Wildlife and Nature Sanctuaries Create a Vibrant Element In Gainesville

Gainesville residents are an observant bunch. Sure, they could be burning energy rooting for the Gators on any given weekend.

By
On Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 10:20
Gainesville, FL

Gainesville residents are an observant bunch. Sure, they could be burning energy rooting for the Gators on any given weekend. But more often than not, you’ll find them strolling through one of the many parks on a perfectly temperate day, observing all the natural beauty Gainesville has to offer.

Simple splendor is on display at the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. The facility is divided into an array of smaller gardens each devoted to a particular plant, from roses to bamboo, as well as a butterfly garden, a hummingbird garden and an arboretum. The botanical garden is also home to the region’s largest herb garden and hosts two annual horticulture events, the Spring Garden Festival and the Winter Bamboo Sale.

For more eye-pleasing foliage to admire, the Bivens Arm Nature Park winds visitors around a 1,200-foot boardwalk, through a peaceful oak hammock and marsh preserve. At 16-acre Palm Point Park, the calls of osprey and elusive bald eagle draw visitors to their unparalleled magnificence.

In their season, warblers hang out under the shady live oaks and palms. Palm Point’s unique geographic location makes it a magnet for some of the most spectacular migratory and local bird populations, while the deep water provides some of the best bank fishing. The more adventurous will want to visit Lake Alice, an alligator sanctuary. Hang around till dusk to observe the cloud of bats that rise up into the air. Residents can even watch their dogs romp around at Dog Wood Park, a fenced, 15-acre off-leash park.

Two swimming ponds, benches and swings welcome any breed of man’s best friend. There are several fenced-off areas, with two special ones just for small dogs. There is plenty to do in Gainesville, but there is also plenty to see. A sanctuary for animals and plants, residents get to live amidst it all.