What’s an Arboretum?
An arboretum is a designated green space that serves as a “gallery” for trees and shrubs. Established to provide examples of mature plants, the arboretum serves as an outdoor learning center, providing visitors the opportunity to research and observe the textures, size, and other characteristics of the plants.
The Venice City Council in 2006 approved the creation of an arboretum in West Blalock Park, following the recommendation of citizen volunteers. Situated on 4.5 acres and located near the William H. Jervey, Jr. Venice Public Library, the arboretum was later named for one of its prime advocates, Monty Andrews. The educational park caters to people of all ages, with its shady, walk-able paths and numerous benches and picnic tables.
We’re an Accredited Arboretum
The Monty Andrews Arboretum has been awarded a Level II Accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and the Morton Arboretum located in Lisle, Illinois, for achieving established standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. The Arb/Net/Morton program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity and professionalism. The Monty Andrews Arboretum is recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and botanic gardens dedicated to woody plants.
Trees, Glorious Trees
The arboretum features more than 100 different trees and palms and nearly 125 shrubs. These plants, both native and non-native, grow well in our coastal environment.
Life Size Sculptures
The statues in the park depict Florida native wildlife: a sea turtle, a manatee, a Florida panther, and a tarpon; they were created by artist Thomas Prochnow.
Educational and community events are held during the year at the arboretum, from Arbor Day in January to the Tree Lighting in December. Volunteers from around the area decorate and light many of the trees and shrubs during the holiday season. The event turns the park into a joyous wonderland and annual family event enjoyed by people of all ages.
Don’t Miss These Park Highlights!
Amongst the trees, you’ll find several specialized areas within the arboretum. With the assistance of local garden groups, small plots have been created to showcase heat tolerant, Florida adapted plants.