Association of Zoological Horticulture Annual Conference in Jacksonville, FL from September 26 -30, 2009

Kate Baltzell, first year fellow, attended the Association of Zoological Horticulture’s annual conference in Jacksonville, FL entitled ‘Flora Meets Fauna’.

Welcome to Jacksonville! The host hotel was situated right on the St. Johns River with a great view of the Jacksonville city skyline.

Welcome to Jacksonville! The host hotel was situated right on the St. Johns River with a great view of the Jacksonville city skyline.

The five day conference at the end of September was sponsored by the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. The schedule was packed full of informative presentations covering a range of topics including: the design of the new gardens at Jacksonville Zoo, bee keeping efforts at the Pittsburgh Zoo, invasive plant issues, and plant conservation partnerships. The opportunity to meet and network with other professionals within the field was a great learning experience. Kate looks forward to maintaining these relationships through thesis work and future ventures. During the conference, the group of zoo professionals had the chance to tour Kanapaha Botanical Garden and Jacksonville Zoo. Kate was excited to see the Longwood Hybrid Victoria Lily at both locations! Thanks for the great introduction into AZH and a fulfilling first time conference…See you next year!

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, FL has a great display of 'Longwood Hybrid' water lilies. These overlapping platters are a much different sight than what visitors see at the lily ponds at Longwood Gardens.

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, FL has a great display of 'Longwood Hybrid' water lilies. These overlapping platters are a much different sight than what visitors see at the lily ponds at Longwood Gardens.

Opened in the spring of 2005, the 'Savanna Blooms' area of Jacksonville Zoo and Garden is quite unique.  This garden is inspired after a South African oasis with transitions from soft grasslands and fine textured acacia leaves at each entrance into a bold contemporary garden at its core.

Opened in the spring of 2005, the 'Savanna Blooms' area of Jacksonville Zoo and Garden is quite unique. This garden is inspired after a South African oasis with transitions from soft grasslands and fine textured acacia leaves at each entrance into a bold contemporary garden at its core.

After wandering through the Savanna Blooms' pathways, Kate was pleasantly surprised with what she found...Life sized elephant statues!

After wandering through the Savanna Blooms' pathways, Kate was pleasantly surprised with what she found...Life sized elephant statues!

Flamingos and 'Longwood Hybrid' water platters-what a great example of flora meeting fauna at Jacksonville Zoo and Garden.

Flamingos and 'Longwood Hybrid' water platters-what a great example of flora meeting fauna at Jacksonville Zoo and Garden.

Seasonal Stingray exhibit at Jacksonville Zoo and Garden-Kate's first encounter with a stingray.  The expression says it all...Yeesh!

Seasonal Stingray exhibit at Jacksonville Zoo and Garden-Kate's first encounter with a stingray. The expression says it all...Yeesh!

Jacksonville Zoo and Garden opened the Gardens at Trout River Plaza in September 2007. The water spilling over the fountain helps to accentuate the menagerie of animals depicted in the mosaic under visitors' feet.  Kids love splashing around in the fountain to beat the hot Florida heat!

Jacksonville Zoo and Garden opened the Gardens at Trout River Plaza in September 2007. The water spilling over the fountain helps to accentuate the menagerie of animals depicted in the mosaic under visitors' feet. Kids love splashing around in the fountain to beat the hot Florida heat!

Jacksonville Zoo and Garden NEWEST addition-Most recently, Jacksonville Zoo and Garden opened an Asian fusion inspired garden. This area includes an expertly selected green bridge, a classic moongate entrance, and a bamboo garden. The hedge framing this photo will continue to be maintained as a 'window' into the garden beyond. The gardens at Jacksonville Zoo and Garden are setting standards for zoo horticulture and definitely require a return visit in the future.

Jacksonville Zoo and Garden NEWEST addition-Most recently, Jacksonville Zoo and Garden opened an Asian fusion inspired garden. This area includes an expertly selected green bridge, a classic moongate entrance, and a bamboo garden. The hedge framing this photo will continue to be maintained as a 'window' into the garden beyond. The gardens at Jacksonville Zoo and Garden are setting standards for zoo horticulture and definitely require a return visit in the future.

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