Parks and recreation update for St Johns County residents

275-RECREATIONSt. Johns County Parks and Recreation updated local Historic City News reporters about available programming for our readers; including beaches, outdoor activities, special events, and the St. Johns Golf Club. You are invited to enjoy all that your county has to offer in active and passive recreation.

Announcements

NEW YEARS DAY HOLIDAY CLOSURE

All St. Johns County government offices will be closed Friday, January 1 in observance of the New Year’s Day holiday. Standard business hours will resume on Monday, January 4.

The St. Johns County Pier and St. Johns Golf Course will be open standard business hours during this time.

SOLOMON CALHOUN POOL CLOSURE

The Solomon Calhoun swimming pool will be closed for routine repairs and resurfacing maintenance January 11 through April 30. There will be no classes or programs during this time. For additional information please call 904.209.0395 or email wcooper@sjcfl.us.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR DAY HOLIDAY

All St. Johns County government offices will be closed Monday, January 18 in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Holiday.

The St. Johns County Pier and St. Johns Golf Course will be open standard business hours during this time.

HELP US STOP THE VANDALISM AND DESTRUCTION OF OUR PARKS AND RECREATION FACILITIES

Please report any unusual behavior, criminal activity and vandalism to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. If the incident is in progress or just occurred within the last 5 minutes call the SJSO at 904.824.8304 or 911 to report the incident. Information regarding an incident after the fact can be reported by calling SJSO or by posting on the St. Johns County Citizen’s Online Reporting System website by clicking here.

Park of the Month

FRANK B. BUTLER PARK

In a widely publicized civil rights visit to St. Augustine in 1964, Frank B. Butler hosted Martin Luther King, Jr. and his associates in his motel. In 1980 the State of Florida turned over the management of the park to St. Johns County.

This park’s environmentally sensitive dune system is home to the native Anastasia Island Beach Mouse and gopher tortoises which are on the federal endangered species list.

Frank B. Butler Park is located on Anastasia Island two miles south of St. Augustine Beach at 5860 A1A South, St. Augustine. The park opens and closes daily at sunrise and sunset and features restrooms, off-beach parking, a dune walkover, picnic pavilion, picnic tables and showers. Please call 904.814.9030 to reserve the picnic pavilion. Lifeguards are staffed seasonally at this location.

Field of Dreams

FIELD OF DREAMS SPRING BASEBALL

Field of Dreams is located at Aberdeen Park, 1401 Shetland Drive, St. Johns. It is a specifically designed turf baseball field that allows children ages 5-18 or up to age 21 if still in High School living in or near St. Johns County, the opportunity to wear a uniform and play baseball while part of a team. Registration is FREE and includes a full uniform courtesy of sponsors. Registration is open now through the end of the season. You must register by January 4 to receive a uniform by Opening Day. Please click here to visit the Field of Dreams website to register.

Opening Day will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2016, with games every Saturday through April 21. No games on March 19 and 26 during spring break.

Field of Dreams is in need of additional volunteer support to run the league. Please consider volunteering for the exceptionally rewarding program. Visit our website and learn how you can help us provide a quality program.

Field of Dreams is actively seeking sponsors and donors to help us raise the funds needed to replace the natural grass outfield with turf. This enhancement allows for additional special needs sports to be played at the Field of Dreams.

Youth Sports

CONGRATULATIONS PVAA JUNIOR PEE WEE SHARKS FINAL FOUR POP WARNER SUPER BOWL

Congratulations to the PVAA Pop Warner Junior Pee Wee team who made it to the 59th Pop Warner Super Bowl play offs in Orlando. The Sharks exited the playoffs having reached the Final Four and a top 4 National Ranking. Well done gentlemen!

YOUTH BASKETBALL

The St. Johns County Parks and Recreation Youth Basketball League is new and improved. We’re excited to be able to offer a new program of youth basketball this March for athletes ages 9 to 14. Registration opens January 11 and runs through February 13. There is a $30 non-refundable registration fee to play. Try-outs will be held on February 13 at Ketterlinus Gym, 60 Orange Street, St. Augustine.

League Division
Boys Girls

9-10 9-11 *Elementary*
11-12 12-14 *Middle School*
13-14

All practices and games will be held at Ketterlinus Gymnasium and Solomon Calhoun Center, 300 Duval Street, St. Augustine. Practices will be scheduled by individual coaches. Games start March 5 and run through the end of May. All games will be played on Saturday mornings or afternoons. For more information please call Josh Bratovich at 904.209.0386 or 904.209.0377.

SPORTS SHORTS KIDS SOCCER VETERANS PARK

Parks & Recreation is offering a 6 week introduction to soccer for 3-5 year olds January 11 through February 16 (excluding January 18, MLK Holiday). The program will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Veterans Park, Field #3, located at 1332 Veterans Parkway, St. Johns. This FREE program will provide your child with an outlet to burn off some energy while learning the basic building blocks of soccer. We encourage parental involvement. Please emailjshakar@sjcfl.us or call 904.209.0384 for more information.

