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 up 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.
If you are interested in attending a hike and would like join our contact list, click HERE. You will be notified by when Guided Nature Programs registration opens or when new programs are added.
To sign up for one of our Guided Nature Programs just click on the month below containing the programs your are interested in attending and the link will redirect you to the Sign-up Genius website for free and easy registration. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (772) 462-2526 for more information.
April 2017 Programs: click to register for APRIL programs
How Nature Can Fool Us- Hike for Families at Citrus Hammock Preserve
Saturday, April 1st -- 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
What better way to have fun on April Fool’s Day but to get outside and learn how nature tricks us every day! We'll investigate with binoculars and magnifiers to see camouflage, nests, patterns and more. This short hike is perfect for the whole family. Appropriate for all ages and all minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Discovering Ethnobotany Hike at Ancient Oaks Preserve
Thursday, April 6th -- 8:30 am to 10:30 am
Learn how the earliest peoples of Florida utilized the abundant plant species around them to build shelter, feed their families, and clothe themselves as we hike through this urban oasis.
Historical Hammocks Hike at Sweetwater Hammock Preserve
Saturday, April 8th -- 8:00 am to 10:00 am
Enjoy a leisurely morning hike through this site’s shady hammock. Discover why these special elevated tree islands are so important to the plants and animals that live around the river and why they are called a hammock as the trail weaves you through the majestic live oaks and old cabbage palms.
Nocturnal Neighbors Night Hike Part 5 at the Steven J. Fousek Preserve
Saturday, April 8th – 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Which of Florida’s nocturnal raptors might be prowling about at this natural area? Join us for a nocturnal adventure through ranchlands and citrus grove-turned natural areas in search of resident owl species, our “neighbors of the night.” We will be on the lookout for several silent flyers that rule the night world!
Sunrise Hike at Ocean Bay Preserve
Sunday, April 9th -- 6:30 am to 8:00 am
Start your day off right! Rise and shine by viewing a beach sunrise followed by short, 1-mile walk along the beach and through a mature beach dune system. We'll learn about coastal systems and adaptations needed to survive these difficult and ever changing environments.
Plant ID Hike at DJ Wilcox Preserve
Sunday, April 16th -- 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
The unique history of this preserve translates into an interesting mix of plants and animals living in preserve which has both freshwater and lagoon habitat. Learn about the organisms living at this preserve and some natural history, too! We’ll explore plants, animals, and take a tour through one of the county’s more diverse preserves to investigate which plant and animal neighbors call this preserve home.
Wrack-line Investigation Hike and Beach Clean-up at Ocean Bay Beachside Preserve
Thursday, April 20th -- 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Walk the line- that wrack-line, that is, and see how all the strange and wonderful things that the changing tides wash up on the sandy beach! This short hike will have participants investigating all the cool treasures hidden in the sands and in honor of Earth Day, helping to clean-up some of the refuse littering the beach.
River Clean-up Kayak Excursion at Richard E. Becker Preserve
Saturday, April 22nd -- 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Make a difference this Earth Day by participating in a clean-up by kayak! Bring your own or reserve one of ours. Groups are welcome. Pack your lunch for a picnic to celebrate afterwards. There will be NO fees for this participant clean-up event. No online registration, please call (772) 462-2526 to reserve your space. RSVP a must!
Moonshine Hike at Bluefield Ranch Preserve
Saturday, April 22nd -- 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
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.
What’s Blooming Hike at Spruce Bluff Preserve
Sunday, April 23rd -- 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Join us for a 1.25-mile hike on the AIS Trail in search of native wildflowers and see for yourself why Florida was named "the land of flowers." This site offers mixed upland and wetland plant communities.
Historic Tree Hike at Citrus Hammock Preserve
Friday, April 28th -- 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM
Majestic giants among us, Florida’s mature trees give us historic perspective when it comes to both natural and human history. The “Three Sisters,” Slash Pines standing firm and tall through change around them, will be our focus as we stroll through one of the county’s newer preserves featuring a small pond, a nature trail, and small meadow area.
