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Outing
Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens Grand Opening

When:

Nov 15, 2008
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Details:

What is an arboretum?

An arboretum is a collection of trees and woody shrubs that are designed for scientific, recreational and educational purposes.  The Jacksonville Arboretum intends to be a showcase for native plants and trees of the state and region.

Size and location.

The Arboretum site contains approximately 118 acres. Its northerly boundary abuts Merrill Road near Mill Cove.  Jones Creek forms the easterly boundary and the westerly boundary is Millcoe Road.  The primary access to the Arboretum is located on Millcoe Road, slightly east of the 9A-Monument Road exit.  Because the Arboretum site is located proximate to a 9A exit, it is readily accessible to all areas of Duval County.

Park Features.

The topography of the Arboretum enchants its visitors because it is so different from other areas of Jacksonville.  The historical land uses, along with the location and topography of the site creates a varied landscape that supports several natural community types.  Foot trails have been cut around the lake, along the top of the ravine, and within a forested wetland bordering to tributaries of Jones Creek. The different trails allow visitors to explore a few of the many different habitats found on-site at the Arboretum. 

The southern portion of the property features a spring fed lake that appeared on the property in the late 1970s.  South of the lake, a spring fed creek runs east-west along the bottom of a ravine that is approximately 800 feet long, 25 feet high and 185 feet wide. 

Walking along the ravine trail, you feel like you have been transported from Jacksonville, Florida to the foothills of North Carolina. In this area are forests in which no single tree dominates, but temperate hardwoods tend to dominate as a group. This type of forest is known as an Oak-Pine-Hickory (“OPH”) forest and it most often occurs along slopes or bluffs above streams and rivers. 

The dominant OPH forest tree species at the Jacksonville Arboretum include: live oak (Quercus virginiana), pignut hickory (Carya glabra), water hickory (Carya aquatica), southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), longleaf pine (Pinus palustrus), and loblolly pine (Pinus taeda). 

In the future, foot trails will be cut to the north of the site to explore other native plant communities, such as the northern forested wetlands, tidal marsh area, pine-palmetto flatwoods, xeric-sandhill, and xeric-scrub hardwood area. 

In addition to our unique communities, the xeric sandhill area at the Arobretum was approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) relocation site for conservation purposes. Currently, we have relocated four tortoises from the southern portion of our property to the relocation site.

Building the Park.

The property is owned by the City of Jacksonville.  In 2006, it was leased to The Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens, Inc., a non-profit corporation which was incorporated in March, 2004 (see Site History below).  After the lease was made, the Arboretum’s board met to develop a vision for the Arboretum and a conceptual master plan. 

The location of existing significant trees, tree groups and other natural features of the site were mapped and the work on cleaning up the site began.  A website was set up, monthly volunteer work days were established, and many volunteers of all ages assisted with removal of invasive plants, illegally dumped trash, appliances, vehicles, and construction debris from the site, blazing trails, building benches and trail markers, cataloging trees and other plants, spreading mulch, relocating gopher tortoises, donating equipment and materials, and providing virtually all professional services. 

Development of this park is truly a community project of a size and scope never before undertaken by a volunteer organization.  The parking area and a paved portion of the lake path were completed in August, 2008.

Contact Information:

Greenscape of Jacksonville, Inc.
For more information, you can visit their website, or write to:
Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens, Inc.
P.O. Box 5763
Jacksonville, Florida 32247
or send an email to:
info@jacksonvillearboretum.org

Directions:

Physical Address of the Arboretum:
1445 Millcoe Rd
Jacksonville, FL 32225

There is no physical access to Millcoe Rd. from Merrill/Ft. Caroline Rd.  The park is accessed from Monument Road to Millcoe Rd.

From Regency area
•    Travel east on Monument Road from Regency area.
•    Pass under 9A.
•    Take a left on Millcoe Road.
•    Turn right into the Arboretum parking area.

From 9A
•    Exit east on Monument Road
•    Take a left on Millcoe Road.
•    Turn right into the Arboretum parking area.

From East Arlington
•    Travel west on Monument Road toward Regency.
•    Take a right on Millcoe Road before the 9A overpass.
•    Turn right into the Arboretum parking area

Read more at this website

     
     

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