Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 1445 Millcoe Road, Jacksonville, FL 32225  

Jacksonville, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2021) – Later this month, the Arboretum will begin the exciting process of developing a master plan to design and install botanical gardens on the property. The master plan process was made possible by generous grants of $30,000 from the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund and $10,000 from the River Branch Foundation. The planning process will take about eight months to complete.

The addition of botanical gardens is the latest in a continuous plan to propel the Arboretum into a best-in-class destination in the southeast. Executive Director Dana Doody noted that each project is being planned carefully to add as much value as possible while managing the non-profit’s budget plan in unprecedented times.

In addition to the grant for the master plan design, the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund also awarded the Arboretum a $70,000 challenge grant for the first phase of the implementation. The 1:1 challenge grant will launch a community campaign following the completion of the design plan.

“The Arboretum is an important community asset which brings thousands of people to its special trails, many of which are ADA accessible,” said Delores Barr Weaver. “The plan will provide a vision for a botanical destination, sure to benefit our citizens for years to come.”

The process will take into account the Arboretum’s unique qualities, Florida’s seasons and Jacksonville’s ecosystems and native horticulture. The ultimate goal is to strengthen the Arboretum as a focus of community life in connection with nature and the outdoors.

The Arboretum’s board of directors selected 3. Fromme Designs and HDLA—two design firms with deep experience in this arena—to develop the master plan design. Designers Tres Fromme, 3. Fromme Designs, and Chris Barkley, HDLA, have collaborated on several high-profile public and institutional projects, including the Tulsa Botanical Garden, Bok Tower Gardens and Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden. They will begin the planning process by hosting a series of workshops at the Arboretum kicking off in March.

“We’re beyond thrilled to have designers of this level developing the botanical garden master plan,” Doody said. “Improvements will attract more visitors, which will, in turn, fund more growth in the coming years. We couldn’t have done this project in 2021 without the support of the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund and River Branch Foundation—two organizations that care deeply about making the Jacksonville community the best it can be. The Arboretum’s board, volunteers and donors look forward to this fun and unique process.”

While construction likely won’t begin until 2022, visitors can rest assured that the botanical garden installation will not affect the Arboretum’s many hiking trails. The gardens will be focused around Lake Loop and could include designs for a children’s discovery garden, education complex or even a garden to incorporate sculptures and other art. Board President, Kevin Blalock added, “We have been amazed with the growing interest in the Arboretum, even during the pandemic. So, as we continue to scale and grow, we will remain focused on conservation, education and recreation, while adding to and improving this place we all love. The sky is the limit!”
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About the Arboretum
The Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, located at 1445 Millcoe Rd, adjacent to I-295 in Arlington, is open to the public seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. At certain times of the year, a free, guided nature walk is offered to visitors at 9:30 a.m. on the second Saturday of the month. The arboretum celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018 with a mission to cultivate a unique environment for recreation, education and inspiration for residents and visitors to the Jacksonville area. Located on 120 acres of scenic property, the venue is primarily operated and maintained by board members and volunteers. Venue amenities include a paved parking area, an accessible lake loop with gardens and five other maintained trails, benches, boardwalks, scenic overlooks and picnic tables.
For more information, visit www.jacksonvillearboretum.org or email info@jacksonvillearboretum.org.

Executive Director Dana J. Doody (904) 318-4342 or danad@jacksonvillearboretum.org
Media Contact: Jennifer Marko (904) 813-8000 or jennifermarko13@gmail.com

Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens