Nature & Heritage Events

Poster for Event 'Nature Shop of Horrors'The Great Invader Raider Rally 

The Great Invader Raider Rally will take place
Saturday, January 27, 2018. 

9–11 am Great Invader Raider Rally Invasive Plant Removal!
Under trained leadership, volunteers will work to remove invasive plants and trash in pre-selected natural areas. 

11 am–1 pm Volunteer Celebration at Morningside Nature Center
Located at 3540 E. University Avenue
Registered participants are invited to attend the volunteer celebration at Morningside Nature Center that includes commemorative t-shirts, music, raffle prizes from local businesses, environmental booths and games!  Local food trucks will provide food for purchase.

Register Online

You can also visit the Gainesville Greenway Challenge page to find out how you can help our natural areas year-round!


Take advantage of the largest offering of native plants in North Florida during the 2018 Spring Native Plant sale on at Morningside Nature Center. Enhance your yard with low-maintenance native plants! Please check back for dates. For information please call 352-334-3326.

The sale is hosted cooperatively by the City of Gainesville's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, the Friends of Nature Parks (FNP) and Paynes Prairie chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS).



Join us at Morningside Nature Center’s Living History Farm for the Fall Old Florida Seed and Story Swap on Saturday, October 7, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., presented by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department in partnership with Forage Farm. Help us preserve our precious agricultural heritage, and diversify your own garden by bringing your seeds to swap with others in our gardening community. Please, no live plants, seeds older than five years or seeds from invasive exotics. No seeds to swap? Come on down anyway and meet fellow gardeners, while enjoying Morningside’s historic farm.


Participants will enjoy the spectacular fall wildflower bloom in the piney woods of Morningside Nature Center during a guided walk. The JEAN DORNEY MEMORIAL WILDFLOWER WALKS are free and take place every Saturday in October and start at 9 a.m. at Morningside Nature Center, from the education building. Wear comfortable walking shoes; bring water and field guides you would like to use. These walks are courtesy of a grant from the Friends of Nature Parks in honor of charter member Jean Dorney. 

Jean, a Texas native, moved her family to Gainesville in 1972. She quickly became involved with the Alachua Audubon Society and was a founding member of Friends of Nature Parks. Through the years, Jean was an active advocate of adult education programs at the nature parks and participated in many wildflower walks and natural history classes. For more information about attending the walks and exploring the natural parks as Jean loved to do, please visit parks’ page or call (352) 334-3326. Click on the link for information on how to become a member of Friends of Nature Parks.Take a WALK on the WILDflower side with us!


Free Admission! Every November on the Saturday after Thanksgiving: Saturday, November 25, 2017, from 10 am-4 pm. Contestants may download, complete and email the registration form between now and Wednesday, Nov. 22, or register on-site the morning of Nov. 25 from 9-10 a.m. 

This event is held each year the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and combines traditions of giving thanks and fall harvest with live fiddle, banjo and string-band music, which were major influences on American entertainment for more than 150 years. Bring your holiday guests, friends and family out to Morningside’s beautiful Living History Farm to experience the making and bottling of sugar cane syrup, biscuits hot from the wood cookstove, live roots music, horse-drawn wagon rides and living history interpreters and demonstrators bringing a country day in 1870 to life.

The Longleaf Pine Youth Fiddle Contest portion of the Cane Boil is for musicians 18-years-old and younger who may enter in one of three age group divisions:

  • Sprouts Division (beginners 7-years-old or younger)
  • Seedlings Division (8- to 12-years-old)
  • Saplings Division (advanced players or those 13- to 18-years-old)

Contestants may download the registration form between now and Wednesday, Nov. 22, or register on-site the morning of Nov. 25 from 9-10 a.m. Preregistered contestants should also check-in during this time. The contest starts at 10 a.m., concluding with judging and presentation of prizes, awarded to first, second, third place winners and runners-up in each of the three divisions. Traditional music played by talented, local musicians will follow all afternoon.

For registration and complete rules, and more information about judging and prizes, download the registration form or call 352-334-3326. Morningside Nature Center is located at 3540 E. University Ave., approximately three miles east of downtown Gainesville.

Plan to round out your holiday weekend with a relaxing and enjoyable day at Cane Boil & FiddleFest!

View pictures from the 2015 Cane Boil & FiddleFest.