Black-light Night Part 4 at Ancient Oaks Preserve
Friday, April 28th -- 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
It’s a night-time stroll through the preserve! We’ll watch and listen for owls, nighthawks, and all manner of plants and smaller critters with interesting night-time colors under a naturalist’s black-light. 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” during the day and night as result.
May 2017 Programs: click to register for MAY programs.
The Special Birds of Sheridan Scrub Hike at Sheraton Scrub Preserve
Saturday, May 6th -- 8:00 am to 10:00 am
Enjoy an opportunity to look for a very special avian resident, the Florida Scrub-jay. This site features uplands adjacent to a small lake, affording visitors to see a wide variety of resident and migratory bird species which utilize this unique ecosystem. We’ll be exploring trails to look and listen for the presence of birds and other wildlife while enjoying the seasonal flowers adapted to an upland environment.
Crepuscular Critters Family Hike at Indrio Scrub Preserve
Saturday, May 6th -- 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
As the scrub cools off in the evening activity picks up. Hike the sandy trails and find out what’s going on before dark. Appropriate for all ages and all minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Exploration Hike at Citrus Hammock Preserve
Sunday, May 7th -- 8:30 am-10:30 am
The county’s newest preserve is ready to “meet the public!” This property boasts a retention pond aquatic habitat, a hammock trail featuring towering Slash Pines preserved during the acquisition and restoration process, and includes a canoe and kayak launch accessing the St. Lucie River. This is an opportunity for visitors to visit the property to explore it by land and learn some of its natural and human histories.
Nocturnal Neighbors Night Hike Part 6 at George LeStrange Preserve
Saturday, May 13th-- 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
This preserve features both upland and bottomland replete with resident owls, Nighthawks, and Marsh Hares. Adventure through this woodland to listen for nocturnal creatures as the breeze rustles through the leaves of Live Oaks, Slash Pines, and Saw Palmetto.
Discovering Indian Hills Preserve Hike at Indian Hills Recreation Area & Preserve
Sunday, May 14th-- 8:00 am to 10:00 am
This is one newest preserves in St. Lucie County and it boasts a retention pond aquatic habitat and a Slash Pine savannah near the Indian River Lagoon. This is an opportunity for visitors to visit the property to explore it by land, learn some of its natural and human history and how the site is managed in partnership between the City of Fort Pierce and St. Lucie County.
Bugs ‘n Blooms Family Hike at Steven J. Fousek Preserve
Saturday, May 20th-- 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Find the hidden beauty of the preserve as you hike and learn the key to identifying the different species of the wildflowers and invertebrates that found within. We’ll find out which flowers bloom this time of years, spot as many colors as possible and then discover the precious pollinators that ensure the flowers survival.
Natural Connections & Plant ID Hike at Spruce Bluff Preserve
Tuesday, May 23rd—8:30 am to 10:30 am
In some way or another, every organism is connected to each other and to the abiotic features found around them. Walking along the winding trail, participants will get to make the similar connections with the plants and animals that may have once been made by the site’s earliest peoples. Discover how to ID plant species and learn about their adaptations along the way.
Turtle Tracks Beach Hike at Preserve TBD
Thursday, May 25th-- 6:15 am to 7:15 am
Enjoy an early morning stroll along the beach with us to learn about the tracks in the sand made by different sea turtle species as they dragged their heavy bodies out of the ocean to nest.
Black-light Night Hike Part 5 at Walton Scrub Preserve
Friday, May 26th -- 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
It’s a night-time stroll through the preserve! We’ll watch and listen for owls, nighthawks, and all manner of plants and smaller critters with interesting night-time colors under a naturalist’s black-light. 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” between day and night.
Hike Leader phone numbers are private and may only be used to contact that individual during the hike/ paddle time-frame. Thank you for your consideration.
5:00 PMMoonshine Hike
9:00 AMWhat’s Blooming Hike