Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens

arboretum (noun) - a garden devoted to the study and display of trees.

dark tree

The Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens opened on November 15th of this year, a welcome addition to our scattered collection of parks and nature preserves. The park's youth is apparent in the limited offerings but the master plan posted on their website shows them expanding to include a good number of services, sights, and trails. Small at the moment but promising and still very pretty.

sun kissed stream

Currently there are three short trails around a little lake and along some small streams. The trails are rated moderate to hard in their literature but they're no challenge at all to anybody who's ever spent a bit of time outdoors. We briskly walked the majority of all three of them in about half an hour with a few stops to take pictures so I'd recommend taking it a little slower to appreciate the scenery.


Wandering through the majestic trees, one can't help but deeply respect the conservation effort. Our visit fell on a clear morning following a wet night, the moisture saturated the colors of the vegetation as the sun peeked through the leaves to cast patterns of dancing light on the forest floor. The ground was spotted with dew covered spider webs, water drops twinkling like diamonds on their delicate strands. On our way out we saw an immense eagle fly gracefully into the canopy. This all served to remind us that we need not simply cherish these marvels of nature but see to it that we protect them as well. For this we are very grateful.

up tree and vines

The Jacksonville Arboretum is conveniently located just off 9A at Monument Road and near the Regency area. Dogs are welcome but must be leashed and cleaned up after. Remember, don't disturb the plants and animals and tread carefully, venomous snakes are slithering amongst the leaves. The park's board is looking for volunteers to help in the upkeep expansion effort on various dates. Check the website for more details.

Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens
1445 Millcoe Rd
Jacksonville, FL 32225

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