Katie Salz

Gopher-It!: Gopher Tortoise Hatchlings at Tree Hill

has exciting news: we found gopher tortoise hatchlings on site! The gopher tortoise is a vital part of north Florida’s unique ecosystem. Finding the gopher tortoise hatchlings is an encouraging discovery, as the number of gopher tortoises living in the wild is limited and the species continues to face serious threats from habitat destruction. The is a land turtle that lives exclusively in the Southeastern part of the United States, from Florida to the very southern tip of South Carolina and west into the southern portions of Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana. As a result of their limited range and limited …

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Fall For Planting

The time has come to get our fall gardens in the ground! has a number of gardens, such as the JEA Water Efficiency Butterfly Garden and the gardens surrounding the main building. Since 2010, Tree Hill has also been the home of the Arlington Community Garden. With 37 beds, the Garden is a partnership between Tree Hill and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville. All of the food grown in the garden is donated to the food pantry at Arlington Community Services. Without the Garden, the food pantry would only be able to give their families non-perishable items. Since the …

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Summer Sizzles!

The hot days of summer are almost upon us. Beach days, evenings spent catching fire flies and afternoons under the shade of a tree enjoying an ice cream are summer favorites.  Unfortunately, enjoying the natural wonders that Florida has to offer us comes with a price – bug bites and sunburns can make an outdoor adventure a lot less fun! At we spend a lot of time outdoors through the summer, caring for our animals and tending the gardens. We’d like to share with you a few of our favorite ways to stay cool and comfortable this summer. Cooling towels …

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Tree Hill Nature Center, Old Arlington, Jacksonville, FL, photo by Fran Ruchalski

Teaching Nature – Tree Hill hosts over 10,000 students annually

Nearly every weekday during the school year brings a field trip to . As a Duval County School District partner, Tree Hill’s educators provide 3rd grade students with an unforgettable experience. Students arrive in the morning, many with no idea that Tree Hill existed or what is in store for them during their trip. They settle into the amphitheater where they are treated to the Animal Encounter program. Preserving native species and their habits is an essential part of the work done at Tree Hill, and the Animal Encounter is no exception. Most mornings, students are introduced to three native …

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Small Spits – ponds, creeks & lakes

BY KATIE SALZ, Program Manager, Tree Hill Nature Center The St. Johns River runs from the south to the north, meandering just over 300 miles until it reaches Mayport and heads for the Atlantic Ocean. It starts as the St. Johns Marsh in Indian River County, 100 miles south of Orlando. At Tree Hill Nature Center, we have our own piece of the St. Johns flowing across the 50 acres for which we care. The Red Bay Branch and Howland Creeks runs across Tree Hill before meeting up with the Strawberry Creek. The Strawberry Creek flows into the Arlington River, …

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It Takes Wings To Soar

Tree Hill Nature Center has been offering Jacksonville the quintessential spring celebration with the Joseph A. Strasser Butterfly Festival since 2002. This year the festival will take place on Saturday, April 30th from 10am-4pm, allowing visitors plenty of time to shop, walk the trails, and see all of the exhibits as well as have lunch and a sweet treat. Tree Hill uses all of the funds from the event to implement their educational programs and to care for their animals. Tree Hill works with Duval County’s public, charter, and private schools as well as schools from neighboring counties to teach …

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Tree Hill Nature Center, Old Arlington, Jacksonville, FL, photo by Fran Ruchalski

GET OUTSIDE – Tree Hill Beckons

  Tree Hill Nature Center is one of Jacksonville’s greatest hideaways. The 50+ acres of land, the Florida natural history museum and the annual Joseph A. Strasser Butterfly Festival ensures a unique experience for all visitors, any time of the year. Since its inception in 1971, Tree Hill Nature Center has provided science and outdoor education to hundreds of thousands of children.  This would not be possible without the support of its members. Become a member!  For only $40, a family of six can visit anytime they wish, are offered free admission to the Joseph A. Strasser Butterfly Festival and …

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