VILLAGES SOCCER

Register for Spring Season now through February 10. Program fee is $110 without a uniform; $150 with a uniform. Season runs from February 17 through April 30. All practices and games are held at the Palencia Park multipurpose field, 405 Palencia Village Dr., St. Augustine. Practice starts Wednesday, February 17. Children ages 4-5 and 6-8 practice 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Ages 9 and up practice 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Game schedules are TBD. All games will be played on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon. Please click here to register or for more information.

VILLAGES LACROSSE

Spring registration for boys in grades 6-8 are currently being held through January 17. Cost is $100 and includes a Villages Lacrosse Club T-Shirt and five (5) sessions of play. Spring session will take place on Sundays at Allen B. Nease High School, 10550 Ray Rd, and Ponte Vedra on the back 40. Season runs January 24 through February 21. For additional information please email villageslacrosse@gmail.com .

PONTE VEDRA SOCCER CLUB

Spring 2016 Registration now through January 15, 2016. Spring season runs March 5 through May 21. Registration fee is $175. To register or to obtain additional information please click here.

Skills Camps Ages U8 – U14:
Boys Winter Skills Camp Girls Winter Skills Camp
January 11-14 January 6-8
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Camp fee: $100 Camp fee: $60.

For more information and to register please click here.

PONTE VEDRA GIRLS SOFTBALL

Spring softball signups for Ponte Vedra Storm Recreational Softball are open now through February 6. Evaluations will be held at Davis Park, 210 Davis Park Road, and Ponte Vedra February 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Recreational Softball is open to players ages 4-16. Click here for additional information or email pvcommish@yahoo.com.

North Florida Stealth Competitive League tryouts will be held at Davis Park, 210 Davis Park Road, and Ponte Vedra January 16. Additional information available by emailing nfstealth@gmail.com.

Adult Sports

WINTER LEAGUES: ADULT CO-ED SOCCER AND KICKBALL

Looking to relive the glory days? Want to dominate the playground again? Adults 18 and over can have that chance very soon. Registration for Winter Co-ed Soccer and Co-ed Kickball is open. Register a whole team, or register as a Free Agent and we will place you on a team. All skill levels are welcome. All games are played in the Julington Creek area.
Click here to register, or emailinfo@jaxsport.com for more information.

Natural Treasures

RIVER BLESSING AT ALPINE GROVES PARK

The Stetson Kennedy Foundation and St. John’s County Parks and Recreation Department invite you to participate in a River Blessing at Alpine Groves Park, 2060 State Road 13, St. Johns, January 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The River Blessing is spiritual but non-religious and is inspired from 1st nation’s native people of the United States. The Matanzas and St. Johns River Keepers will speak about the river and offer inspirational words.

BELUTHAHATCHEE PARK TOURS

Beluthahatchee Park, 1523 State Road 13, St Johns, is designated as the only National Literary Landmark honoring two writers: Stetson Kennedy, author of Palmetto Country, The Florida Slave, Southern Exposure, Jim Crow Guide to U.S.A. and Woody Guthrie, who wrote his autobiography Seeds of Man at this park. Beluthahatchee Park tours are scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. following the river blessing on January 30.

GUIDED KAYAK TOURS ON SJC WATERWAYS

The Parks and Recreation Department is offering guided kayak tours for exploration of the urban wilderness environment along the Guana River, Trout Creek, and Durbin Creek. Our County Naturalist will share local history and identify the flora and fauna found along some of St. Johns County’s most beautiful blue way trails. Space is limited so reservations are required. Trips cost $20 if you supply your own kayak and $40 if a rented kayak is required. To reserve your spot, please contact AyoLane Halusky at 904.209.0348 orahalusky@sjcfl.us, or visit the County Naturalist webpage for more information.

Hallows Cove Exploration Trip

Date: January 21 at 10 a.m.
Location: RiverTown Riverfront Park
Address: 88 Riverfront Trail, St Johns, 32259
(SR 13 between Switzerland and Orangedale)

Trout Creek Trip

Date: January 22 at 10 a.m.
Location: Trout Creek Park
Address: 6795 Collier Rd, Orangedale, 32092

This will be a 4-5 hour paddle from Trout Creek Park to Six Mile Creek stopping halfway for lunch at a local waterfront restaurant.

