Tricolor Heron walking in the surf

WILD AMELIA NATURE FESTIVAL
MAY 19-21, 2017


An exciting three-day weekend of events and outdoor adventures for everyone.
  It's always the third weekend in May.

sea turtle release

Friday, May 19           
A rehabilitated sea turtle will be released to its ocean home on Main Beach. Details.

sunset river cruise

Friday, May 19
A narrated cruise by Amelia River Cruises. Details.

eco-expo

Saturday, May 20
Conservation exhibitors, Silent Auction, Kids Niche, the SeaMobile, plant sale, music by Laid Back. Don't miss it! Details.

eco-tours

Friday, May 19-Sunday, May 21
Nature encounters take you to the wild side. See the adventures waiting for you! Details.

Release of Rehabilitated Sea Turtle

Main Beach on Friday, May 19. Time to be announced. 
Release, as always, is dependent on weather conditions and health of the turtle. Check the Wild Amelia Facebook page for updates.

A rehabilitated sea turtle will be returned to its ocean home on Main Beach at approximately mid-day. These releases by the Georgia Sea Turtle Center are extremely popular and heart warming. This event is always dependent on the availability of a sea turtle that is ready for release in this area. (Sea turtles are released in the general area where they were rescued before going to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center's rehab hospital.)

This event is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary.  

Sunset River Cruise Fundraiser

Friday, May 19, 6:30–8:30 pm.
$50 non-member. $35 Wild Amelia member. Join Wild Amelia.
This popular cruise with Amelia River Cruises is a Wild Amelia fundraiser. Learn about our intracoastal ecosystem while relaxing on our sunset nature cruise with Captain Kevin McCarthy who will share his personal stories of local history and wildlife. Sightings often include bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, manatees, roseate spoonbills and other wading birds, ospreys and the wild horses on Cumberland Island.

The cruise leaves from the downtown Fernandina Beach marina at 7 pm and returns at 8:30 pm. Guests are asked to arrive no later than 6:30 pm to enjoy hors d'oeuvres on the dock and be seated onboard before launch time. Soft drinks will be served onboard. Guest are welcome to bring their adult beverage of choice. Bring a light jacket.

Register with Amelia River Cruises online or 904-261–9972.

 

Eco Saturday, May 20
10 am - 3 pm 
Atlantic Recreation Center
2500 Atlantic Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL
 
FREE ADMISSION 


eco-expo

This anchor event of our festival showcases 30 environmental exhibitors* — conservation organizations, as well as some green businesses that support nature and the environment. Plant Sale: Butterfly-friendly plants will be sold as a Wild Amelia fundraiser. Don't miss our great Silent Auction. Enjoy the music of the Laid Back Band which will be playing on the lawn 10am–2pm. Winners of the Nature Photo Contest will be announced at 2 pm.

kids niche

The Kids Niche is open outside from 10am–2pm. Kids will love the nature activities which include a touch-tank of salt marsh critters, nature crafts, and Shari Blissett-Clark of Bat Belfrys, Inc. will be back with those adorable little bats. The SeaMobile will be here (see video below). Mermaid Kelly will teach kids about ocean conservation.

nature passport program

Kids, sign up for this when you enter the lobby! Designated exhibitors will help you answer questions about butterflies. Answer all the questions correctly and you will receive a replica model of a butterfly, our 2017 critter-of-the-year.

Monarch Butterfly

Critter-of-the-year

Each year we feature a native creature as the festival mascot. Our 2017 critter-of-the-year is the butterfly, an important pollinator and a beautiful part of our natural environment. Learn more about butterflies in our area and our featured critters of previous years.

 

Exhibitors participating in the Wild Amelia Eco-Expo are largely wildlife conservation and environmental organizations. We also accept some commercial vendors whose products are directly related to promoting a conservation ethic, such as developing an appreciation of nature through art, through environmental experiences, or through conservation of energy resources.

Eco-Tours



Wild Amelia arranges nature tours with reputable local vendors.
Registration and payment are handled directly with the vendor.
The only exception is Wild Amelia's Photography Zoo Safari on Sunday.
   
A special free event will precede the Nature Festival: 
Monday, May 15 at 7-9 pm
Shari Blisset-Clark of Bat Belfrys will present a Bat Chat
at the Fort Clinch State Park Conference Room

Friday, May 19

Salt Marsh Kayak Adventure   
9 am, $65
Meet at Walker’s Landing at Omni Amelia Island Plantation.
Paddle through the salt marsh as you learn about the local ecology and animals that call the marsh their home. Single kayaks available for ages 13 and up. Tandem kayaks for ages 8 and up with adult.
Tour Leader: Omni Amelia Island Plantation naturalist
To register: omnihotels.com/ ameliaisland  or 904–321–5082

Two-hour Segway Eco-tour
10 am–noon, $95
Meet at Ribault Club.
Segways offer a fun way to explore the drier side of Timucuan Preserve. After a short training in the field your guide will lead you through the trails on Fort George Island State Park. Riders must be over 14-years-old and under 260 lbs.
Guide: Kayak Amelia naturalist
To register: KayakAmelia.com or 904–251–0016

Kayak Ecotour  
10 am – 1 pm, $65 adults, $55 children under 12 years old.
Meet at Ft. George boat ramp.
On our tour we paddle through a series of tributaries that wind through the marsh, creating what looks like the arteries of the land. The water twists and turns creating intimate canals for the resident wading birds, fishing osprey, and provides protection for newly hatched fingerlings. The estuary is a fascinating environment, the lifeblood of the ocean, and the nursery ground for most of the life in the sea.
Tour Leader: Kayak Amelia naturalist
To register: KayakAmelia.com or 904–251–0016

Natural Resources: Nurturing Amelia Island for Centuries
10–11:30 am, No charge 
Meet at the Depot Visitor Center on Centre Street.
We will stroll along the waterfront and talk about the resources we have used to sustain our community over the centuries.
Tour Leader: Lauri deGaris
To register: discoverthisco.com or 904–477–8900   

Windward Sailing Cruise
1–3 pm. $40
Meet at the fuel dock at Fernandina Harbor Marina no later than 12:45 pm.
Sail on one of Windward Sailing’s sailboats around Amelia and Cumberland Islands. Experience true ‘green’ transportation as you make your around Cumberland Sound the way the first explorers did. You’ll experience how nature’s tides, currents, and wind allow you to see dolphins, a, and wild horses, silently. You can even help man the boat if you would like.
To register: windwardsailing.com or 904–327–3265

BarHopping (SANDbars)
1– 4 pm. $65 adult, $55 child under 12 years
Meet at Fort George boat ramp.
The Bar Hopping tour begins as the tide is going out exposing many natural sand bars creating secluded white sandy beaches. The sand bars are covered twice a day by the tide so many times as the tide subsides it leaves in its path exotic shells, indigenous critters, and tidal pools, where wading and shore birds feed.
Guide: Kayak Amelia naturalist
To register: KayakAmelia.com or 904–251–0016

One–hour Segway Eco-tour
1–2 pm. $75
Meet at Ribault Club.
Segways offer a fun way to explore the drier side of Timucuan Preserve. After a short training in the field your guide will lead you through the trails on Fort George Island State Park. Riders must be over 14-years-old and under 260 lbs.  
Guide: Kayak Amelia naturalist
To register: KayakAmelia.com or 904–251–0016

Windward Sailing Cruise
4–6 pm. $40
Meet on the fuel dock at Fernandina Harbor Marina no later than 3:45 pm.
Sail on one of Windward Sailing’s sailboats around Amelia and Cumberland Islands. Experience true ‘green’ transportation as you make your around Cumberland Sound the way the first explorers did. You’ll experience how nature’s tides, currents, and wind allow you to see dolphins, a, and wild horses, silently. You can even help man the boat if you would like.
To register: windwardsailing.com or 904–327–3265

Sunset With The Birds ­­— Egan’s Creek Greenway
6:30–7:45 pm. $10 adults, children under 12-years-old free
Meet at trail head behind the Atlantic Recreation Center.
Explore Egan’s Creek Greenway as the tide comes in and the sun prepares to set. Learn to identify some of
the native wildlife as they feed and prepare for the night. Bring binoculars, cameras and insect protection.
Guide: Christina Nelson, Amelia Naturally
To register: 904–583–2330
Email Questions: cnturtlegirl@gmail.com

Sunset River Cruise Fundraiser
6:30–8:30 pm. $50 non-member, $35 Wild Amelia member Join Wild Amelia.
Meet at the downtown Fernandina Beach marina no later than 6:30 pm to enjoy hors d'oeuvres on the dock and be seated onboard before launch time. Wine punch and soft drinks will be served on board. Guests may bring adult beverages of their choice.
This popular cruise with Amelia River Cruises is a Wild Amelia fundraiser. Learn about our intracoastal ecosystem while relaxing on our sunset nature cruise with Captain Kevin McCarthy who will share his personal stories of local history and wildlife. Sightings often include bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, manatees, roseate spoonbills and other wading birds, ospreys and the wild horses on Cumberland Island. Bring a light jacket.
Guide: Captain Kevin McCarthy, Amelia River Cruises
To register: ameliarivercruises.com/book–online/ or 904-261–9972

