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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
News – December 2016
A Note from the President
I may be showing my age, but one of my favorite songs of hope is Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” I sang it mindlessly in high school chorus and paid little attention to the words. As I get older they come back to me at the oddest times.
In the song the lyrics promise that – “At the end of a storm there’s a golden sky and the sweet silver song of a lark”. Nothing could be truer when applied to the “Arboretum Wine & Food Fest” held this past Saturday at the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens.
Although hurricane Matthew dealt some devastating damage to the Jones Creek and other trails, it spared the event lawn, at the Reflection Pointe Pavilion area, where we held our third annual ArborEATum fundraiser. Our dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly to clean up the Lake loop and continue to work, chainsaws in hand, to make the impassable trails safe and traversable to our guests once again.
The “ArborEATum Wine & Food Fest” itself was a great success raising much needed revenue to continue our work making this unique property available to our guest 365 days a year at no charge. Once again we were blessed with temperatures in the mid-seventies, low, humidity, and beautiful, cloudless blue skies. The sky was clear and the birds were singing just as promised in that timeless song of encouragement released in 1945 as part of the musical score of “Carousel”.
Our Restaurant partners did an amazing job of providing a diverse menu of their signature food items leaving everyone happy and satisfied. The vast array of wines donated by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and craft beer donated by Guinness and local craft breweries were the perfect accompaniment to the great food that was available for sampling. The entertainment provided by Side Tracks and Old Dawgs New Tricks had our guests relaxed and in the mood to enjoy themselves, after being hunkered-down through one of the most threatening storms in recent times. It all came together to provide an unmatched entertainment experience for our many supporters.
I would like to personally thank our Restaurant partners, our volunteers, our members, our sponsors, and our Board Members who helped make this event possible. We are now looking forward to 2017 and planning to make the “ArborEATum Wine & Food Fest” better than ever. See you there…..
Hurricane Mathew felled trees from one end of the arboretum to the other and a small team of very dedicated volunteers (Shaun Brophy, Randy Didier and Chris Edmonson) spent the next week cutting through the trunks and re-routing trails around treefalls. It still looks like a hurricane went through but at least you can now view the damage. There is still a lot of work to do and we would appreciate your financial and volunteer support to help us recover.
The usual second Saturday workday was postponed because the site was unsafe the day after the storm. On October 15 we reconvened and cleaned up the garden area for the Arbor-EAT-um event. Cub Scout pack 887, a southside pack in the Shawnee District and associated with Blessed Trinity Catholic Church on Beach Blvd, showed up rakes in hand and ready to work. The parents were awesome, but the kids were even more amazing. We have never seen a group so young work so hard for so long. Also, our usual dedicated team of arboretum volunteers continued their storm recovery work and put in yet another 41 hours of clean up time on Saturday.
There was an Eagle Scout Project on the same day. Alex Andersen (Troop 35) and his team extended, leveled, and compacted the paths in the lakeside North Garden area so that they will not erode so badly in the future. This project also looks fabulous.
Come take a look at the damage, the clean up, and the Eagle Scout Project. More importantly please come help November 12th with the clean up work or send a much needed donation. As you know, we are an all volunteer organization that depends solely on community donations of time and money for its existence. We need your help.
Discovering Nature Nearby Programs for 2016-2017
Come learn more about trees on Saturday November 19th at 9:30 AM from Urban Forestry Agent – Larry Figart. We will start out at the Arboretum’s picnic area for our third Discovering Nature Nearby program brought to you by TD Bank, Rayonier Advanced Materials, and the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens. Each third Saturday of the month through May 2017, with a break in December, expert presenters educate the public on a wide variety of topics. All ages and abilities are welcome free of charge, although contributions to our donation box are greatly appreciated. Bring your nature journal, bug spray, and a keen eye.
Keep sending your ArborEATum and lovely fall photos to #jacksonvillearboretum and facebook www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleArboretumGardens. Instagram and Facebook posts help the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens non-profit reach more visitors and future members. Thanks!
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