Hallows Cove Exploration Trip

Date: January 23 at 10 a.m.
Location: RiverTown Riverfront Park
Address: 88 Riverfront Trail, St Johns, 32259
(SR 13 between Switzerland and Orangedale)

SJC Beaches

FIRST RIGHT WHALE SIGHTING

The first North Atlantic Right Whale mom and calf pair has been spotted off St. Johns County Beaches by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s daily aerial survey. The team spotted the pair close to shore in Ponte Vedra on December 10, 2015. With less than 500 Right Whales remaining in a reduced habitat range, there are several steps you can take to help protect these magnificent creatures. These modern day threats are diminishing this species: vessel strikes, fishing gear entanglement, habitat loss and pollution. Please discard your trash and fishing gear properly. There is a 500-yard no approach rule for people on surfboards, paddle boards, boats and airplanes to reduce the stress on Right Whales. These whales can often be seen from our coastline. If you are lucky enough to spot a whale please contact the Right Whale hotline at 1.888.979.4253 (1.888.97.WHALE).

HIRING SEASONAL BEACH TOLL ATTENDANTS

St. Johns County will begin accepting Beach Toll Attendant applications between 9:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on January 25, 27, and 29 (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). Those interested in this seasonal position are encouraged to visit the Beach Services Office, 901 Pope Road, St. Augustine, during these times to obtain and complete an application. Toll attendants are responsible for selling vehicle beach access passes and providing customer service for St. Johns County beach visitors between March and September. For more information, please contact Sydney Lindblad at 904.209.0344 or slindblad@sjcfl.us.

PRE-SEASON ON-BEACH PARKING PASSES

On sale now until March 1:

County Resident: $30.00
Non-Resident: $40.00
Handicapped: $20.00
100% Disabled Veterans are eligible for a free pass.

Please click here for more information or call the St. Johns County Beach Services Office at 904.209.0331.

SJC Golf Course

GIFTS FOR THE GOLFER IN YOUR LIFE

St. Johns Golf Club, 4900 Cypress Links Blvd, Elkton, offers a fully stocked Golf Shop to meet all your gifting needs. The shop features nearly all major equipment manufacturers, in addition to a full stock of balls, men’s & women’s apparel, shoes, accessories, bags, outerwear and much more! Just ask one of our knowledgeable staff for assistance to help you pick out the perfect gift for the golfer in your

JANUARY SKINS GAME

St. Johns Golf Club, 4900 Cypress Links Blvd, Elkton, is offering a New Year’s Day Skins Game, a two-man team event that allows players to use 100% of their USGA handicap. The format is aggregate total of the two players on each hole. Teams that make the lowest score on any hole receive a team skin. Skins will be paid in golf shop gift certificates.

Entry fee for St. Johns Golf Club members is $30 per player; non-members pay $40 per player to play. Tournament starts at 8:30 a.m. Any player with a handicap is eligible to play. Please call the golf shop at 904.209.0350 to place your team on the list.

SUPERBOWL SCRAMBLE

St. Johns Golf Course, 4900 Cypress Links Blvd, Elkton is hosting a Super Bowl Scramble Sunday, February 7 at 8:30 a.m. The Super Bowl Scramble is our most popular four player team event. It is a reduction scramble, which means that after a putt is made, any team members that have not putted have the opportunity to make the putt and reduce the team score for that hole.

Entry fee for St. Johns Golf Club members is $40 per player; non-members pay $45 per player to play. Fee includes course fees, range balls, prizes, and tailgate party after play on the back patio

GOLF GAME RULES

A different golf game rule will be highlighted each month. The rule book has 34 rules, and is designed to clarify the procedures to play the game.

This month, Rule 1-2 is highlighted. Rule 1-2, exerting influence on movement of ball or altering physical conditions. The rule states, “A player must not take an action with the intent to influence the movement of a ball in play or alter physical conditions with the intent of affecting the play of a hole.”

In order to gain a better understanding of this rule, we will take a decision that is based on this rule:

Question: May a player lay his golf bag parallel to the line of putt to shield the line from the wind?

Answer: No. Such an action taken with the intent to influence the movement of the ball would be a breach of rule 1-2, even if the golf bag were removed prior to the stroke being made. The penalty would be two strokes in stroke play or the loss of the hole in match play.

Next month Rule 2-4 will be highlighted. Golf is a great game. If you are going to play it, you should play by the rules.

Athletic Facilities

NEW SIGNS TO BE POSTED ATHLETIC FACILITIES

Parks and Recreation will be placing new signs near our athletic fields in an effort to emphasize the importance of allowing our kids to have FUN while playing youth sports and as a reminder that good behavior and good sportsmanship are essential for both children and adults.

Sing Out Loud Series Spotlights Parks & Beaches

Shovels and Rope

SING OUT LOUD SERIES

Parks and Recreation is partnering with the Cultural Events Division to showcase music in our parks, on our beaches and at our venues. The Sing Out Loud Series (or “SOL Series”) is a collection of concerts and music video projects that highlight internationally touring and talented local artists, visiting an array of unique venues and locations spread throughout beautiful St Johns County.

Click here to hear Shovels & Rope sing “Save The World” from their SWIMMIN’ TIME album performed live at the Six Mile Boat Ramp off A1A in the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve.

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