Last updated: 3/2/2012
3540 E. University Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32602
P.O. Box 490, Dept. 30
Gainesville, FL 32602
Steve Phillips, Manager
Gainesville’s premier nature park
Gainesville’s premier nature park, Morningside Nature Center, is one of the last remaining examples of fire-dependent longleaf pine woodlands in the area. More than seven miles of trails wind through sandhill, flatwoods, cypress domes, and areas where native vegetation is being restored. Morningside boasts a spectacular wildflower display and opportunity to see a diverse array of wildlife.
The Nature Operation Division's mission is to acquire and operate environmental and historic resources, stimulate public knowledge and awareness, and create opportunities for all citizens through on-going, interactive programs and services, making Gainesville the most livable city. The Division is operated following the model for non-profit agencies owned by government, and is affiliated professionally with several national organizations, including The American Association of Museums, The Florida Association of Museums, the Internal Festivals Association, the Florida Tourism Association, 3CMA, and the National Association of Local Arts Agencies.
Morningside is the base for environmental education and folk life programs provided by Nature Operations. Elementary groups come to Morningside and other nature parks daily throughout the school year for curriculum enrichment programs, including programs on farm life, the native Timucua people, life of the wetlands, or other ecosystem exploring programs. Elementary and middle school students can come for day camps during school holidays.
Fall wildflower walks are offered every Saturday in October. Adults can register for hands-on seminar style classes on traditional crafts and Florida's natural history.
The Living History Farm hosts two large events per year and farm days every Saturday. Friends of Nature Parks co-sponsor two Native Plant Sales in fall and spring with the Native Plant Society and Nature Operations. For event dates and details, see our Event Calendar. The Friends of Nature Parks are the original not-for-profit support organization which provides volunteers, supplemental funding, and advocacy for matters of concern to the nature parks.
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