Not long ago in Naples, Florida, three gentlemen thought that a botanical garden in their area would be a good idea, and they attempted to raise fifty thousand dollars. To their surprise, their early donations were closer to five million dollars! Now, the Naples Botanical Garden is one of the finest public gardens in the world, and certainly in the state of Florida! There are no comparable botanical gardens in Northern Florida, but for the first time, such an opportunity exists: The St. Johns Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve, a non-profit, 501(c)(3), is now under construction! Amongst beautiful massive oaks and native saw palmetto trees, a collection of rare and exotic plants, including the largest collection of palm tree species in Northern Florida, has arisen.
The St. Johns Botanical Garden will be different from the Naples Botanical Garden in that it will serve Northeastern Florida, and as such will feature many plants and palms that will survive in our area, Zone 9a/9b, rather than just Zone 10. And it will include a nature preserve that features a beautiful North Florida riverine hardwood forest, a unique and dwindling environment in the face of rapid expansion in St. Johns County. Thus, it will become a resource for conservation and education about a different group of plants and ecosystem, even though there may be some overlap. And it will become a necessary addition to the economy of Northern Florida, providing another destination for visitors to our area. In a sense, it has the opportunity to become the “green jewel of St. Johns County”.
But we are just getting started! We have a long way to go, and we need your help! To create a first-rate botanical garden, we need to acquire more land, part of which will be preserved in its natural state for vital conservation. Then, we need paved roads to become handicapped accessible, and restrooms, greenhouses, and waterfalls, more hiking trails, more parking area, and a bridge, and, and, and!!! In short, we need YOUR HELP! Please contact us, or make a secure donation through our website. But remember, we are not open to the public… yet!
Projected opening date is October 15th, 2022.