Riverkeeper invites locals to ‘get their feet wet’


St. Johns Riverkeeper has announced its 2022 Get Your Feet Wet campaign, an initiative to provide resources and opportunities for the public to learn about and explore the St. Johns River and its watershed.

The campaign is being launched to introduce people to the many beautiful and special places along the St. Johns, foster a deeper appreciation for the river, and demonstrate what will be lost if it isn’t protected.

To encourage the community to get outdoors and explore the river, Riverkeeper is partnering with other nonprofits, agencies and businesses to offer a variety of unique outdoor experiences and opportunities to learn about the St. Johns River.

Offerings include eco-tours, hikes, paddling trips and expert speakers throughout the watershed, from the headwaters at Blue Cypress Lake to the St. Johns River estuary in the Jacksonville area.

Highlights include:

  • Paddles: Explore the river and enjoy its beauty up close from a kayak on one of the guided tours. These trips will be offered as far south as the headwaters of Blue Cypress Lake up to the backwaters of the Timucuan Preserve near the river’s mouth.
  • Guided hikes: Stretch your legs, discover new flora and fauna, learn about the history of the watershed and enjoy beautiful scenery on a guided hike.
  • The inaugural Source to Sea Celebration in Palatka on March 12 will celebrate those who have paddled all 310 miles of the St. Johns River. The celebration includes several opportunities to explore the river, including a morning hike and paddle and an early afternoon boat trip on the Pride of Palatka II. The day will close with an awards ceremony and celebration at Azalea City Brewing Company.
  • Speakers Series: On the fourth Thursday of each month, travel on the St. Johns River Taxi to learn from experts about the history, ecology and issues related to the river and its tributaries. Voyages will launch from various locations in the Jacksonville area.
  • Tiny Dock Concert Series: Enjoy music while on board a boat, kayak or paddle board or the St. Johns River Taxi. This year’s concerts feature local renowned artists from a variety of genres, including Jacksonville resident and finalist from NBC’s “The Voice,” Paris Winningham.
  • Cleanups: Take in beautiful backdrops of the river’s tributaries alongside like-minded neighbors while making the St. Johns River cleaner for all.

“Get Your Feet Wet might be an introduction to the St. Johns River and nature for some, or a familiar experience for others,” said Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper. “Either way, we believe that the best way to appreciate something is to get out and experience it. In that spirit, we hope that as people learn more about the St. Johns, her tributaries and the watershed, they will be inspired and motivated to protect our river for generations to come.”

Events hosted throughout the watershed are family friendly.

For more information about Get Your Feet Wet 2022, go to stjohnsriverkeeper.org/events.