St. Johns Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve

St. Johns Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve

The St. Johns Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve doesn’t just have plants!  The wildlife here is phenomenal. Because of the unique natural habitat in the preserve, combined with the tropical and desert plants in the garden, the SJBGNP abounds with flora AND fauna.

The preserve is a birdwatcher’s dream, with many species of warblers, sparrows, and other birds not often seen in the North Florida pine woods. Many migrants also stop because of the open grassy areas, tall trees, and abundant water resources. These include rose-breasted grosbeaks, painted buntings, robins, scarlet tanagers, and many others. The regulars seen are cardinals, blue jays, wrens, tufted titmice, chickadees, flycatchers, catbirds, phoebes, kingfishers, and a variety of egrets, herons, ducks, owls, and hawks.

Amphibians and reptiles are plentiful in the garden and preserve. Tree frogs, including squirrel tree frogs, green tree frogs, and pine woods tree frogs are common. Spring peepers are often heard peeping in December and January on cool wet nights. Southern toads, spadefoot toads, oak toads, narrow-mouthed frogs, little grass frogs, bronze frogs, river frogs, leopard frogs, pig frogs, and bullfrogs may all be seen or heard at various times of the year. Find Florida box turtles, chicken turtles, snapping turtles, softshell turtles, musk turtles, mud turtles, as well as the ubiquitous sliders!

Snakes are also seen, and as elsewhere, will not bother you if they are left alone. Black racers will scu ... view more »


St. Johns Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve

8310 County Road 13, Hastings, FL 32145


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Friday - Monday | 9:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday - Thursday | By appointment only


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Featured Venues

Lightner Museum

With sparkling crystal chandeliers, intricate mosaic tile flooring, majestic arched windows, and carved wooden staircases, Lightner Museum is a show-stopper! The museum opened in 1948, displaying the collections of Otto C. Lightner, which include 19th-century artwork, glassware, sculpture, furniture, stained glass, and antique chandeliers throughout the three floors of exhibits. Originally built as the Hotel Alcazar in 1888 by Standard Oil co-founder Henry Flagler, this beautiful structure was created in the Spanish Renaissance Revival Style. In addition to the Lightner Museum, it also houses St. Augustine City Hall, several antique shops, and Cafe Alcazar, a restaurant that sits in the location of what was once the world’s largest indoor swimming pool.

Beluthahatchee Park

Beluthahatchee Park is a four-acre park located within the 70-acre tract of land purchased by Stetson Kennedy in 1948 after the 18-acre Beluthahatchee Lake was created by impounding Mill Creek in 1945. This lake meanders through a natural basin and is surrounded by high bluffs, currently owned by the Lake Dwellers Association, a non-profit Florida corporation formed by the lakefront residents. In 1949, the 70-acre tract was subdivided and platted by the owner/developer Stetson Kennedy who recorded the restrictive covenants setting aside land in perpetuity as a wildlife refuge, and stipulating that residential construction be consistent with the developer’s goal of “serving as a working demonstration that human and natural habitat need not be mutually exclusive, but can coexist in harmony.”