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 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 email@example.com
News – January 2018
Sugar and Other Sweetners
by Chuck Hubbuch
Photo: Chuck Hubbuch
According to the University of California San Francisco, the average American consumes about sixty-six pounds of sugar per year. Nutritionists say that is too much but we will leave the health issues of sugar for you and your physician to discuss. Sugar occurs naturally in some of our foods and we add processed sugar to many processed foods. Honey was the primary source of concentrated sugar for the ancients but people in tropical Asia have known about the sweet stems of sugar cane and its relatives for thousands of years. Sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) was brought to the Americas by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage. It is now grown around the world in warm regions. Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) became an important source of sugar in the late 1800’s when a method for extracting its sugar was developed. It is now grown in cool climates around the world.
Other plant-based sources of sweeteners include sorghum, maple syrup, agave nectar, corn syrup, dates and other palms. Stevia is a commercial non-sugar sweetener that comes from a plant in the mint family, Stevia rebaudiana. Inulin is a plant-based soluble fiber that is sweet in some forms and is not absorbed well by the human digestive tract. Inulin is sometimes added to processed foods. Several other plant-based sweeteners are being researched for commercial use. They include chemicals derived from brazzien (Pentadiplandra brazzeana), monk fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii), serendipity berry (Dioscoreophyllum cumminsii) and miracle fruit (Synsepalum ducificum).
Of course, many of the fruits and vegetables we eat contain natural sugars. If nutritionists had their ways, these foods would be the primary source for our dietary sugar.
Citrus, prickly pear and lulo are among the plants at the Jacksonville Arboretum that produce sweet fruits. Sweet potatoes and yacon produce sweet tuberous roots at the Arboretum. Yacon is interesting because inulin provides its sweet taste. Stevia produced its sweet-tasting leaves in the Arboretum last summer but was overgrown by a neighboring plant. If it does not return in spring, we will plant another. Fig, banana, pomegranate and sugar cane are among the plants waiting to be added to the Arboretum plant collection in spring.
Join the Arboretum walking tours to learn more about these plants and the many other ways that people use plants.
On the cool second Saturday of December, a hardy group of ten met at the Arboretum. It was a nice mix of regulars and newcomers. The rain stopped just in time for a great work day. We repaired and constructed some border fences for landscape beds. We mulched some of the plants and the Willis Jones bench. We wrapped up the morning by transplanting a large group of cast iron plants. It was a fun and productive day.
The work of these volunteers is key to the Arboretum’s development.
Discovering Nature Nearby
O Gopher Tortoises – Can you Dig it?
January 20 2018
Come join us for the first Discovering Nature Nearby of 2018.
The program this month will be about the Gopher tortoise and the important role they play in the ecosystem, their life cycle and what to do if you see a gopher tortoise.
Interpretive Plant Series
1st Saturdays October 2017 through March 2018 (excluding December)
Chuck Hubbuch has many interesting stories to tell about the Arboretum’s plants. Come and enjoy his series about the many uses of plants by people using examples in the Jacksonville Arboretum Gardens plant collection.
This will be oriented toward adults, but children are welcome.
Dear Friends and Supporters,
We are asking for your support of our Tribute Brick and Tribute Bench fundraising projects at the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens. This time of the year is great for making tax deductible gifts and, as a reminder, we are a non-profit organization and not a city park. We have no paid staff and rely solely on volunteers – and your charitable contributions – to operate the Arboretum for everyone to enjoy.
Consider supporting us by purchasing an engraved brick paver or an engraved bench with the name of your choice, permanently imprinted on the brick and on a plaque on the bench, to honor or memorialize those who are dear to you. This is a visible honor that you can use, and that other visitors will appreciate as they enter the arboretum to walk the trails and enjoy the grounds. The Tribute Brick area will create a living monument of pathways bridging the past, the present and the future. Your placement of a bench will also be appreciated, creating places of rest for you and other guests. Your donation helps us today – and will be enjoyed now and for generations to come.
Your Tribute Brick will be located at the kiosk at the entrance to the Gardens, with benches placed in strategic locations throughout the arboretum grounds.
This year marks our 10th anniversary – and a great opportunity to celebrate the success of what’s being called “the hidden jewel of Jacksonville” for its native plants, ecosystems and extensive walking and hiking trails.
Thanks for considering the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens Tribute Bricks/Benches fundraising program in your annual giving.
Tribute Brick Coordinator
Kids Tour of the Arboretum
This tour is designed to teach kids the relationship between people and the environment.
The group will be taken around the arboretum and shown what plants can be used for purposes such as food, medicine, fibers, culture, and environmental factors. Kids will learn that plants are essential to life as we know it.
This free tour is designed for kids roughly ages 7-12 and will begin the second Saturday of September. From there, it will be held every second Saturday of the month. It will begin at 10:00 AM at the picnic area and will continue until 11:00 AM. This program will not only get the kids outside and letting out some energy, but it will also teach them facts and skills they can take to their families and schools.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org as spots are limited.
McKenna Korzeniewski is a senior at UNF, double majoring in Global Environmental Studies and Religious Studies. She has been working in horticulture since 2010. She currently interns at the Jacksonville Arboretum and is the Peace Corps Ambassador for UNF. McKenna recently studied abroad at Chiang Mai University in Thailand and hopes to go into agriculture education in the future.
Show the World You Love the Arboretum
Directions/Map, Facilities, Hours of Operation
Rules about your visit are on this page including information about dogs and Photo policy (.pdf)
Photos collections covering the arboretum, our events, some of the plants and much more
Coverage of our events, awards and other news
E-newsletter sign up and archive
Who Our Supporters Are
Links to Websites
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