Saturday, May 20

BarHopping (SANDbars)
9 am– noon. $65 adult, $55 child under 12 years
Meet at Fort George boat ramp.
The Bar Hopping tour begins as the tide is going out exposing many natural sand bars creating secluded white sandy beaches. The sand bars are covered twice a day by the tide so many times as the tide subsides it leaves in its path exotic shells, indigenous critters, and tidal pools, where wading and shore birds feed.
Guide: Kayak Amelia naturalist
To register: KayakAmelia.com or 904–251–0016

Salt Marsh Kayak Adventure  
9 am, $65
Meet at Walker’s Landing at Omni Amelia Island Plantation.
Paddle through the salt marsh as you learn about the local ecology and animals that call the marsh their home. Single kayaks available for ages 13 and up. Tandem kayaks for ages 8 and up with adult.
Tour Leader: Omni Amelia Island Plantation naturalist
To register: omnihotels.com/ Ameliaisland or 904–321–5082

Egan’s Creek Walk ­­— Birds, Blooms & Butterflies
10–11 am. $10 adults, children under 12-years-old free when accompanied by an adult
Meet at trail head behind the Atlantic Recreation Center.
Enjoy a guided nature walk along the paths of Egan’s Creek Greenway. Plants and animals of the greenway
will be highlighted. The tides will be going out and many wading birds are expected to be on display.
Bring binoculars and camera. Wear comfortable walking shoes, sun and insect protection.
Guide: Christina Nelson, Amelia Naturally
To register: 904–583–2330
Email Questions: cnturtlegirl@gmail.com

Stand Up Paddleboard Intro Class
4 –5 pm. $30
Meet at Kayak Amelia office in Talbot Island State Park.
Find out what Stand Up Paddleboarding is all about. This one hour class will get you comfortable on the SUP board and introduce the basic strokes. You will paddle in a quiet lagoon area, no long distances. Just enough to get you ready for cruising.
Guide: Kayak Amelia certified instructor
To register: KayakAmelia.com or 904–251–0016

Two-hour Segway Ecotour
10 am–noon. $95
Meet at Ribault Club.
Segways offer a fun way to explore the drier side of Timucuan Preserve. After a short training in the field your guide will lead you through the trails on Fort George Island State Park. Riders must be over 14-years-old and under 260 lbs.
Guide: Kayak Amelia naturalist
To register: KayakAmelia.com or 904–251–0016

One–hour Segway Ecotour
1–2 pm. $75
Meet at Ribault Club.
Segways offer a fun way to explore the drier side of Timucuan Preserve. After a short training in the field your guide will lead you through the trails on Fort George Island State Park. Riders must be over 14-years-old and under 260 lbs.  
Guide: Kayak Amelia naturalist
To register: KayakAmelia.com or 904–251–0016

Windward Sailing Cruise
1–3 pm. $40
Meet on the fuel dock at Fernandina Harbor Marina no later than 12:45 pm.
Sail on one of Windward Sailing’s sailboats around Amelia and Cumberland Islands. Experience true ‘green’ transportation as you make your around Cumberland Sound the way the first explorers did. You’ll experience how nature’s tides, currents, and wind allow you to see dolphins, a, and wild horses, silently. You can even help man the boat if you would like.
To register: windwardsailing.com or 904–327–3265

Fort Clinch State Park Nature Walk
2–3 pm. Park entry fee of $6 per car
Meet at Willow Pond Trail Head, Fort Clinch State Park.
Enjoy a guided nature walk on Fort Clinch State Park's beautiful Willow Pond Nature Trail. This a family-friendly walk that provides an enjoyable way to get a glimpse of the local plants and animals that make Florida so unique. The trail winds through a coastal maritime hammock down to fresh water ponds. The walk lasts approximately one hour. Bring comfortable walking shoes, water, insect repellent.
Guide: Naturalist Carl Watson, Florida Master Naturalist
No registration needed.

Windward Sailing Cruise
4–6 pm. $40
Meet on the fuel dock at Fernandina Harbor Marina no later than 3:45 pm.
Sail on one of Windward Sailing’s sailboats around Amelia and Cumberland Islands. Experience true ‘green’ transportation as you make your around Cumberland Sound the way the first explorers did. You’ll experience how nature’s tides, currents, and wind allow you to see dolphins, a, and wild horses, silently. You can even help man the boat if you would like.
To register: windwardsailing.com or 904–327–3265

Sunset Ecotour & Shrimp Demonstration
6:30–8:30 pm. $25
Cruise departs from Amelia River Cruises, downtown at the foot of Centre Street.
Amelia River Cruises will bring you close up and personal with the landscape, wildlife and ecosystem that make northeast Florida a truly unique experience. Come join owner, Kevin McCarthy, and our on–staff marine biologist as we explore the backwaters including the Belles River, Tiger Creek and the Cumberland Sound. Enjoy, firsthand, a live shrimp demonstration as we drag an authentic Otter Trawl shrimp net still used in the commercial shrimping industry. View the catch and learn about each creature from our marine biologist before we release our catch back into the wild. Enjoy views of wildlife such as dolphins, manatees, exotic birds and wild horses set against the spectacular backdrop of the best sunset north of Key West.
Guide: Amelia River Cruises staff
To register: ameliarivercruises.com/book–online/ or 904 261–9972

