Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens - Jacksonville, FL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 30° 20.723 W 081° 32.419
17R E 448068 N 3357181
The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens opened in 2008 and is a 126.82-acre city-owned site in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
Waymark Code: WMR22M
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 04/30/2016
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member J.A.R.S.
Views: 1

"The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens (JAG) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and park in Jacksonville, Florida, similar to Tree Hill Nature Center, and organized for the purpose of developing a unique natural attraction on a city-owned, 126.82-acre (51.32 ha) site. The arboretum officially opened on November 15, 2008, and the Sierra Club of Northeast Florida stated, "Development of this park is truly a community project of a size and scope never before undertaken by a volunteer organization."


Between 1941 and 1961, the Humphries Gold Mining Company harvested zircon and other minerals required for the production of titanium. Strip-mining removed organic matter and nutrients from the soil, which left white sand, barren of vegetation. After mining ended, it became an urban wild and unofficial dump site for appliances, cars, tires and other junk.

The city of Jacksonville purchased the property for use as a buffer from a wastewater treatment plant during the 1970s, and left alone for thirty years, 13 separate ecosystems developed, including oak hammock, fresh water ravine, upland sand hill and salt marsh.

A group of conservation-minded nature lovers recognized the site's value and founded the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens (JAG) as a non-profit organization in March, 2004. Professionals with knowledge of science, nature or design were recruited for the board of directors.

In 2006, the Jacksonville City Council approved bill number 2006-234, which granted a 20-year lease and $250,000 to pay for paving the parking area, creating a development plan, and construction of a walking trail. The tract was surveyed and mapped, a master plan was created, support was solicited from local businesses, and volunteers began to remove dumped junk and shape the landscape.

A colony of gopher tortoises required relocation when the parking lot was constructed. While working on that project, a board member became so knowledgeable about wildlife relocation that she became licensed by the state. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved a location on the north side of the property as a relocation site for gopher tortoises. Area builders who need to remove the protected species from a construction site can use the JAG—for a $500 donation.


The terrain is not flat like most of Jacksonville; it has a ravine 800 feet long and sloping hills. Alligator, snakes, lizards, foxes, squirrels, turtles and armadillo make their home at JAG, as well as quail, pheasants, osprey, owls, and smaller birds.

The Lake Loop encircles two-acre Lake Ray, a spring-fed pond which formed in the 1970s. Tree species include pignut hickory, tulip poplar, loblolly pine, longleaf pine, southern magnolia, black cherry, wax myrtle and chinquapin.

The Jones Creek Trail wanders through swamp bay, tupelo, swamp dogwood, American hornbeam and bald cypress along and across Jones Creek, a tributary of the St. Johns River. Royal fern, cinnamon fern, and net leaf chain fern also abound.

The Ravine Trail follows the rim of the 185 feet wide by 25 feet deep ravine with a stream flowing at the bottom. Among the species nearby are swamp azalea, black walnut, and the national champion loblolly-bay.

In the spring of 2009, the Live Oak Trail was completed. Many of the live oak trees are over a century old.

JAG received a $15,000 Florida Urban and Community Forestry Grant for 2010-11 that was matched by over 4,700 hours from volunteers. The money paid for 400 trees and plants which were planted by volunteers, and facilitated completion of the Rosemary Ridge Trail, which opened on JAG's second anniversary. According to JAG Executive Director Carlton Higginbotham, "(The one mile trail) goes through some really sensitive ecological areas. There are tall pines and palmettos and a place in the park a few weeks ago where I saw a bobcat, so we have some real wildlife out there. It is also the place where you can stumble on a rattlesnake, so we ask people to keep their eyes open.""

--Wikipedia (visit link)
Arboretum address:
1445 Millcoe Road
Jacksonville, FL USA

Arboretum web site: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
A waymark may not be logged as visited, until the finder makes a trip to it.

To log this waymark, you must be able to prove to the waymark owner that you were at the arboretum in question.

Post a photo of an identifiably part of the Arboretum, having your GPS in the photo would be a good idea. In addition, but optional, you may include a a photo and latitude/longitude coordinates of a favorite tree/shrub specimen.
Search for...
Geocaching.com Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Arboretums
Nearest Geocaches
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
There are no logs for this waymark yet.