Let Nature Challenge You
The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens is a 120-acre urban woodland full of trails for you to explore and enjoy.
From the trailhead next to the parking lot, a stabilized walkway encircles a beautiful two-acre lake. This trail gently descends about 25 feet from to the foot of the lake and then returns up a gentle slope on the opposite side to the trailhead. Interpretive signs and over 100 labeled plants enhance the loop.
In addition, over three miles of rustic hiking trails wind quietly through a series of distinct ecological habitats. Along the trails, benches invite you either to pause and enjoy the view or to get in a good stretch during a vigorous walk.
The Arboretum is developed and managed by the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens, Inc., a non-profit entity that leases the land from the City. Except for special events, there is no admission fee. $3 non-member visitor donation requested to help pay operations.
Open to the public 7 days a week from 8 AM to 5 PM.
Extended hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays (starting March 15) 8 AM to 7 PM
Entry gates are locked promptly at closing so plan your visit so that you exit the Arboretum prior to closing.
ADA – For accommodation please contact email@example.com
News – September 2016
Thanks to grants from TD Bank and Rayonier Advanced Materials, the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens will be starting up the Discovering Nature Nearby program series. Each third Saturday of the month between September and May, with a break in December, expert presenters will educate audiences on a wide variety of topics. All ages and abilities are welcome free of charge, although contributions to our donation box are greatly appreciated.
Come out to the Arboretum’s picnic area at 9:30 AM on Saturday September 17th for our first program, which will include a brief introduction to the Arboretum and its ecosystems followed by a reptile presentation focusing on venomous snakes complete with live specimens. There is limited seating, so bring a lawn chair if possible. Bug spray is recommended. Most programs will take place in the shade and our new water bottle filling station is handy should you need it.
Dinner On Us To Thank JAG Members & Volunteers
Saturday September 24th from 6 PM to 9 PM dinner and entertainment are free for Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens members and volunteers. If you would like to attend, please RSVP HERE by noon the day of the event and put “Nature at Night” in the subject line. JAG-supporters Certified Steak & Seafood and Potter’s House “Soul Food Bistro” will provide food. Non-alcoholic beverages will be available, as well as Regal Cinemas’ popcorn. Local singer/songwriter Terry Whitehead will play music under the stars. Please remember to bring your own lawn chairs, bug spray, and flash lights. We will bring the s’mores!
A Cactus For Your Salad
The rose cactus (Pereskia grandiflora) is an unusual cactus. It is not a desert plant but is native to forests of Costa Rica and Panama. Its common name reflects the fact that its flower resembles a single pink rose. Flowers appear throughout the summer. Without trimming, it can grow to twenty-five feet tall and develop a tree-like appearance. It responds well to trimming and can be maintained as a shrub. Clusters of spines, typical of cacti, are dotted along its stems. The thing that makes this cactus unusual is that its branches are covered by four-inch long leaves.
These leaves and fruits are edible. Tender, young leaves have a lettuce-like flavor and texture. Traditional uses of the plant include treatment of cancer, ulcers, rheumatism, inflammation, headaches and stomach pains. In parts of Asia, it is known as the cancer plant and some people make a point of eating several leaves each day. Modern medicine is not making use of this plant yet, but one report states that lab results show activity against certain cancer cells without damage to healthy cells.
The rose cactus grows easily in a container or in the ground in north Florida. However, it is not reliably cold hardy here. The tender new portions of its stems can be damaged by winter temperatures in the mid-20’s F. It may be killed to the ground by temperatures in the low 20’s and killed outright by winter lows that drop into the teens. Fortunately, cuttings root easily, so a small piece may be kept on a windowsill through the winter as a back-up.
Visit Other Arboretums & Gardens for Free with Your JAG Membership
In August three generations of the Perle and Simmons families were able to visit the North Carolina Arboretum free of charge, simply by showing their Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens family/household membership cards. Family/household memberships cover two adults, as well as children and grandchildren under the age of 18, and come with many perks you can find listed here: memberships. One of these is the American Horticultural Society (AHS) Reciprocal Admissions Program (RAP), which adds to the value of a Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens membership by providing special admission privileges and other benefits at RAP-participating locations (~300) throughout North America and the Cayman Islands. So whether you have a bunch of grandkids you would like to get out doors more or you love to travel and save money, consider supporting the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens with a family/household membership. You will not regret it!
Please keep up with those Arboretum picture posts to Instagram #jacksonvillearboretum and facebook
www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleArboretumGardens. It helps the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens non-profit identify Arboretum inhabitants and encourages more visitors to the on-site donation box. Thanks!
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