Bat Trek in the Greenway
7-9 pm. $10.00 adult, $15.00 couple, $20.00 family of up to 4
Meet in the Atlantic Center Aquatics Classroom for a short discussion followed by a leisurely walk through the Greenway.
Join Shari Blissett-Clark of Bat Belfrys, Inc. for a personal session with some of the Florida bats in her care, followed by an evening Bat Trek through the Greenway searching for local bats using auditory detection devices. If disability accommodations will be needed, please provide details during the registration process. Proceeds will go to Bat Belfrys to assist with bat rehabilitation and rescue.
Bring a flashlight and insect repellent.
To register: Go to main desk at Atlantic Recreation Center at 2500 Atlantic Avenue, or call 904-310-3350 x1.

 

 

Sunday, May 21 

ZOO PHOTOGRAPHY SAFARI!
7am until... (stay as long as you like or until the zoo closes). $69.57
Go behind the scenes at the Jacksonville Zoo for a special opportunity to photograph the animals. First we will break into three small groups for photography before the public arrives. After the Zoo opens to the public, we’ll go behind the scenes for some special photo opportunities, followed by brunch at the Zoo. After brunch you are welcome to stay on your own as long as you would like. Limited to 30 participants.
Guides: Scott and Dawna Moore
To register: EventBrite 

 Sunrise Yoga 
6 am. Free 
There is a certain magic that happens as the sun breaks the horizon and floods the sky with color. Join friends and neighbors to greet the new day with a deeper understanding of the local bioregion. Deb Cunningham will lead a gentle Yoga stretch. Definitely one of the most inspirational events from last year’s festival. Meet at Main Beach. Bring yoga mat or towel. 
Guide: Deb Cunningham 
Questions: 904–251–0016 
No reservations needed.

Kayak Demo Day with Blackcreek Outfitters  
9 am–2 pm, No charge
Nature Center at Omni Amelia Island Plantation.
Come test out various kayaks at Omni Amelia Island Plantation.
omnihotels.com/ameliaisland or 904–321–5082

Natural Resources: Nurturing Amelia Island for Centuries
10–11:30 am, No charge 
Meet at the Depot Visitor Center on Centre Street.
We will stroll along the waterfront and talk about the resources we have used to sustain our community over the centuries.
Tour Leader: Lauri deGaris
To register: discoverthisco.com or 904–477–8900  

Two-hour Segway Eco-tour
10 am–noon. $95
Segways offer a fun way to explore the drier side of Timucuan Preserve. After a short training in the field your guide will lead you through the trails on Fort George Island State Park. Riders must be over 14-years-old and under 260 lbs. Meet at Ribault Club.
Guide: Kayak Amelia naturalist
To register: KayakAmelia.com or 904–251–0016

One–hour Segway Eco-tour
1–2 pm. $75
Segways offer a fun way to explore the drier side of Timucuan Preserve. After a short training in the field your guide will lead you through the trails on Fort George Island State Park. Riders must be over 14-years-old and under 260 lbs. Meet at Ribault Club.  
Guide: Kayak Amelia naturalist
To register: KayakAmelia.com or 904–251–0016

Windward Sailing Cruise
1–3 pm. $40
Meet on the fuel dock at Fernandina Harbor Marina no later than 12:45 pm.
Sail on one of Windward Sailing’s sailboats around Amelia and Cumberland Islands. Experience true ‘green’ transportation as you make your around Cumberland Sound the way the first explorers did. You’ll experience how nature’s tides, currents, and wind allow you to see dolphins, a, and wild horses, silently. You can even help man the boat if you would like.
To register: windwardsailing.com or 904–327–3265

Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga
4–5 pm. $30
Meet at Kayak Amelia office in Talbot Island State Park.
Guide: Deb Cunningham
To register: KayakAmelia.com or 904–251–0016

Windward Sailing Cruise
4–6 pm. $40
Meet on the fuel dock at Fernandina Harbor Marina no later than 3:45 pm.
Sail on one of Windward Sailing’s sailboats around Amelia and Cumberland Islands. Experience true ‘green’ transportation as you make your around Cumberland Sound the way the first explorers did. You’ll experience how nature’s tides, currents, and wind allow you to see dolphins, a, and wild horses, silently. You can even help man the boat if you would like.
To register: windwardsailing.com or 904–327–3265