Autumn is approaching quickly. Spend some time outdoors enjoying our natural environment.
A 10-K on the river
Be at the St. Johns Riverkeeper’s headquarters at Jacksonville University at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 7 to launch your kayak, canoe or paddleboard for Up the River Downtown. This 10K community event also includes swimmers, and participants will be escorted by the Riverkeeper, the Jacksonville Fireboat and the Jacksonville Fire Dragons. Don’t want to get wet? Cheer the participants from the Metro Park Marina, Riverwalk, Jacksonville Landing and Friendship Park. The event promotes awareness of the St. Johns River and sponsorships benefit Special Olympics Florida – Duval County Swimmers.
A look at the future of the St. Johns River
On Monday, September 9 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mark Middlebrook, Executive Director of the St. Johns River Alliance will give a presentation on important environmental issues that affect the river’s future. Hosted by the Northeast Florida Sierra Club, the talk will feature information about the proposed river dredging, water withdrawals from the river, the state of Florida’s springs and condition of the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lude River. The event takes place at the Ponte Vedra Library on 101 Library Road and is free. Contact Larry Lickenbrock for more information at (904) 537-6047.
Clean up the coast.
Saturday, September 21 is the Ocean Conservancy’s annual 2013 Coastal Cleanup Day. From 7:00 to 11:00 a.m., join thousands of volunteers to pick up trash and debris along our ocean, lakes and rivers. The City of Jacksonville has a list of meeting locations along the ocean as well as along rivers and lakes in our parks and preserves. You can also participate at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Reserve).
Celebrate National Estuaries Day
Start celebrating National Estuaries Day and the importance of estuaries to our daily lives on Friday evening, September 27 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the GTM Reserve Environmental Center. The event kicks off Friday night with a Star Party, where you can view the night sky while learning about stellar navigation. Then on Saturday, September 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. bring the family to see Florida nature specialist and enjoy face painting, fishing, hiking, biking and gardening.
Volunteer on National Public Lands Day
National Public Lands Day is the largest single day for volunteers to assist with preservation and maintenance of public lands. On Saturday, September 29 take the opportunity to appreciate our public lands by volunteering to clean up and perform trail maintenance at Fort George Island State Park from 9:00 a.m. till noon. Or just take the family outdoors to one of our many nature preserves, parks or conservation areas.
Enjoy guided hikes, kayaking, seining and other adventures.
Many of our local environmental organizations provide guided hikes, kayaking, canoeing, family seining and other fun outings. In addition, they offer free presentations and educational programs. Check out the calendars for GTM Reserve, the North Florida Land Trust, the Sierra Club, St. Johns Riverkeeper, and the Audubon Society.