Check out our 2018-9 schedule.


SFAS Program Meetings
Active: Sept - April
Annual Report
When: Program Meetings are held the Second Tuesday of each month at 6:45pm.

Where:Trinity Episcopal Parish Hall, 204 SR 26, Melrose

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Photo Credits
Photographs displayed on this website are copyrighted and were provided with permission by:
Ann Stodola
Dr. Jeff Smith
John Sloane
Richard Segall
Carol Sallette
Anne Pierce
Ida Little
Joyce King
Ray Franklin
Bill Chitty
Sallie Carlock
Jan & Bill Bolte
Keith Bollum
Bob Bird


Programs are presented at the program meetings on the second Tuesday of each month
Field trips and walking workshops are on the Saturdays listed below.


About field trips
Come early and be ready to LEAVE at the times listed.
Bring water, binoculars, hat, sunscreen, and raingear.
Wear sturdy walking shoes. Binoculars are available on loan.

2018-2019 Field Trip Schedule
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Field Trip: EXPLORE O’LENO STATE PARK
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool or 9:15 at O’Leno State Park, 410 SE Oleno Park Rd, High Springs, FL 32643 at the main parking area about a mile from the park entrance. ($5 per car park entrance fee.)
Contact: Joyce King 352.475.1999 or joyceking2635@gmail.com

This park on the Santa Fe River hosts a forest with a large diversity of tree species. Walk along the river trail with Erick Smith and Mike Meisenburg to identify trees and birds. Fall migration will be in full swing. This easy walk is about 1-1/2 miles.
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Field Trip: CLASSIC BIRD WATCHING GUANA-TOLOMATO MATANZAS NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE (GTM NERR)
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park to carpool or at 9:30 at the reserve: GTM NERR,505 Guana River Rd, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32082 at the westernmost parking lot (farthest from the entrance).
Contact: Gina Hopen 954-802-0922 or ghendurocat@yahoo.com

This reserve is dynamic with many interconnected habitats from the ocean to forested areas. The landscape hosts a diversity of plants and animals and is on the migratory route for warblers and hawks. Expect 2-3 hours of walking on paths to discover some of the natural wonders of this unusual reserve.
October 2018, specific date to be announced.
Fun Work Day: Annual Etoniah Rosemary Survey, Etoniah Creek State Forest Previous Surveys
Meet at Etoniah Creek State Forest Office, 8:30 am
Contact: Joyce King, (353) 475-1999.

Found nowhere else, and listed as an endangered species. A census to assess the health of this rare plant population is held each October when the plants are in bloom. Volunteers are invited to participate; training is provided. (Halloween candy also provided!) Call Joyce King to volunteer (353) 475-1999
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Field Trip: ASHTON BIOLOGICAL PRESERVE
Meet at 8:30 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park to carpool, which is strongly encouraged due to rough road conditions (6 miles on dirt. Must leave at Merose at 8:45 sharp.
Contact: Laura Berkelman 352-475-2023 or lberkelman@windstream.net.

Tour the preserve with Animal Care Specialist and Habitat Manager Chase Pirtle. The tour starts at 10 AM for about 2 hours; the fee is $10 per person (20 guests maximum). We will start exploring at the enclosure of endangered exotic and native animals. We’ll do some walking and a ride in “Reserve Trolleys” where we will see incredible plant and animal diversity. A picnic area is provided.
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Melrose Circle, 119th Christmas Bird Count (Previous years)

Contact: Joyce King 352.475.1999 or joyceking2635@gmail.com

The world’s oldest citizen-science project relies on volunteers to collect data that contribute to bird conservation, indicate the movement, declines & advances in bird populations & indicate the possible results of climate change. No need to be an expert birder! Each team will have experienced leaders who can help newcomers. If you can count, you can participate!
Call Joyce at (352) 475-1999 for information or to participate.
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Field trip: SEE THE SILVER RIVER BY GLASS BOTTOM BOAT
Meet at 9:00 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool or at 10:30 just inside the main entrance at the Silver Springs State Park in Silver Springs, FL 33470.
Contact: Anne Pierce 352-231-5032 or apredwater@aol.com

Explore the scenic Silver River and Silver Springs in a 26-passenger glass bottom boat during a 90 minute excursion. Your boat captain will point out wildlife along the shores and in the crystalclear water and talk about the rich history of this beautiful waterway.
Pre-payment (payable to Santa Fe Audubon Society ) Adults $25, Seniors (55 & older) $20. Silver Springs State Park entry fee: $2 per person.
Saturday, January 26, 2019.
Event: Yesterday’s Festival, 9 am to 4 pm, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

Experience the Florida of days gone by! Re-enactors, Historic Demonstrations, Cast Iron Cooking, Live Music, Antique Cars, Steam Engines and Tractors, Park Ranger Tram Tours and so much more. Free with park admission. Call (352) 473-4701 for more information.
Friday-Monday, February 15-18, 2019
The Great Backyard Bird Count

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.
Now, more than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life worldwide join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds.
We invite you to participate! Simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, February 15-18, 2019. You can count from any location, anywhere in the world, for as long as you wish!

Log on to http://gbbc.birdcount.org/ for complete information and how to get started.
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Field trip: SWEETWATER WETLANDS PARK
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park to carpool or 8:30 at Sweetwater Wetlands Park 325 SW Williston Road, Gainesville, FL 32608.
Leader: Contact: Laura Berkelman 352-475-2023 or lberkelman@windstream.net.

This is a great outing for beginners! Plan on 2-3 hours of walking on gravel paths at this man-made wetland. Bird diversity is great, and the birds are accustomed to humans, so they aren’t as skittish as in more natural habitats. Most visitors are pleasantly surprised at the number of avian species, as well as the healthy gators.
Fee: $5 per car.
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Field trip: SPRING WILDFLOWERS
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool.
Contact: Anne Pierce 352-231-5032 or apredwater@aol.com

Mike Drummond, Alachua County Environmental Protection Dept, will identiy a variety of colorful wildflowers in bloom in the region. Closer to the field trip date we will select a location and focus on nectaring plants favored by birds, bees and butterflies.
Saturday, May 18, 2019
Field trip: BIRDING ON THE BEACH
Meet at 7:45 AM at Melrose Heritage Park (west side) to carpool or at 9:30 at Anastasia Island State Park, 300 Anastasia Park Rd., St. Augustine, FL. (Location in Anastasia Island State Park TBA).
Contact: Joyce King at (352) 475-1999 or joyceking2635@gmail.com.

Jean Rolke, FL Shorebird Alliance, will take us to some beach-nesting colonies along the St. Augustine coast where we should find Least Terns, Wilson’s Plovers, and Black Skimmers nesting.
Park entry fee: $8 per vehicle.