Special Programs and Events


Step Out in Nature is a fun and fitness competition for the Jacksonville area public elementary schools that encourages students to compete against each other to see which students and schools can complete the most steps on the Arboretum’s trails between September 2014 and March 2015. Students can register to compete and keep track of the trails they walk at www.stepoutinnature.org; the system will automatically calculate the number the steps taken based on the trails walked. While the competition is limited to public elementary schools, the program is open to any child or adult who wants to participate and take the challenge of seeing how many steps they can take towards fitness, just register as an individual on the program’s website.

As part of the program, the Arboretum is offering the following activities until March:

• Outdoor Adventure Kids Bootcamp: Every 1st and 3rd Saturday at 9:30 AM (An outdoor, low-impact, fitness program for elementary aged kids, all levels welcome).
• A Walk In The Woods: Every 2nd and 4th Saturday at 8 AM (Fitness Walk, brisk hike, all ages are welcome)
• Nature Walk with a Naturalist/Biologist: Every 2nd and 4th Saturday at 9:30 AM (The second Saturday walk will feature family friendly activities and the 4th is aimed for adults and/or older children).

The Step Out in Nature program will be offering an activity:

• Owl encounter with Lesley Royce on Sunday December 7 at 2:00 PM

Don’t you just LOVE owls? Some of us have heard owls hooting at night, but most of us have never seen one in the wild. This presentation gives you an opportunity to see a barred owl up close.

Merlin the barred owl once lived in the wild. But because of an accident, he is now disabled and lives with Lesley Royce, retired City of Jacksonville naturalist. During this Owl Encounter, you will hear about how Merlin came to live with Ms. Lesley, and some of his experiences in captivity.

Barred owls are one of five species of owls that call Florida “home.” Ms. Lesley will talk about these different owls, how to identify owl species by their calls, and what makes owls different from other birds. Bring your camera for photo opportunities following the program.
owl with handler

A Brush With Nature Plein Air Painting Event

April 16-18, 2015

For more information go to: www.abrushwithnature.org

Monthly Programs and Activities


Volunteer Workday
Saturday, December 6
9 AM – 12 PM

Help us maintain your Arboretum and keep it looking good. Volunteer Workdays are a great way to engage in outdoor activities while giving back to the community. We have some tools and gloves available, but you are welcome to bring your own  clippers and gloves.  Please wear long pants and closed-toe shoes.

A Walk in the Woods
Fitness Walk
Saturday, December 13 and 27
8 AM
Brisk 3-mile hike

Nature Walk
Saturday, December 27
9:30 AM
with naturalist/biologist
Walks are free.

General Information About Saturday Workdays

Our regular volunteer workdays are on the second Saturday of each month from 9 AM until noon, except July and August when none are scheduled.

This is a great time of year to come out for our volunteer workdays. With cooler temperatures and virtually no bugs, working in the great outdoors is very refreshing, with the added benefit of fall colors all around. So please come out and help us keep your Arboretum looking great. Your efforts really do make a difference and are greatly appreciated.

The Arboretum has some gloves and tools, but you are welcome to bring your own. Please wear long pants and closed-toed shoes. Volunteer workdays are a great way to meet new people, enjoy some exercise in the great outdoors and know that you are making a difference in support of the Arboretum!

We are now working on a volunteer database. This will help us match individual skills and interests with our specific volunteer needs. In the meantime,if you have a special skill or expertise that you can offer as a volunteer, please let us know. Go to info@jacksonvillearboretum.org and put “volunteer” in the subject line.

Healthy Trails

Studies have shown that walking 10,000 steps a day will lead to sustainable weight control and improved cardiovascular health. It’s easy and fun to count your steps at the Arboretum because we’ve already done it for you. Simply enjoy your walk and take in the natural wonders of the Arboretum. Trails at the Arboretum have been measured for the number of steps an adult or child will take to complete them. You won’t even realize that you are getting exercise!


You can do yoga on your own. If you have a mobile phone with a QR scanner, you can access suggestions for yoga poses located at various cyber stations around the Lake Loop Trail. The poses are demonstrated by Olympic gold-medal-winner Shannon Miller.

General Information About A Walk in the Woods

There are two walks: one fitness and one nature-oriented. Both are fun and informative. Both are free and open to the public.

Fitness Walks twice monthly  on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays at 8 AM
Nature Walk once monthly on the 4th Saturday at 9:30 AM

Please come join us!

The Mobile application may soon have events and activities.  Stay tuned!


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