Parks

Hen Fruit at Tree Hill

Tree Hill Nature Center strives to protect and promote the native flora and fauna that exist in northeast Florida. Tree Hill works towards this goal through education programs, where discussion topics with students include biodiversity, adaptation, and competition for resources. Volunteer work days throughout the year provide an opportunity to remove non-native species such as the Dioscorea bulbifera, commonly known as the air potato vine. Staff is encouraged to spend time researching the species native to the area so they can be easily identified, and pointed out to guests. Why then is Tree Hill committed to keeping a flock of …

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

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

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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OFF LEASH! Paw-Play Dog Parks

We’ve gathered together a list of places near Jacksonville where your pup can play, unfettered, with a little info on the flavor of each place. Free To Play Dog Parks Paws Dog Park at Davis Park 2455 Palm Valley Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 This park, when last I went, featured a terrifying sign that said Beware of Alligators. Don’t be scared, because that’s pretty much the sign they should hang on the entire state of Florida. My dog can’t read, so he had a great time splashing about in the water. This is a city-run park, and is …

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K9 A-B-C’s

  Looking for place to train your dog? Jacksonville has plenty of options, and some unusual offerings. We hope this round-up K-9 classes can help get you started! If you want your dog to be a therapy dog, getting the AKC Canine Good Citizen Certification is one of the first steps. Gaining this certification can be tougher than you think, and not all dogs have the temperament for it.Try the for the class & Good Citizen Certification. Cost is $100. Do realize that wherever you get Good Citizen Training, it’s not that easy to pass–in a group of ten dogs …

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March Park-of-the-Month: George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park

George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier in northeast Duval County/southeast Nassau County is a popular Florida State Park. This one-mile long, pedestrian-only fishing bridge spans Nassau Sound and provides access to one of the best fishing areas on Northeast Florida. Location: The George Crady Bridge is located seven miles north of Little Talbot Island State Park on State Road A1A or eight miles south of Fernandina Beach. The south end of the bridge can be accessed from the parking lot at the north end of Big Talbot Island. For access to the north end of the bridge, visitors park at Amelia …

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GET OUTSIDE – Tree Hill Beckons

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

  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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Get Outside – February

Anastasia State Park Campground, maritime hammock, An Insider's Guide to St. Augustine

  The First Coast has one of the most robust park systems you’ll find in the country. Because our weather is excellent year round, there’s always an outdoor activity within a drive of an hour or less. This month, we encourage you to Get Outside at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Natural Estuarine Research Reserve. The GTM Research Reserve encompasses two aquatic preserves, a national park, two county parks, two state parks, two state forests, three conservation areas and a wildlife management area, on 73,000 acres from Ponte Vedra to Palm Coast. Habitats include coastal scrub, beaches, mangrove estuary, freshwater marsh, …

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February Park-of-the-Month: Cedar Point

Location: Cedar Point (NPS), 9023 Cedar Point Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32226. Hours: Sunrise to sunset. Description: Approximately 400 acres of upland hammocks and saltwater marshes. History: Like much of old Florida, Cedar Point, which lies on the south tip of Black Hammock Island, has seen a great deal of change through the past two hundred years. Now preserved as a natural environment, the area was once subjected to agriculture during the plantation period of the 19th century, and management as a pine plantation during the 20th century. These human activities have left their mark on the land. The National Park …

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December Park of the month – Theodore Roosevelt Area

TIMUCUAN PARKS FOUNDATION DECEMBER PARK OF THE MONTH Visitors to the Theodore Roosevelt Area find themselves amid 600 acres of hardwood forest, wetlands, and scrub vegetation rich in cultural history. There are over five miles of trails through mature woodlands and along the St. Johns River. Crosscut by Hammock Creek and adjacent to Spanish Pond and Fort Caroline, the park features numerous Indian shell middens lining the banks of the St. Johns River which provide a high bluff view of the river. In addition, the observation tower at Round Marsh gives visitors a 360-degree view. History: This land, once inhabited …

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