague/ Paleo Hammock) Preserve: Fireflies & Bioluminescence Hike- Part 2

Fireflies have enchanted humans since the beginning of time, and this is the season to enjoy their flashes of light in the twilight hours of the early evening.  Experience nature’s own twinkling lights in the air and on the ground.

 

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018;  3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Queen's Island Riverside: Earth Day Clean-up & Family Hike

Be a part of the action this Earth Day! We want your help and in return, we’ll help you open your eyes to a whole new world…well maybe just a more hidden part of our world. Creatures big and small make this preserve their WHOLE world! After our adventure, we’ll head over to the beach to pick up trash that has washed ashore which will help all our creature friends.  All are welcome but this hike is most appropriate for families with children ages 5 & older.  All minors must be accompanied by an adult. 

Saturday, April 28th, 2018;  7:00 am to 10:00 am

Indrio Savannahs Preserve: Fitness Hike

Marsh and grid trails provide scenic views of upland and wetland habitats during this 3-mile hike through this unique preserve.  This hike is an opportunity to view bird life such as the Florida Scrub-jay and breath-taking seasonal wildflowers along while taking a brisk walk.

 

Sunday, April 29th, 2018;  10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Queens Island Riverside: Plant Identification and Beachcombing Hike

Plants near the beach are tough and able to survive difficult and ever-changing conditions.  Come see these unique plants on a short plant identification hike on the riverside of the park.  Afterwards, we’ll head to the beach in search of some of the unique treasures that have washed ashore by the tides.   

 

Sunday, April 29th, 2018;  6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Bluefield Ranch Preserve: St. Lucie Vice Moonshine Hike

We won’t raid a still, but we will be exploring the wild side of moonshining in western St. Lucie County by the light of the rising full moon.  Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about a wild time in the area’s history.

 

May & June 2018 Programs

Click HERE to sign up for May & June Guided Nature Programs.

 

Sunday, May 6th, 2018;  8:00 am to 10:00 am

Indrio Savannahs Preserve: Wildlife Wake-up Hike

Start your Sunday with a fun adventure into the Indrio Savannahs at one of the best times for bird and wildlife viewing.  Participants may have the chance to observe the site’s otters, Florida Scrub Jays, alligators, gopher tortoises, butterflies, and a variety of wading birds.

 

Friday, May 11th, 2018;  6:30 am to 8:00 am

Sweetwater Hammock Preserve: Dawn Chorus Early Bird Hike

Enjoy the rising sun while being serenaded by the “dawn chorus,” courtesy of the area’s resident and migrant bird species.  Seasonal flowers and pollinator activity is ideal during the morning’s milder temperatures.

 

Sunday, May 13th, 2018;  9:00 am to 10:30 am

Indian Hills Recreation Area & Preserve: Nature’s Working Moms Family Hike

Nature has some of the most adaptable “working” mothers. This short hike will highlight species such as the American alligator, hispid cotton rat, and Carolina wolf spider as well many more of the natural world’s best moms found in Florida. All are welcome, but this hike is most appropriate for families with children ages 5 & up.  An adult must accompany all minors.

 

Saturday, May 19th, 2018;  7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Richard E. Becker Preserve: Owling Adventure Night Hike

Florida’s most prolific resident owl species, the Barred Owl, will be the object of pursuit along the St. Lucie River.  Nocturnal wildlife is elusive and a delightful challenge to observe.

 

Sunday, May 20th, 2018;  2:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Richard E. Becker Preserve: Kayaking the St. Lucie River

Discover one of the wild tributaries of the St. Lucie River by kayak on this guided adventure along Ten Mile Creek. Learn to identify numerous birds, trees, and flowers along the way. Kayaks, US Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices, and paddles are provided (you may also bring your equipment if desired).  The cost is $10 per person.  No online registration, please call (772) 462-2526 to reserve your space. RSVP a must!

 

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018;  7:30 am to 9:00 am

Queen’s Island Beachside: Turtle Tracks Morning Beach Hike

Head out before work to enjoy this early morning walk along the beach that is sure to answer many of your questions about our sea turtle friends who are beginning their nesting season right here on the Treasure Coast. 

 

Saturday, May 26th, 2018;  7:30 am to 9:30 am

Ocean Bay Preserve: Turtle Tracks Beach Hike

Enjoy a morning at the beach looking for sea turtle tracks from visitations during the preceding hours.  Learn which species of sea turtles have been visiting St. Lucie County’s beaches, how to identify their track patterns, the conservation history of sea turtles, and how these beloved reptiles can benefit from the community’s helping hands.

 

Saturday, May 26th, 2018;  9:00 am to 11:00 am

Spruce Bluff Preserve: In Search of the Ais Hike

The Spanish established La Florida in 1513, but they were not the first people on the peninsula.  This morning hike through wetlands leads to a burial mound of the Ais people, and you’ll learn about some of the area’s archaeological findings.

 

Sunday, May 27th, 2018;  4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Indrio Scrub Preserve: Scrub Specialists Hike

Have you ever wondered how some animals could survive in some of the harshest environments? The scrub is much like a desert, and the creatures here have many adaptations for survival. Let us introduce you to a small and mighty preserve full of life on this short afternoon walk.

***SPECIAL End of Season Event***

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018;  8:30 am to 10:00 am

Richard E. Becker Preserve: Hiking 101

Celebrate National Trails Day on an exceptionally beautiful St. Lucie County trail.  Learn the ins and outs of hiking, proper trail etiquette, and cool tools that make your trek even more enjoyable.  As we hike, we’ll be picking up refuse and learning about Leave-No-Trace principles.

 

Please note Hike Leader phone numbers are private and may only be used to contact that individual during the hike time-frame.  Thank you for your consideration.

Moonshine Hike

Bluefield’s open expanses, hidden hammocks and scrub habitats made it the perfect place to enjoy moonshine; not just the glowing orb in the night sky but rather other kind of illicit moonshine.Hike the trails of the preserve and learn about the history of Florida moonshiners as well as the specific history of distillation of this nefarious liquor at Bluefield Preserve

RSVP at www.slchikes.com

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