BOTANICAL LIFE, NATURAL LANDS MANAGEMENT + SUSTAINABILITY AT UNF
MARCH 18 | 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM | JACKSONVILLE, FL
MARCH 18 | 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM | JACKSONVILLE, FL
About this event
Part of the OUTSIDE Collaborative Tour Series, this interactive field tour will explore the landscape heritage, botanical gardens, natural preserved lands, and sustainability initiatives at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. The UNF campus covers approximately 1,600-acres including the nearly 400-acre Sawmill Slough Preserve, nature trails, a 100-acre central core managed as a botanical garden, 11 LEED-certified structures, four of which have received gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for excellence in sustainability, and many examples of innovative sustainable landscape designs including The Frederick and Ophelia Tate Ogier Gardens, LID stormwater ponds, and much more.
Learn More About the Tour Locations
Campus Core + Botanical Gardens
The UNF campus was founded in 1969 and opened its door on Oct 2, 1972. The original 4 buildings were sited in the middle of a 1000 acre forest. Since that time, the campus has naturally grown over the years. Today it manages 1381-acres with the campus core sited on 100-acres. The campus core has been managed since 2013 with the goal of certifying UNF as a Botanical Garden. Through hard work and perseverance, the campus is set to officially launch the UNF Botanical Gardens in Spring 2021 to the public.
The tour of the campus core will explore the many themed gardens throughout including:
Native plant garden
Native Bio Swale
Each garden includes a unique design theme and plant palette. The tour will discuss the design elements, plant selection, landscape management, and social perceptions of these diverse landscapes. The tour will showcase hundreds of Florida native and Florida Friendly varieties as well as many rare and endangered species. Tour participants will be invited to participate in a plant scavenger hunt which challenges them to find and identify over 25 unique varieties located along the tour.
Sawmill Slough Eco-Preserve
The Sawmill Slough Preserve is a 386-acre natural area on campus which was designated as a preserve in May 2006 by UNF President John Delaney. The Sawmill Slough Preserve includes the original Sawmill Slough, a wetland habitat stretching through the western portion of the campus from Central Parkway to J Turner Butler Boulevard. In addition to the wetland, areas of drier habitat include longleaf pine-turkey oak woodlands, mesic flatwoods, sandhills, and bottomland forests. The stated purpose of the Preserve is to "assure that the Sawmill Slough Preserve will persist in a natural condition." The Preserve will protect the natural water drainage of the slough through campus as well as the native plants and animals associated with this habitat.
This portion of the tour will take participants into the preserve and focus on the following topics and themes:
Natural lands management practices including the use of prescribed fire, exotic species removal, and trail maintenance.
Social perceptions, public access, eco-tours, educational programming, and cultural benefits of natural lands.
Understanding of ecosystem functions, plant communities, and wildlife of the various ecotypes found within the UNF preserved lands.
The event will culminate with a snack and question and answer session allowing participants the opportunity to interact with presenters and campus staff for continued discussion of the topics and themes presented on the tour.
What is included?
Included is the following: the Campus Core + Botanical Garden tour, the Sawmill Slough Eco-Preserve tour, question + answer, and snacks and drinks.
What continuing education units (CEUs) will be included?
Landscape Architect DBPR: 4 credits
FNGLA & Florida Water Star: 4 credits
Irrigation Association: 4 credits
ISA: 4 credits (applied for)
Will I require transportation?
No, once at UNF, transportation will be provided.
Who will be speaking?
Rhonda Gracie, Horticulturist, Landscaping, and Ground Department for the University of North Florida
William Conrad Smith, curator of the Sawmill Slough Preserve and Assistant Director Physical Facilities Landscape and Grounds Department for University of North Florida
From I-295: Take exit #52, Town Center Parkway/ UNF Dr. and travel east onto campus. Proceed straight through the 1st traffic light and then take a right at the first right for Garage 44 and parking lot 2. Park in parking lot 2 and the library, building 12 will be the first building to the east.
From the Herbert University Center: Make a left at the Betty Holzendorf and Alumni Drive intersection. Head North and make a left at the next traffic light at the UNF Dr. and Alumni Drive intersection. Follow the loop and turn right at the next intersection at UNF Dr. and Eco Rd. proceed on UNF Dr. and take the first right Garage 44 and parking lot 2. Park in parking lot 2 and the library, building 12 will be the first building to the east.