Home / Environment / GALLERY: Azaleas Bloom in Ravine Gardens State Park

GALLERY: Azaleas Bloom in Ravine Gardens State Park


West of the St. Johns River sits is crater-like ravine formed some thousand years ago. Today, nestled in the downtown area of Palatka, it’s home to more than 100,000 azaleas that bloom from late January through April each year.

The gardens were commissioned in the 1930s as a joint effort between the Works Progress Administration, the City of Palatka and private individuals. The New Deal Era led to the creation of an additional eight parks statewide, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Of the nine, Ravine Gardens State Park was the only formally designed landscape. A 1.8-mile road circles the ravine, with hiking trails throughout. About 250,000 ornamental plants – such as palms, bamboo, azaleas, and Japanese magnolias – were planted.

Azaleas, known as the royalty of the garden, were chosen to be the most prominent plant. Their vibrantly colored flowers bloom each spring, bringing an increased number of tourists.

Ravine Gardens State Park, located at 1600 Twigg St., is open year-round from 8 a.m. until sundown.

All photos taken by WUFT photographer Aubrey Stolzenberg.

Check Also

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Biologist Wade Brenner (left) and a volunteer unload a Florida black bear ready to be weighed at the check station located off of Forest Road 11 and CR 316 at the Ocala National Forest on Oct. 24. Although the hunt ended the next day after 295 bears were killed, speculation abounds as to whether baiting was behind that high number.  Andrea Cornejo/ WUFT News

Early End to Bear Hunt Raises Concerns Over Baiting

Claims of illegal baiting during Florida's 2015 Black Bear hunting season stir controversy. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission plans to issue an in-depth analysis of the hunt in a few weeks.

  • Michael Nunez

    Liberty and free enterprise free us from the shackles of collective agreement required thousands of years ago when bands of our ancient ancestors obeyed their primitive collective instincts.