Tricolor Heron walking in the surf

WILD AMELIA NATURE FESTIVAL
MAY 20-22, 2016


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 20           
A rehabilitated sea turtle will be released to its ocean home on Main Beach. Details.

sunset river cruise

Friday, May 20
A narrated cruise by Amelia River Cruises. Details.

eco-expo

Saturday, May 21
Conservation exhibitors, Silent Auction, Kids Niche, music by Laid Back. Don't miss it! Details.

eco-tours

Friday, May 20-Sunday, May 22
Nature encounters take you to the wild side. See the adventures waiting for you! Details.

Some Scenes from the  2015 Wild Amelia Nature Festival


Photos and slideshow by Kathy Brooks.

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Release of Rehabilitated Sea Turtle

Main Beach on Friday, May 20, at 11:30 a.m. 
Release, as always, is dependent on weather conditions and health of the turtle. Check 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 20, 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. Wine punch and soft drinks will be served. Bring a light jacket.

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

Saturday, May 21
10 am - 4 pm 
Atlantic Recreation Center
2500 Atlantic Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL
 
FREE ADMISSION 


eco-expo

This anchor event of our festival showcases 30 exhibitors* — conservation organizations, as well as some green businesses that support nature and the environment. And don't miss the Silent Auction! Ours is one of the best around, promise. Enjoy the music of the Laid Back band which will be playing on the lawn 10am–2pm.

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. Miss Marlene will be doing cool face painting.

nature passport program

Kids, sign up for this when you enter the lobby! Designated exhibitors will help you answer questions about sharks. Answer all the questions correctly and you will receive a replica model of a Shark, our 2016 critter-of-the-year.

Critter-of-the-year

Each year we feature a native creature as the festival mascot. Our 2016 critter-of-the-year is the shark, an apex predator whose survival is critical to our oceans. Learn more about sharks and previously featured critters!

 

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 Safari
 at the Jacksonville Zoo
on Sunday.    

Friday, May 20

Sunset River Cruise Fundraiser
7–8:30 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. Bring a light jacket. 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.
Guide: Captain Kevin McCarthy, Amelia River Cruises
To register: ameliarivercruises.com/book–online/ or 904-261–9972

Sunset With The Birds ­­— Egan’s Creek Greenway
6–7:30 pm. $10 adults, children under 12-years-old free
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.
Meet at trail head behind the Atlantic Recreation Center.
Guide: Christina Nelson, Amelia Naturally
To register: 904–583–2330
Email Questions: cnturtlegirl@gmail.com

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

Windward Sailing Cruise
1–3 pm. $40
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. Tour participants need to meet on the fuel dock at Fernandina Harbor Marina no later than 12:45 pm.
To register: windwardsailing.com or 904–327–3265

BarHopping (SANDbars)
1– 4 pm. $65 adult, $55 child under 12 years
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. Meet at Fort George boat ramp.
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
4–6 pm. $40
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. Tour participants need to meet on the fuel dock at Fernandina Harbor Marina no later than 3:45 pm.
To register: windwardsailing.com or 904–327–3265

Saturday, May 21

Beach Exploration
7–8am. $10 adults, children under 12-years-old free when accompanied by an adult
Enjoy a guided nature walk along Amelia’s beautiful shores. Discover treasures along the way as we learn
about the beach ecosystem. Shorebird, Sea Turtles and Fossils will be highlighted also.
Bring bag for collecting beach treasure, sun protection, and shoes that may get wet. Meet at North Beach Park located at 9th Street and North Fletcher.
Guide: Christina Nelson, Amelia Naturally
To register: 904–583–2330
Email Questions: cnturtlegirl@gmail.com

Kayak Eco-tour
9 am–noon. $65 adult, $55 children under 12-years-old
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. Meet at Kayak Amelia office in Talbot Island State Park.
Guide: Kayak Amelia naturalist
To register: KayakAmelia.com or 904–251–0016

Kids’ Fishing ClinicPOSTPONED DUE TO POSSIBLE BAD WEATHER
9 am–1pm. Free
Fort Clinch State Park Pier.
Ages 5-15 with parent or guardian. Free rod & reel for first 500 participants. Free hot dog lunch for participants. Bait provided.
Questions: Fort Clinch State Park 904-277-7274
To register: 904-277-7274

Egan’s Creek Walk ­­— Birds, Blooms & Butterflies
10–11 am. $10 adults, children under 12-years-old free when accompanied by an adult
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. Meet at trail head behind the Atlantic Recreation Center.
Guide: Christina Nelson, Amelia Naturally
To register: 904–583–2330
Email Questions: cnturtlegirl@gmail.com

Stand Up Paddleboard Intro Class
10–11 am. $30
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. Meet at Kayak Amelia office in Talbot Island State Park.
Guide: Kayak Amelia certified instructor
To register: KayakAmelia.com or 904–251–0016

