The Bartram Gardens & Trail at the Stetson Aquatic Center

Interpretive panels are now in the ground at The Bartram Gardens & Trail at the Stetson Aquatic Center. Sailforth has been involved in Bartram Trail projects since the Bartram Trail in Putnam County kicked off a major project to put their historic sections of the St. Johns River touched by William Bartram and his father John.

Sam Carr, who spearheaded the project in Palatka, and the Bartram group have been gracious about allowing Sailforth to bridge the Bartram Trail identity we developed with them to Volusia County.

Dr. Jason Evans, current chair of the Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience and Stephanie Liskey with the Welcome sign at the public entrance to the Bartram Gardens and Trail.

Dr. Jason Evans, current chair of the Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience and Stephanie Liskey with the Welcome sign at the public entrance to the Bartram Gardens and Trail.

Stephanie designed the original Bartram in Putnam logo/identity, and we have updated it to match for Volusia County. She used the texture of the paper William collected flowers on as a background to the panels (and brochures, videos, etc. in the case of previous projects) to give the historic interpretation an organic, personal feeling, and wanted to continue this unique approach with all Bartram materials.

The Bartram Garden at the Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience/Stetson Aquatic Center is a longtime dream in the making. Clay Henderson, then Executive Director of the IWER at Stetson, and Dr. Tony Abbott, chair of Geography and Environmental Science at Stetson in DeLand, FL shared the vision for more Bartram interpretation in Florida, and that vision is shared by current Executive Director Jason Evans.

Clay and Tony both attended Bartram Conferences and Bartram “Frolics” in Palatka, and vowed to do what they could to connect the Volusia dots. There was finally movement in 2017/18 to push ahead with development on the 15 panels. Dr. Abbott had already put thought, research, and peer review into the “Long Lake” padding map and sites for other connected projects we worked with him on for River of Lakes Heritage Corridor. Much of the new research and writing for the Bartram Garden interpretation was done by Clay Henderson, with Stephanie Liskey helping him boil content down to the essence and edit for space. Stephanie designed the panels and oversaw production/delivery to Stetson, and the Stetson grounds team installed them this week.

Sailforth is honored to help tell the story of one of the most inspiring renaissance men of history. The Bartram Garden at Lake Beresford has the feeling of a sacred site, and it’s a wonderful place to launch out for a paddle to experience the deep beauty of Florida as William did. Generations of students will become aware of who Bartram was with his words and distinctive illustrations to guide them along the St. Johns River he loved.

The Bartram Garden project consists of:
One Welcome panel/map,
A large panel about padding and close Bartram historic sites/local overview
3 cantilevered (slanted) panels about the birds, fish and flora through his eyes
10 small panels – 9 with Bartram’s plant descriptions, and one small intro to William Bartram

The Stetson Aquatic Center at Lake Beresford is scheduled to open in December 2019.
Click through the photo gallery for more.