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.
NOTE: CLOSING AT 1 PM NOVEMBER 4 for Private Event (ArborEATum). Please join us for a wonderful time!
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 – November 2017
The Pumpkin – Fruit of the Season
by Chuck Hubbuch
Photo by John Wickliffe, Flickr Creative Commons
Halloween and Thanksgiving is the time of year when most of us think about pumpkins. You may consider it to be a vegetable or a decoration. To a botanist, the pumpkin is a fruit. In fact, pumpkins are the largest fruits in the plant kingdom. The record pumpkin weighed over a ton.
Pumpkins are in the genus Cucurbita. The common, orange garden pumpkin is Cucurbita pepo. The common pumpkin is one form of the species. Cucurbita pepo also includes squash, zucchini and ornamental gourds. People have been cultivating pumpkins for thousands of years and have selected a wide assortment of fruit shapes, sizes and colors. Other pumpkins include the Seminole pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) and the giant pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima). The giant pumpkin is another variable species that includes several types of winter squash and those gigantic pumpkins that weigh over a ton.
The common pumpkin is famous for its use in pies but it is also used for soups and is cooked as a vegetable. The roasted seeds are eaten. The young leaves and flowers are eaten in some parts of the world. The fruit pulp and mashed flowers are applied to scratches and burns.
A popular use of pumpkins at this time of year is the carving of jack o’ lanterns. This stems from a European tradition of carving root vegetables, like turnips, into lanterns. One use was to carve a face, light a candle and place it on a windowsill to keep away evil spirits. When pumpkins were introduced to Europe from America, they became the preferred lanterns. The name jack o’ lantern comes from a folk story about a man named Stingy Jack who was not allowed to enter heaven or hell upon his death. His spirit with its turnip lantern was condemned to wander the earth.
Pumpkins can be grown in Jacksonville but they require a lot of space and effort. We are not growing pumpkins at the Jacksonville Arboretum.
At a recent trail workday, five volunteers from First Coast Rotaract joined us to help with some much needed restoration and rehab on the Live Oak Trail. Rotaract is the branch of Rotary International for young professionals aged 25-32. The First Coast Rotary Club draws its members from Jacksonville’s southside area. The group cleared storm damage on the eastern part of the trail and rerouted two sections on the western part of the trail.
Ali Brin, one of the volunteers said, “Our members had a great time learning about the Arboretum and getting to see how and why the trails are created. My favorite part of the experience was knowing that people can enjoy the trail that I mapped out. I loved getting to make my own mark on such a beautiful part of our city. ”
Recap: Discovering Nature Nearby
The audience of 50 people enjoyed the bat and owl program. The educational information given was mixed with colorful stories at just the right time to make it interesting as well as informative. The bat and owl sound examples gave a real feel of their presence. The walk where we were shown to look for the bats in the sabal palm or on the bark of the pine tree or hiding as a “leaf” from the trees, was especially informative. The thought of most bats living in colonies was dispelled and instead learned that many species are solitary. I know that everyone learned a lot and your delivery to such a varied audience of adults and children was perfect.
The bat house was given away in the free drawing. It was won by a young man named Patrick.
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 a.m. at the picnic area and will continue until 11:00 a.m. 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 email@example.com as spots are limited
McKenna Korzeniewski is a senior at UNF, double majoring in Global Environmental Studies and ReligiousStudies. 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.
Interpretive Plant Series
Starting in October on every first Saturday Chuck Hubbuch will be leading a story filled walk around the Arboretum’s plant collection. This walk about is geared for adults but children are welcome. Chuck Hubbuch is acting curator of the Jacksonville Arboretum.
Nearly 20 restaurants, caterers and local craft brew masters will be on hand for the fourth annual ArborEATum Wine & Food Fest from 3 to 6 p.m.Saturday, Nov. 4 – benefitting the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens, located at 1445 Millcoe Rd.
Restaurants and others in the local food industry taking part in the event include Biscotti’s, Bold City Brewery, Bono’s & Pastiche Catering, Coffee Perks, Guanabana Ice Pops, Havana Jax & Cuba Libre, Indochine, Intuition Ale Works, Mudville Grille, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Publix, Restaurant Orsey, River City Brewing Company, Salt Life Food Shack, Soul Food Bistro, TacoLu and Zeta Brewing Company.
The ‘Wine in the Woods and Beer in the Brush’ event will feature seasonal cheeses, desserts, coffees, local craft beers and more than 100 wines from around the world, which are donated by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.
Entertainment will be provided by Sidetrack Duo.
Tickets are $55 per person and $100 per couple and can be purchased in advance on the event page.
Members of the Arboretum receive a 10 percent discount on the ticket price.
Guests must be 21-years or older to attend and are encouraged to wear the appropriate shoes to take advantage of the natural environment found at the Arboretum.
This is among many fundraising events held each year in support of the Jacksonville Arboretum. All proceeds will be used to maintain and fund enhancements at the privately-operated 120-acre gardens.
For more information, visit the event page.
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
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