Ft. George / East Heckscher


When COVID-19 forced Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to close its gates for two months, the nonprofit lost critical revenue during its busiest months. The Zoo is now asking for the community’s help to recover through the ZOO-A-THON, which aims to raise $250,000 in donations by Sunday. “Many people are surprised to learn how expensive it is to maintain our day-to-day operations, even after we closed to the public on March 14. We still had to feed and care for our animals daily, as well as employ the dedicated staff who worked through our closure. We were closed during our busiest …

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Fishing in Northeast Florida: Jacksonville is a Fisherman’s Paradise

Fishing the First Coast: Jacksonville and Northeast Florida are a Fisherman’s Paradise, Photos by James Brown

Numerous fish species, unbeatable weather, and a healthy fishing infrastructure make the First Coast a fisherman’s paradise. Our state offers 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline, 10,550 miles of rivers, 7,700 lakes, and countless ponds. The First Coast offers a multitude of options. From offshore saltwater fishing, surf fishing, bridge fishing, river fishing and plenty of freshwater ponds or lakes around, there are options far and wide. Inspiration That Lasts a Lifetime Former Jacksonville Beach Councilman and Mayor Rick Hale has been a fisherman in Florida’s waters for close to 70 years. The native’s passion for fishing was largely influenced by …

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Water View Dining Around Jacksonville, The Beaches, and St. Augustine

Palms Fish Camp, waterfront deck, Water View Dining Around Jacksonville, The Beaches, and St. Augustine

The First Coast doesn’t lack for food and drink with a view, specifically a water view. Here’s a rundown of a few of the places you can find with varying water vistas. For a view of the St. Johns River and , there are two places you might try: the River City Brewing Company (835 Museum Cir, Jacksonville, 398-2299) and Charthouse (1501 Riverplace Blvd, Jacksonville, 398-3353). If you go to the Charthouse for the view, it’s a good idea to come during happy hour for bar snacks. Prices are exceptionally high on their dinner menu. River City Brewing Company is more …

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March Park-of-the-Month: George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park

George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier in northeast Duval County/southeast Nassau County is a popular Florida State Park. This one-mile long, pedestrian-only fishing bridge spans Nassau Sound and provides access to one of the best fishing areas on Northeast Florida. Location: The George Crady Bridge is located seven miles north of Little Talbot Island State Park on State Road A1A or eight miles south of Fernandina Beach. The south end of the bridge can be accessed from the parking lot at the north end of Big Talbot Island. For access to the north end of the bridge, visitors park at Amelia …

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February Park-of-the-Month: Cedar Point

Location: Cedar Point (NPS), 9023 Cedar Point Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32226. Hours: Sunrise to sunset. Description: Approximately 400 acres of upland hammocks and saltwater marshes. History: Like much of old Florida, Cedar Point, which lies on the south tip of Black Hammock Island, has seen a great deal of change through the past two hundred years. Now preserved as a natural environment, the area was once subjected to agriculture during the plantation period of the 19th century, and management as a pine plantation during the 20th century. These human activities have left their mark on the land. The National Park …

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Picturing The Kingsley Plantation

In November will host nature photographer as its latest Artist in Residence. On November 7, 2015 Rick will share with the public photographs he has taken within the preserve and around the world. This event will take place in the barn from 11am to 1pm. Call 904 251-3537 for more information. About Rick Rasmussen Rick’s passion for the outdoors started in his early years, when he hunted and fished with his father. Unlike some photographers who visit game farms for opportunities, Rick prefers working with his subjects in their natural environment, portraying the animals doing what they do naturally – …

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Massacre at Mayport

On the heels of St. Augustine’s 450th anniversary, Jacksonville historians and civic leaders will recognize an even earlier European presence in the “New World” by the French Huguenots during the 4th annual . A marker dedication ceremony will take place at noon on October 10th to commemorate the massacres which occurred between May 1562 and September 1565 near Mayport Village and the Matanzas Inlet. The Huguenots set sail to this uncolonized portion of the New World in 1562 to escape religious persecution in Western Europe and established La Caroline in June of 1564. The Huguenots shaped early American history with …

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Talbot Island State Parks

Many park enthusiasts consider the Talbot Island State Parks as the premier park experience in Northeast Florida-rare undeveloped barrier islands on the edge of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. Our land’s ancestors-Native American, French, Spanish, British-all knew this area well. The Talbot Islands are surrounded by natural beauty and exciting wildlife – marsh birds swarm over the wetlands, redfish tails break the Intracoastal Waterway and creek waters, crabs skitter over the pristine beach, ospreys soar across the landscape with watchful eyes. Explore the diverse island habitats by hiking Blackrock Trail to the shoreline, Big Pine Trail to the marsh …

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Celebrate Mother’s Day on the St. Johns River, Kingsley Plantation

Sunday, May 10, 9am–Noon Ft. Caroline National Memorial 12713 Fort Caroline Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32225 Register online:  www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org/events; Cost $35 Unless your mother has a specific request for , you may find yourself tasked with coming up with a fun and unique way to celebrate “Mom” on this special day. While brunch or a nice meal is always a great way to spend time with mom, exploring the  and the historic  may be just the thing to make it a more exciting and memorable experience. St. Johns Riverkeeper offers monthly boat trips on various sections and tributaries of the St. …

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Fort George: Island Time and the Scent of Saltmarsh

Ft. George

BY KATE MATTHEWS I arrived on  near midnight on an early summer’s eve under a bright half-moon. There was a feeling of being submerged in the hot, liquid air while the narrow, sharply curving road pulled me through tunnels of oak hammocks draped with thick Spanish moss. A glimpse of coquina ruins shimmered on my left, followed by silhouettes of palm trees to the right, framing marshland and the Fort George River. I have since learned that every islander I have met had a similar, often nearly mystical, moment of falling in love with Fort George. I found myself living …

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