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 firstname.lastname@example.org
News – January 2019
$25,000 Matching Grant Challenge Ends March 1, 2019
This challenge grant continues until March 1, 2019.
This gift is an additional celebration of all that our supporters have allowed us to achieve since the founding of the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens 10 years ago.
Some of the projects that your contributions will fund include some grading and paving around our lake loop and the creation of more gardens to continue our “People and Plants” theme throughout our 120-acre venue.
These improvements will help the Arboretum better serve the more than 40,000 visitors coming each year to enjoy our gardens and trails while they experience “Old Florida.”
To be a part of making the Arboretum even better, join the Challenge today and see your gift matched dollar for dollar to double the impact of your generosity.
You can donate through our secured PayPal service on our website (please note “Challenge Grant Gift” as you donate), or mail your check to:
Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens
P.O. Box 350430
Jacksonville, FL 32225
Hellos and Goodbyes!
Children’s Program has New Coordinator in 2019: Nichole Butterman
Hello to Nichole…
As we enter the new year, we’re excited to welcome Nichole Butterman (pictured at left) – who has volunteered as the coordinator for our children’s program this year!
Nichole notes she is a fifth-generation native of old Arlington, and shares that her great-great grandfather walked the Trail of Tears and his son, Edwin Turner, was one of the original builders in Arlington.
After surviving some personal challenges in her youth, Nichole says the journey resulted in her “soul being awakened” — which turned into a love for nature.
“My mom laughs now, because when I was younger, I would laugh at her for always wanting to be out in the dirt with her plants,” she said. “Now I am the one doing that.”
Through a meeting and relationship with long-time Jacksonville Arboretum supporters Mindy and Lad Hawkins, Nichole got involved with the Universalist Unitarian Church – which led to working in the church community garden. There, she met another arboretum volunteer, Alice Shinkos, who introduced her to board member Melinda Simmons.
“Alice took me to meet with Melinda one day at Jacksonville University, and now here I am with the Arboretum and I’m so ecstatic and grateful to be involved,” she said.
Nichole lives with her father and her two children Jeremiah, 11, and Apryl, 9.
“We have an all-organic garden here at home and I do landscape work on the side to earn the funds I need,” she said. “I have put my faith in the universe and it has changed my life in such amazing ways. I love children. My vision is to one day have a huge organic farm and adopt the children that no one wants. I feel a little love and nature can cure any ailment.”
Nichole will be conducting our monthly JAG Kid’s Tour on the first Saturday of each month, from 10 to 11 a.m. – with the next one taking place on Feb. 2. The children meet up at the picnic area.
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.
This program not only gets the kids outside to let off some energy, but will also teach them the facts and skills they can take to their families and schools.
Space is limited. To reserve a spot, contact email@example.com.
…and Goodbye to McKenna.
As we welcome Nichole, we also sadly must say goodbye to McKenna Korzeniewski (pictured below), who has served in this role as a volunteer for about one year.
McKenna is moving on after graduating from the University of North Florida in December.
Now 22, and an “avid and passionate gardener” since she was 12, she graduated in December from the University of North Florida with a double major with two different Bachelor of Arts degrees — one in Environmental Studies and the other in World Religious Studies.
She’s currently working a six-month internship at Walt Disney World in Orlando with the horticulture team — and hopes to extend the internship for another six months or get a full time position after that.
Eventually, she wants to get into sustainable design on a large scale.
“I would love to get into working with public parks in progressive cities like, Washington, D.C., Austin, Texas or Santa Fe, New Mexico to design spaces with climate change and population growth in mind,” she said.
In a recent article, she thanked the Jacksonville Arboretum for the experience she gained volunteering here, which she said “was vital” in preparing her for an internship at the U.S. Arboretum last summer.
“It is not enough to read how to plant a plant; one must religiously do it in order to learn proper techniques,” she said. “The Jacksonville Arboretum introduced me to working with a small team, but it was not until this summer when I realized that to work with plants, I must work with people too! The U.S. National Arboretum is 412 acres of beautiful plants, which means when people see a worker, they ask a lot of questions!”
McKenna said both experiences inspired her and enforced her “passion for the planet and a career in horticulture.”
Good luck to McKenna – and thanks to her for volunteering the time to make our gardens better for the 40,000-plus who visit every year.
Her support was much appreciated…and will be missed.
Nature at Night on February 23
Volunteers and members, don’t forget to mark your calendars for 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 for the next Nature at Night event.
Several board members will be cooking up their favorite chili recipes for the event, which will be held in the picnic area near the entryway to the gardens.
We’ll also have some entertainment, and some tours as well.
A special thanks to sponsors Wawa and Earth Fare for their donations to the event.
A Brush with Nature
Bestbet, OE&S, PRI Productions and The “Press On” Foundation sponsor the upcoming ‘A Brush With Nature’ in March — hosted at The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens (JAG) in conjunction with First Coast Plein Air Painters.
The plein air painting event is open to the public free of charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 30 and Sunday, March 31.
Activities include artists’ demonstrations each day, art activities for children (photo above), entertainment and food vendors.
Donations to the arboretum are encouraged, and all works of art created at the event are available for sale – with proceeds benefiting the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens and the artists.
Event sponsorships are available until Feb. 15. For details, contact executive director Diane Machaby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Membership Perk at Family Level:
New Gardens to Visit in 2019!
By being a member of the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens at the Family Level or above, you can also visit arboretums in other cities through our membership in the American Horticultural Society.
New garden sites for 2019 include:
• Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens in Savannah, Georgia
• Greenwich Botanical Center inCos Cob, Connecticut
• Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona
• Lincoln Park Conservatory and Gardens in Chicago, Illinois
• Maui Nui Botanical Garden in Kahului, Hawaii
• New Britain Youth Museum & Hungerford Nature Center in Kensington, Connecticut
• Sawtooth Botanical Garden in Ketchum, Idaho
• Wichita Art Museum and Art Garden in Wichita, Kansas
Please note that one participant in the program will appear under a different name in 2019:
• Taltree Arboretum & Gardens (Indiana) is now listed as Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest
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
Links to Places to Visit