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 – May 2015


Celebrate National Public Gardens at The Jacksonville Arboretum

Public gardens

Saturday May 9th will be a fun-filled day at the Jacksonville Arboretum. Prior to volunteer work day activities, Chuck Hubbuch will give a short lecture on the importance of public gardens.

Chuck Hubbuch earned his bachelors degree in horticulture from the University of Kentucky. From 1984 to 2002, Chuck became Director of Plant Collections – overseeing a horticultural department – at the world-renowned Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Miami, Florida. During this time, Chuck was Fairchild’s all-time leading plant collector, traveling to 25 countries outside the US to expand Fairchild’s collection. From 1990 to 2004, Chuck worked closely with sixteen gardens in eight countries, including projects with the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust, Institute of Museum and Library Services and Caribbean Botanic Garden Conservation. Since 2005, Chuck has directed the design and management of landscaping, gardens and natural areas at the University of North Florida’s over 1,200 acre campus. During his impressive career, Chuck has organized four conferences, published over 55 articles, and offered over 100 presentations in ten countries. His leadership at UNF and on the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens board continues his record of horticultural expertise in the southeastern United States.

After the talk, take an informative nature walk (9:30 AM-10:30 AM) with a local biologist and put in a few volunteer work hours out among the trees (9 AM-Noon). If you do not have one already, get a discounted family or friend membership at the membership tent (10 AM-2 PM). Be sure to bring your camera, because the activities will wrap up with a photography hike (2 PM-3 PM) that you will not want to miss!

A “Fun-Raiser” Recap

Logo.Brush with Nature

This year’s A Brush With Nature plein air painting event was a success and the Artists’ Reception & Show was the perfect culmination.

After three delightful days of creativity in nature, the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens was able to raise about $19,000, which will be used to help maintain and improve the property so that visitors can continue to enjoy all the Arboretum has to offer.

Pleinair painting
Photo: Paul Ladnier taken by Carlton Higgenbotham

None of this could have happened without such an amazing group of artists and volunteers, as well as sponsors, patrons, and advertisers. Thank you whole heartedly for your time, effort, support of, belief in, and dedication to the Arboretum.

A Useful State Tree


The cabbage palm or palmetto, Sabal palmetto, is Florida’s state tree. According to the Florida Department of State’s webpage, it was designated as the state tree in 1953 because it is so widespread through the state and it has so many uses for people. The flavor is somewhat bitter but the small fruits are edible. The seeds are also listed edible by some but might be best treated as a survival food. Bees use the flowers to make honey. The “cabbage” of the cabbage palm is the soft inner bud at the base of the leafy crown. Of course, harvesting this kills the palm.

Other uses include the thatching of huts with leaves, weaving hats, mats and baskets with the leaves. A durable fiber can be harvested from the leaf stalks. The trunks have been used in construction. The outermost cylinder of the trunk has the hardest wood (densest fibers) and that portion can be used to make narrow boards and items such as walking canes. Brushes have been made of horizontal sections of the wood.

The cabbage palm’s horticultural use is important also. These are durable plants that provide a distinctive look in Florida landscapes.

Getting In Touch With Nature

On the first morning of the A Brush With Nature event, two groups of 7th and 8th graders from Blessed Trinity Catholic School took turns watching the artists painting “en plein air” with their art teacher Kathy Strandes and taking a nature tour led by an arboretum ranger.

The ktreesids were clearly pleased to be learning outside of the class room. They asked and answered questions and were not hesitant when it came time for a little hands-on learning.

It is doubtful whether the boys above will recall the tree they reached out to as a Carpinus caroliniana or even as an American hornbeam, but there is little doubt they will recall the musclewood tree for years to come.


Ornamental perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata)
Annual phlox (Phlox sp.)
Coreopsis (Coreopsis leavenworthii)
Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)
Sweet almond (Aloysia virgata)
Coral bean (Erythrina herbacea)
Tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica)
Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia humifusa)
Brazilian vase plant (Aechemea distichantha)
Common spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)
Annual phlox (Phlox sp.)
Spanish needle (Bidens alba)

Membership For Mommy

Teally, you want to take Mom out for lunch and get her a robe AGAIN???
Nothing beats time with your family in nature.

Why not purchase a family Arboretum membership and take Mom out to enjoy a day with you!

Volunteer Gatekeepers Needed

Please email us at: info@jacksonvillearboretum.org

Be Sociable, Share!