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

Eco-Bike
noon–1:30 pm. $25
Join our naturalists as we explore Omni Amelia Island Plantation’s scenic bike paths.  We will ride nearly 6 miles round trip, stoing in the middle for a short walk through a maritime forest, highlighting the salt marsh and native plants and animals. Meet at Amelia’s Wheels on Omni Amelia Island Plantation.
Guide: Omni Amelia Island Plantation naturalist
To register: omnihotels.com/ameliaisland or 904–321–5082

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
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. Tour participants need to meet on the fuel dock at Fernandina Harbor Marina no later than 12:45 pm.
To register: windwardsailing.com or 904–327–3265

Fort Clinch State Park Nature Walk
2–3 pm. Park entry fee of $6 per car.
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. Meet at Willow Pond Trail Head, Fort Clinch State Park.
Guide: Naturalist Carl Watson, Florida Master Naturalist
No registration needed.

Bike Ride Along Talbot’s Trail
3:30–5:30 pm. $35
Enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the new bike path on Big Talbot Island. We will make several stops to enjoy
the beach, views of the salt marsh and unique points along this barrier island. There is a great observation boardwalk along Sawpit creek which is utilized by many shorebirds during the day. Bring water, sun and insect protection, and shoes that may get wet. Meet at southernmost parking lot along the bike trail.
Guide: Christina Nelson, Amelia Naturally
To register: 904–583–2330
Email Questions: cnturtlegirl@gmail.com

Sea-cology Segway Tour
4 pm–5:30 pm. $95
Join our naturalists on  a tour highlighting the marvelous beaches of Amelia Island. Learn about the dynamic beach dune system that is home to many keystone species. Riders must be over 16-years-old. Meet at Amelia’s Wheels on Omni Amelia Island Plantation.
Guide: Omni Amelia Island Plantation naturalist
To register: omnihotels.com/ameliaisland or 904–321–5082

Windward Sailing Cruise
4–6 pm. $40
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. Tour participants need to meet on the fuel dock at Fernandina Harbor Marina no later than 3:45 pm.
To register: windwardsailing.com or 904–327–3265

Sunset Kayak Eco-tour
6:30–8:30 pm. $65
Get a front row seat to one of natures most spectacular shows, as the sun slips below the horizon line and the day fades to night. Relax with friends at the end of the day. A calmness comes over the marsh at sunset as the golden colors of sunset are cast over the water and grasses. Meet at Kayak Amelia office in Talbot Island State Park.
Guide: Kayak Amelia naturalist
To register: KayakAmelia.com or 904–251–0016

Sunset Eco-tour & Shrimp Demonstration
6:30–8:30 pm. $25
As part of the 2015 Wild Amelia Nature Festival, Amelia River Cruises will bring you close up and personal with the landscape, wildlife and Eco–System 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. Cruise departs from Amelia River Cruises, downtown at the foot of Centre Street.
Guide: Amelia River Cruises staff
To register: ameliarivercruises.com/book–online/ or 904 261–9972

Bat Trek
7-9 pm. $10.00 adult, $15.00 couple, $20.00 family (2 adults, 4 children for a limit of 6 individuals)
Proceeds will go to Bat Belfrys to assist with bat rehabilitation and rescue.
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. Meet in the Atlantic Center Aquatics Classroom for a 30-45 minute discussion followed by a leisurely walk through the Greenway. Bring a flashlight and insect repellent. If disability accommodations will be needed, please provide details during the registration process. (Note: On Monday, May 16 Shari will be presenting a Bat Chat at Fort Clinch. Time will be announced on Wild Amelia Facebook and in the News Leader.)
To register: Go to main desk at Atlantic Recreation Center at 2500 Atlantic Avenue, or call 904-310-3350 x1.

 

 

Sunday, May 22


Zoo photography safari!

SOLD OUT!
Email us if you would like to be put on the waiting list.

Time: 7am until as long as you want or until the zoo closes.
$65 + $4.57 EventBrite registration fee
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.
Guide: Steve Leimberg
REGISTER NOW

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.

Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga
10–11 am. $30
Meet at Kayak Amelia office in Talbot Island State Park.
Guide: Deb Cunningham
To register: KayakAmelia.com or 904–251–0016

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
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. Tour participants need to meet on the fuel dock at Fernandina Harbor Marina no later than 12:45 pm.
To register: windwardsailing.com or 904–327–3265

Fishing 101
2–3 pm. $15
Enjoy freshwater fishing on the banks of a pond with one of our naturalists. All equipment and instruction provided. Meet at the Nature Center at Omni Amelia Island Plantation.
Guide: Omni Amelia Island Plantation naturalist
To register: omnihotels.com/ ameliaisland or 904–321–5082

Windward Sailing Cruise
4–6 pm. $40
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. Tour participants need to meet on the fuel dock at Fernandina Harbor Marina no later than 3:45 pm.
To register: windwardsailing.com or 904–327–3265