In WJCT's "Rediscovering Jax" series, we're taking a look at the stories behind familiar places. In Jacksonville's Northside lies the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens.
Our tour guide is Gale Beveridge. She’s on the board of directors for the arboretum. She said the arboretum began in 2004 when citizens leased the property from the City.
“It’s a good size piece of land right here in the midst of the city, so you can get away from the hustle and bustle without having to go very far," said Beveridge.
Beveridge says she sees a lot of families come to the park to walk its many trails. More than just nature, the park has sculptures, beside a trail sits a scarecrow made completed out of biodegradable materials.
Beveridge said she was with someone a little while ago who commented on the scarecrow, "And they said ‘I wonder if the birds are going to build a nest in there?’ And it’s a perfect place, they probably will!"
Beveridge says there are also bees on site, the beekeeper sells honey at some of the events held by the arboretum. At the arboretum’s next big event in April, called A Brush With Nature, visitors can see artists painting landscapes in different parts of the park. Beveridge says the park is great for the artists because each trail has varying topography.
“Oh, I just love the variety of scenery and the ecosystems. Like you have this, you have the lake you have Jones Creek which we can look at, it reminds me of North Carolina," said Beveridge.
The arboretum is open everyday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.