Guided Nature Programs

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

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. 

 


February 2018 Programs

Click HERE to sign up for February Guided Nature Programs.

Friday, February 16th, 2018;  8:30 am to 11:00 am

Richard E. Becker Preserve: Songbird Seminar & Hike

Learn about the largest group of birds in Florida; beginning with an indoor seminar at the Ecoheritage House located within this beautiful preserve.  We’ll explore what makes a bird a member of this amazing group, learn about which “songbirds” are in Florida, and discuss resources – such as checklists and field guides – to help you find and identify these amazing birds.  Then we'll venture outside to hike and listen for the “songbirds” we learned about in the seminar.   A "2-for-1" class and hike experience!

 

Saturday, February 17th, 2018;  7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Walton Scrub Preserve: Ultra-Violet Adventure Night Hike

Immerse yourself in the ultra-violet ambiance given off by the preserve’s nighttime plant-life and small creatures. With the help of your Guide’s black-light, we’ll learn about how wavelengths of light have the power to render a plant or animal’s exterior different colors, and how nature can “change clothing” from day and night.

 

Sunday, February 18th, 2018;  10:00 am to 11:30 am

Sweetwater Hammock Preserve: Pollen Loving Insects Family Hike

Pollen and nectar make the world go-around for many tiny critters. Together we’ll search for some of nature’s most important bugs and discover some of the cool and fun facts about these pint-sized heroes. This small preserve offers a short 1/4-mile trail which is great for kids.All are welcome but this hike is most appropriate for families with children ages 5 & up.  All minors must be accompanied by an adult.

 

Sunday, February 18th, 2018;  5:00 pm to 6:30 pm

George LeStrange Preserve: Sunset Nature Photography Hike

Capture a beautiful moment in time during this guided nature photography hike. We'll begin by hiking the trail along the creek to spy some of nature’s beauty.  We’ll wrap up our adventure hoping to photograph one of this site’s renown sunsets. Be sure to bring your camera or smartphone.

 

Friday, February 23rd, 2018;  3:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Richard E. Becker Preserve: Kayak Adventure on the North Fork

Spend this late afternoon relaxing on the North Fork as we paddle south towards the St. Lucie River. Enjoy a great view of birds heading home to roost before the sunsets. We'll discuss some of the conservation issues facing the St. Lucie and what is being done to protect it.  Kayaks, US Coastguard 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!

 

Saturday, February 24th, 2018;  9:00 am to 11:00 am

Steven J. Fousek Preserve: Prairie Hammock Wildlife Hike

Many birds and animals call the prairie tree islands of Teague Hammock home.  From wetland birds to large mammals, many share hammock island habitat and often leave behind evidence of their residence.  Participants will be looking for the various signs of life and seeing which creatures we can spot along the way.

 

Sunday, February 25th, 2018;  8:30 am to 10:30 am

Citrus Hammock Preserve: What’s in the Pond Hike

The preserve’s retention pond is a hub of activity for wildlife, boasting all manner of critters swimming, flying, and walking! We’ll hike through wooded trails along the tributaries of the St. Lucie River and by the pond.  Participants will get a chance to take in the antics of the local wildlife and enjoy the beauty of site’s seasonal wildflowers.


March 2018 Programs

Click HERE to sign up for March Guided Nature Programs.

 

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018;  8:30 am to 12:30 pm

George LeStrange Preserve: “Back 40” Scrub Endurance Hike

Just yards from the St. Lucie River lies a cool ecosystem that hosts specialized native plants and animals, but this area is also threatened by invasive and exotic species.  As we explore, we’ll discuss the impacts of invasive species and look for several native scrub oaks, seasonal wildflowers, and animals found within this dry and sandy land, that is so near the life-giving waters of the river. 

 

Sunday, March 4th, 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.

 

Saturday, March 10th, 2018;  9:00 am to 12:30 pm

Richard E. Becker Preserve: Wild River Kayak Excursion

Discover the picturesque St. Lucie River by kayak on this guided adventure along our local aquatic preserve. 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!

 

Saturday, March 10th, 2018;  5:00 pm to 6:30 pm

George LeStrange Preserve: Sunset Nature Photography Hike

This site is well known for its fantastic sunsets.   Capture a beautiful moment in time during this guided nature photography hike. We’ll scout for the area’s wild beauty as we experiment with artistic elements that help create a great image.  We'll begin by hiking the trail along the creek and wrap up our adventure around the lake as the sun sets.  Bring your camera or smartphone.

 

Monday, March 12th, 2018;  10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Indrio Savannas Preserve: Birding Basics Family Hike

Are your kids already nature lovers? Open their minds to the joy of birding. This may very well become a new pass time for the whole family or a life-long love for your budding naturalist. We’ll explore the trails, after learning many of the preserve’s most common birds, some of their songs and how to use a field guide & binoculars. All are welcome but this hike is most appropriate for families with children ages 5 & older.  All minors must be accompanied by an adult.

