UNF Botanical Gardens

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Prime Timers Enjoy Botanical Garden Tour at UNF 



Last Wednesday, members of the Prime Timers enjoyed a morning tour of the University of North Florida’s botanical gardens. 

Fun facts about the UNF botanical gardens that you may not know:

  • Covers more than 600 acres of managed land including the gardens, lakes and ponds, open grounds, and forest
  • UNF’s botanical gardens are not contained but are integrated throughout the campus 
  • The gardens are designed to provide beauty, water management, and ecological benefits
  • There are 27 species of incredibly tall bamboo in the bamboo garden which offer an ant’s eye view of the world
  • The gardens are managed by a small team headed by horticulturalist Rhonda Gracie and supported by Our Saviour’s very own Joyce Buscaglia

Joyce started volunteering at the UNF gardens in October of 2020 and since then came out of retirement to work there full time. She manages the Healing Garden, one of six gardens that she tends. “Digging in the dirt helps bring down your blood pressure. I love it here!” 

When asked what she was enjoying about the tour, Suzi Brown said “Being out in the fresh air and seeing God’s creation. It’s for us, it’s not for Him. It’s for us to enjoy and it’s just beautiful!”

Kay Bullock agreed, “I’m ready to come back!” 

For Prime Timer leader Linda Crockford, she’s pleased to see the fellowship and ministry group revitalized after having been suspended during COVID. “There are three of us now visiting with seniors at River Garden and Fr. George is holding monthly communion services there. The other part of Prime Timers is the fellowship and activities we wouldn’t go out and do on our own.” 

Next up for the Prime Timers is a May 20 luncheon in the Great Hall at noon where fried chicken and peach cobbler will be served up alongside great conversation with friends and summertime activity planning. Please RSVP!

Self-identifying prime timers are welcome to join or learn more about the fellowship ministry by contacting ministries@oursaviourjax.org.

For a quick peek of the UNF botanical gardens, click here to view a short video of Rhonda Gracie being interviewed by First Coast News back in November.

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