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 – November 2018
Sponsors, Guests Help Arboretum Raise more than $10,000 during ‘Spirits Under the Sun’ Fundraiser
Thanks to our sponsors and more than 150 guests who came out to enjoy a day of food, entertainment and nature, we raised more than $10,000 at our annual premier ‘ArborEATum’ fundraising event “Spirits Under the Sun – A Pairing of Food, Drink & Nature” held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3.
At our fifth annual ‘ArborEATum,’ dishes from some of Jacksonville’s favorite restaurants were available along with spirits, wine and local craft beer – with table-top displays of plants relating to many of the cocktails, wine and beer served at the event.
Photo: Salt Life Food Shack was among many restaurants that supported the Arboretum’s premier annual fundraising event, with proceeds used to maintain and fund enhancements at our 120-acre venue.
Please consider visiting the restaurants who supported us, which we greatly appreciated, including Bold City Brewery, Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q, Chuy’s Tex Mex, Florida Cracker Kitchen, Pastiche Catering, Publix Aprons, Havana Jax & Cuba Libre, Indochine, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Salt Life Food Shack (pictured above).
Also, a call-out to Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, our major in-kind sponsor, which once again supported the event with staff time, volunteers and silent auction items — and donated wines from throughout the world along with the spirits served to our guests.
Thanks to our presenting sponsor, Marcia Mederos, sponsoring the event in honor of all arboretum volunteers, and other sponsors including bestbet, TerraWise Homes, PRI Productions (in-kind) and supporting sponsor POG Cinema Advertising.
Also, much appreciation to Sidetrack Duo, which once again donated their musical talents for entertainment, to Bonnie Nackino, who conducted guided walking tours for our guest, and all the local businesses that provided items for our silent auction.
Finally, thanks to all the volunteers who helped with all the set-up and tear-down required to make the event a success again this year!
On the Trails
Join our ‘Opt Outside Workday’ on Black Friday!
Join Us for the Opt Outside Workday on Friday Nov. 23. from 9 a.m. to noon to thank two of our favorite partners: REI and Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
After that, from 11 a.m. to noon, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in a guided tour of restoration areas sponsored by Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Conservation Fund.
If you’re looking for an alternative to shopping and the crowds on Black Friday, join us for a much quieter and more fulfilling day in nature as you help us keep the Arboretum in shape for everyone to enjoy.
Mark Your Calendars!
A Brush with Nature Returns
March 30-31, 2019
The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens (JAG) and First Coast Plein Air Painters hosts A Brush with Nature, a plein air painting event, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 30 and Sunday, March 31 at the Arboretum.
Admission is free, with donations to the arboretum encouraged.
All works of art created at the event are available for sale – with proceeds benefiting the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens and the artists.
Visitors can stroll along the trails to watch and interact with participating artists as they work.
Activities include artists’ demonstrations each day, art activities for children (photo above), entertainment and food trucks.
Many of the region’s finest landscape artists will set up their easels to capture the essence of the Arboretum’s beautiful settings over the two-day event.
One of many members of the First Coast Plein Air Painters, taking part A Brush with Nature in 2017, a plein air painting event that raised more than $3,000 for the Arboretum last year.
The ‘plein air’ tradition, or “en plein air,” is a French term meaning “in the open air.” Since the mid-19th Century and the advent of portable painting supplies like the paint tube and “box” easels, artists have taken to the outdoors.
The plein air movement brought artists out of their studios and into the natural light. It birthed a new type of artist who recorded the everyday scenes of life in the colors and light that nature provided and offered artists a new way to approach their painting process, forcing the stiff formality of the studio to give way to an entirely new concept.
To become an event sponsor, contact executive director Diane Machaby at email@example.com.
Plants for Nature
Plants are useful to people as food, medicine, sources of fibers, construction materials and much more. Plants may be used also to improve the environment around us – not just for us, but for the benefit of nature, in general. Reports say that natural areas continue to decrease in size around the world.
One contribution that home owners can make in their own yards is to grow native plant species and work in additional ways to provide habitat for native animals. The simplest way to do this is to plant the widest possible variety of native plants because each plant species offers a somewhat different contribution to the environment. For example, many insects feed only on specific plants.
A wide variety of plants means a wide variety of insects. That in turn, supports a wider variety of insect-eating birds, dragonflies and other animals. Reducing the area of lawn that you mow will also reduce your consumption of fossil fuel, use of pesticides and fertilizers, and the creation of more air and water pollution.
In addition, native plants from our region will be well-adapted to local soils and weather conditions. Keep in mind, however, that different plants tend to be adapted to different soil moisture conditions. For example, swamp milkweed and pickerelweed will not last long in high, dry, sandy sites. Lupines and prickly pears from the pine ridges will not thrive in low, moist sites. Of course, this is a general rule. Many of our native plants are adaptable to a wide variety of conditions.
To attract the widest variety of animals to your yard, provide a variety of habitats. Provide some open lawn or prairie, some dense shrub cover and some tree canopy. This can be accomplished in a yard of any size. For smaller spaces, just scale down the components. For example, you might plant a dahoon holly in a small yard instead of a live oak. On a larger property, a brush pile to attract animals might function also as a compost site. If you cannot leave tree snags up, you can install nesting boxes for woodpeckers and other birds that nest in holes in trees.
The Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants is a tremendous source of information about Florida’s native plants. It can be found at http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu. It is designed for botanists but you can search this huge site by plants’ common names or scientific, and by your county.
Another feature is “Plant Photos” on the home page. You can look through plant photos, click on the ones you like and read more about them.
Of course, the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens contains a wide assortment of Jacksonville’s native plants in the garden area and along the trails.
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 lakeside gardens focused on people’s use of plants 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
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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