 

Thursday, March 15th, 2018; 10:00 am to 11:00 am

Sweetwater Hammock Preserve: Spring Break Leisurely Stroll for Families

This riparian preserve boasts all manner of native plants and animals.  A flat, wide trail affords an “easy-does-it” excursion suitable for those young and young at heart.  Experience a little slice of “Old Florida” as we explore a beautiful riverside habitat amongst the shade of trees of a remnant hammock.  Enjoy this outdoor opportunity with your family during Spring Break. 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, March 17th, 2017; 9:00 am-10:30 am

Walton Scrub Preserve: Secluded Scrub Hike

Found between the biodiverse habitats of the brackish Indian River Lagoon and the Savannas freshwater basin marsh, lies a 30-acre hidden scrub area that offers a refuge to some very unique “isolated” plant and animal species. As we explore, we’ll see how many of these species we can find and learn how they use their specialized adaptations to survive in such a harsh environment.

 

Sunday, March 18th, 2018;  10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Indrio Savannas Preserve: Amazing Bird Adaptations Hike

Birds come in all sizes and colors and their unique traits are what help them to survive and thrive in particular environments.  We’ll spot some of these amazing avian adaptations in action as we meander along the site’s upland and wetland habitats.  

 

Saturday, March 24th, 2018;   8:00 am to 10:00 am

Sheraton Scrub Preserve: The Special Birds of the Scrub

An exceptionally special avian resident, the Florida Scrub-jay, resides in this upland habitat within a suburban community. Besides learning about the unique behaviors and adaptations of the Scrub-jay, we’ll also be exploring trails to look and listen for the presence of other birds and wildlife while enjoying the seasonal flowers adapted to this environment.

 

Saturday, March 24th, 2018;   6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Steven J. Fousek (Teague Hammock) Preserve: A Wild Night for Wildlife Hike

In regards to wildlife at night, it has been said that “There’s nothing out there at night that isn’t also around in daylight.”  But is this fact or fiction?  Find out what critters use the cover of night and what they do during the day on this dusk to dark adventure through woods and wetlands of Teague Hammock Preserve.

 

Sunday, March 25th, 2018;  10:00 am to 11:30 am

D.J. Wilcox Preserve: Florida Trivia Hike

How much do you know about Florida?   Participate in this engaging trivia quiz as we explore the park and learn about Florida through the State’s fun facts - the largest lake, our state wildflower, wildlife and more.  This peaceful site features towering pine trees, live oaks, seasonal wildflowers, and a quaint pond.  Whether you’re a native of Florida or new to the area, this hike is for you.

 

Monday, March 26, 2018;  9:30 am to 11:30 am.

Oxbow Eco-Center Preserve: Fascinating, Mysterious Butterflies and Moths Hike

Butterflies and Moths exhibit rare beauty and dynamic flying, feeding, courtship, migration and protective techniques.  Enjoy searching for the beautiful critters along the forests, gardens, and trails of this site.

 

Friday, March 30th, 2018;  7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Indrio Savannahs Preserve: Fireflies & Bioluminescence Hike- Part 1 

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.

 

Saturday, March 31st, 2018;  7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Queen’s Island Preserve: Pink Moon Rising Night Hike

As day transitions to night, we’ll see and hear many changes in the preserve. We’ll hike through the old growth maritime hammock and listen for creatures living amongst the Florida native trees found there. As the moon rises we’ll end our adventure at the beach in hope of seeing the ‘Pink’ moon.

 

April 2018 Programs

Click HERE to sign up for April Guided Nature Programs.

 

Friday, April 6th, 2018;  3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

George LeStrange Preserve: SUP Paddle Board 101

Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP) has become of one of the most popular ways to explore the local waterways and is a great way to get a workout.  During this short class for beginners, participants will learn all about this sport’s equipment, different beginner paddle strokes, paddleboard safety, and how to safely get onto and off the board. Paddleboards with ankle leash, paddle, and personal floatation device will be provided to participants.  The cost is $10 per person.  No online registration, please call (772) 462-2526 to reserve your space. RSVP a must! 

 

Saturday, April 7th, 2018;   8:30 am to 9:30 am

Citrus Hammock Preserve: Start Your Weekend Right Hike

From Henry David Thoreau to Bill Bryson, people have recognized that a walk in the woods calms us down.  Start off your weekend with a pleasant hike in this preserve that is part of North Fork St. Lucie River (NFSLR) Greenway.

 

Sunday, April 8th, 2018;   7:30 am to 9:30 am

Citrus Hammock Preserve: Historic Tree Hike

Majestic giants among us, Florida’s mature trees give us historic perspective of natural and human history.  The “Three Sisters,” Slash Pines standing firm and tall through change around them, are hiking landmarks in one of the county’s newer preserves that features a small retention pond, a nature trail, and lovely meadow.

 

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018; 8:00 am to 10:00 am

Walton Scrub Preserve: Gopher Tortoise Awareness Hike

Can you “Dig it?” Well, the dynamic Gopher Tortoise definitely can! Celebrate this burrow building mastermind on “Gopher Tortoise Awareness Day” with a beautiful hike around their home turf.  Along the way, we’ll learn about their keystone status in the environment, human/ tortoise interactions and what we can do to help conserve this species. 

 

Thursday, April 12th, 2018;  9:00 pm 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 pm 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!

.

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.

 

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.

Recycled Robots Workshop

Recycling is one of the best ways that individuals can help protect their environment in their daily lives. But with a little creativity and some guidance recycling can be so much more! This workshop is designed to encourage looking at everyday discardable objects in a different way. Make adorable robots from everyday items!  Appropriate for adults and children ages 8 & up. Cost is $20 and includes all materials.  Workshop runs from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Reservations required. 

Return to full list >>