Florida’s Oldest Treasure!

The Saint Augustine Lighthouse is one of the cornerstones of Florida’s history. This site holds the oldest, permanent aid to navigation in North America. The lighthouse is 165 feet above sea level and contains 219 steps that are climbed by 225,000 of visitors every year! The lighthouse is still a fully functional aid to navigation and is powered by a 1000 watt bulb that shines through a first order Fresnel lens, which is 12 feet tall, 6 feet in diameter, and consists of 370 hand-cut glass prisms arranged in a beehive shape (Wow!). What is also at the top is a breathtaking view of Northeast Florida’s barrier islands and the Atlantic Ocean.

This site also has nature trails that wind through a coastal maritime hammock! Hammock is a term used to describe a natural area where a forest develops on the highest, most stable areas on barrier islands. They are affectionately called “grown-up beach dunes.” These sand dune forests have a rich diversity of plants but are mostly made up of live oaks and cabbage palms in the canopy with saw palmetto in the shrub layer.  Maritime forests act as the primary watershed on barrier islands and have distinct hydrological features that affect natural communities. Additionally, maritime forests are key to preventing erosion on our coasts and protecting inland communities from damage when storms or high winds come through the area. These forests are also important because they are home to many animals including ospreys, lizards, skinks, rabbits, mice, raccoons, and gopher tortoises.

What an amazing combination of history and nature for our team!

To find about more about the lighthouse and all its amenities visit: http://www.staugustinelighthouse.com/

The non-profit museum and lighthouse introduces over 53,000 students to marine science and maritime history each year. They also contribute to education of the community, support at-risk children, fund a maritime archaeology program, and donate to local charities and organizations. Be sure to visit this amazing legacy and exciting piece of history in Florida!