Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens 2nd Anniversary | Environment

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Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens 2nd Anniversary

In celebration of its 2nd Anniversary, the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens will proudly open to the public its newest trail, the Rosemary Ridge Trail, on Sunday, November 21st, 8:00AM – 5:00PM.

At 1 mile in length, the Rosemary Ridge Trail is the longest of the Arboretum’s six trails and runs through habitat unlike any other in the park.  Named for the native rosemary that grows there, the trail traverses a Xeric Hammock that offers expansive salt-marsh views and a Sandhill community of lofty pines and seasonal pond.  A side trail allows visitors to see the environmentally sensitive area where the native rosemary and deer moss grow.

The Jacksonville Arboretum is unique in that within its boundaries lie 13 distinct ecosystems.  From fresh water ravine to salt marsh, from oak hammock to upland sand hill, the park offers a bio-diversity matched by few other public access area in Northeast Florida.

The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens is free and open to the public during daylight hours seven days a week.

Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens, Inc. (JAG) was formed in 2004 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation with the goal of developing the 120-acre site, owned by the City of Jacksonville,  into a regional resource for the preservation, study and enjoyment of our natural environment.  To that purpose, JAG has entered into a 20-year lease with the City of Jacksonville for exclusive use of the site which was opened to the public in 2008.

The Arboretum has grown significantly over the past two years and now welcomes 26,000 visitors annually.  Trails for all ages and abilities allow everyone to enjoy the natural beauty of this unique urban forest.  Arboretum sponsored programs such as the New Moon Owl Prowl and Full Moon Campfire have quickly become very popular family outings.  A spring time Plein Air will welcome many of the area’s finest artists to the park where they will set up their easels and paint their favorite scenes.  Information on all Arboretum activities and events can be found at http://www.jacksonvillearboretum.org.

Over the past year, a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Urban Forestry Program, (administered by the State of Florida, Division of Forestry) enabled the Arboretum to employ a part-time executive director, and a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Compassion Capital Fund, (administered through the United Way of Northeast Florida) made possible the purchase of equipment needed to enhance the Arboretum’s capacity to serve the community.

With the exception of its part-time executive director, the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens is a volunteer organization that depends heavily on community volunteer support.  The Florida Division of Forestry, The International Society of Arboriculture, The North Florida Invasives Workgroup, AmeriCorps, IMPACTJax, Citi Group, The University of North Florida and Jacksonville University are among the many volunteer groups and individuals who have helped make the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens the success it is.

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