Let Nature Challenge You


Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens

1445 Millcoe Road, Jacksonville, FL 32225

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 two 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.

News – December 2014


snake.inpond.Nerodia fasciata pictiventris

Photo credit: Doug Ganyo

WildLiFe Report

Not Every Water Snake is a Moccasin

During this year’s The Art of Nature event one of the Jacksonville Arboretum and Garden’s native Nerodia fasciata pictiventris was observed sunning itself near the dock. This subspecies of banded water snake is found in Florida and South Georgia, while this particular specimen is commonly seen along the shore of Lake Ray. On average these reptiles reach 24 to 42 inches and darken with age, making their banding pattern less apparent. Although the snake observed by many during The Art of Nature event was not near the 62.5 inch record length for this organism, its size and black coloration suggest it is “long in the tooth”. Fortunately for arboretum visitors, banded water snakes are not venomous.

Camellias: More Than a Pretty Flower 

The genus Camellia includes more than the well-known flowering shrubs (Camellia japonica, Camellia sasanqua
and their hybrids). Commercial tea is made from the leaves of tea camellia, Camellia sinensis. Camellia oil, from seeds of Camellia oleifera and related species, is high-quality cooking oil. Camellia handelii is unusual. It’s small flowers are fragrant. Each of these species is growing in the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens.

The Art of Nature

Held On November 8, 2014

This event proved very popular once again with close to 900 people in attendance. With an extensive sculpture exhibit, educational demonstrations, children’s art and craft activities, nature-related merchandise and food trucks there was no risk of boredom or hunger. Once again the Fairy Village won the People’s Choice Award and proved that even the tiniest things can be big hits. Revenue brought in from admissions, vendor booths and donations was $5,500.


As the year draws to a close, please consider the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens in your seasonal shopping and year-end giving plans. There are a variety of ways to show your support:

• Give the gift of membership to yourself, a relative or special friend. With new benefits offered this year, this is a gift that keeps on giving. At the Family/Household level, members receive free or discounted admission to over 300 American Horticulture Society member arboreta & botanical gardens throughout the U.S.
• Become a Bronze, Silver or Gold supporter in our Donor Program and ask your employer to match your donation, doubling your support for the Arboretum.
• Purchase a guided nature tour and learn more about the special habitats within the Arboretum. Treat yourself or a group of friends to a fun and active experience with nature.
• Adopt-a-Species is the first introduction in our Tribute Giving Program. For just $30 a year, you can “adopt ” one of six species that call the Arboretum home, including the barred owl, the gopher tortoise, the Florida rosemary, devil’s walking stick, loblolly bay and the mighty live oak. A certificate and Fun Facts sheet with a photo comes with each adoption.
• A beautiful piece of art can grace your home and benefit the Arboretum. Local artist, Kathy Stark, has completed a large watercolor painting of the Arboretum as part of her Wilderness of North Florida Parks project. Her project includes a series of original watercolor paintings and sketchbook journal pages to chronicle the beauty of the natural parks within and around Jacksonville and to inspire people to visit and support these unique treasures. When completed, an affordable coffee table book will be published featuring the paintings and journal pages. The original painting and archival prints in varying sizes are available for purchase through www.kathystark.com. If you mention the Jacksonville Arboretum, Kathy will donate 20% of the original price and 30% of the print price to our organization.
• Are you looking for a nature-setting for a special occasion, such as a wedding, family reunion or other milestone event? Then consider an arboretum site rental. There are six beautiful sites to choose from, including Reflection Pointe Pavilion overlooking Lake Ray.
• Be part of our annual giving campaign by sending a tax-deductible year-end gift.
• Become a sponsor or patron of A Brush with Nature, the Arboretum’s signature plein air painting event, taking place April 16-18, 2015.
• Remember Amazon Smile when you shop on-line. Just log in to www.smile.amazon.com, name the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens as your charity and a portion of the price of your purchases will go to the Arboretum. Amazon Smile offers the same products, prices and services as Amazon.com and you can use your same Amazon.com account information.For more information on the above opportunities, you can contact us including via email at info@jacksonvillearboretum.org


Our Facebook page – has been steadily picking up traffic with a total weekly reach of early 16000 and 1500 total likes. Thanks to Lesley Royce for keeping the content current and interesting. Thanks, also to Lindsey Tague for promoting our special events.

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