Updated: May 19
1445 Millcoe Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32225
May 4th 2021
Unlike the other preserves and trails I visited, the Arboretum has a much more recent history in Jacksonville. The 120 acre property belonged to the Humphries Gold Mining Company from 1944 to 1961. Although, the company mined for titanium, not gold. From 1970 the property was passed from hand to hand until it eventually was decided to be turned into an arboretum. This arboretum and botanical garden officially opened in 2008.
Nature for All
The biggest treat the Jacksonville arboretum has to offer is accessibility. Located conveniently off of I-295, most anyone living in this spacious city can get to it by bus or car. Most trails did not exceed over 0.5 miles, so it is a great place for first time hikers or occasional outdoor enthusiast to enjoy nature without feeling like they have to prepare for the wilderness.
Even beyond its location, it offers several paved paths that lead directly to the parking lot and several boardwalk paths that lead to very level ground. So it can be enjoyed by wheelchair accessible visitors too. And most important signage was large and conveniently placed in a way that it could be read by almost anyone.
The Arboretum is owned and funded by the city of Jacksonville, which probably explains the extensive signage and high quality of signs. This 4 paneled sign greets you at the parking lot entrance. Each panel gives extensive knowledge on the history of the park, the ecosystem and animals that live there. And how the city of Jacksonville maintains it for the public.
The arboretum has an abundance of good quality tangible signage. The images were in color and showed the plants in great detail. The signs are clearly cared for well. What I enjoyed most were the bolded words in the text for extra clarification.
There were also several stakes signs in front of plants and trees to help identify along the paths. For trees that were easy to spot, the signs appeared like this image to the right. Simple white background with black text clearly stating the name.
For the more hidden plants, the signs had a picture of the plant so you could search and spot it among the leaves and grass. Some signs would even give a little history of the plants contribution to early Native Americans, and early Spanish settlers. These signs gave both tangible and intangibles.
The arboretum is very popular to Gopher Tortoises and birds. Although I was not lucky enough to stumble across a tortoise, I could identify a mocking bird, and woodpecker by sound, but could only spot this Downy Woodpecker by eye.
Here is a little video treat showcasing the terrain of the arboretum. The only downside to this park is the noise pollution. But because of it's proximity to the city, it is expected.
All images featured are taken by myself.