Historic Markers Across Florida

Jessie Ball duPont Park-Urban Trees

Marker ID:  
Location: in Treaty Oak Park on Prudential Dr at Main St, Jacksonville, FL
County: Duval
Coordinates: N 30° 19.003    W 081° 39.498
  30.31671666    -81.6583
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMM3F8


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.-Margaret Mead

Trees have always been a vital element of the Jacksonville landscape. Oaks and pines from the forests that once covered the land were cut for lumber and sent around the world. There was a plentiful supply of the most coveted tree for shipbuilding, the live oak, which was highly prized the world over.

It is said that the Timucua Indians lived in awe of the great oaks. These great trees were honored as the doublet of the World Tree, the Cosmic Tree, or the Tree of Life. As a sacred tree, the oak was thought to hold within its branches not only the secrets of creation and life on this earth, but also as a symbol or promise of immortality.

Jacksonville's tradition of maintaining trees in the urban environment began soon after the City was founded in 1822. Live Oaks and palms were planted along residential streets. By the time Jacksonville became a tourist mecca following the Civil War, it was known throughout the nation for its magnificent tree-lined streets. In subsequent years, however, urban growth and development greatly reduced the number of trees along city streets and highways.

In an effort to reinstate a healthy urban forest, Jacksonville citizens and their agencies began tree planting programs in 1986. Many different species have been planted by individuals, volunteer groups and government agency employees. To further preserve the Giant Oak at Jessie Ball duPont Park for generations to come, the City of Jacksonville, the citizens, Councilwoman Ginny Myrick, the Downtown Development Authority, and the Chamber of Commerce, including the Frank X. Friedmann, Jr. Memorial Foundation, shared their financial resources in a classic public/private partnership to fund construction of the new observation deck, grand entranceway, pedestrian and tree lighting and other park improvements.
The Jessie Ball duPont Park Trust Fund was established by City Council on September 14, 1993 to accept private funds to maintain and ? the park for years to come.