The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of the campus.
This article was written by a female student writer from the University of South Florida campus.
- Location and price!
The Botanical Garden is free for students with proof of student ID, and $5 for students outside USF. Open Tuesday – Sunday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. When you arrive, head to the cashier in the main building and plant shop to make purchases and pay the entrance fee. The USF Bullet Red Line stops at the Botanical Gardens. Click here to check bus routes. Once you board the bus, show the driver your student ID and you can enjoy your free, air-conditioned ride to the parks, all year round. Using public transportation or carpooling helps reduce your carbon footprint. Botanical Gardens 12210 USF Pine Drive, Tampa, FL 33620. It is located on the outskirts of campus closest to Magnolia Fields and Magnolia Apartments. It is also located near off-campus housing such as The Standard and University Square Apartments.
- Bamboo garden
During the winter months when the wind starts blowing the sounds that fill the bamboo garden will put you in a meditative state. The cold winds from Behnki Lake cause the bamboo trees to collide with each other, causing them to creak and gas each other, creating a quiet sound.
- Behnkee Lake/Wetlands
You can also get a glimpse of what Florida’s famous wetlands feel like. Lake Behnkee’s plants, botanical gardens, cypress trees, and soon-to-be mangrove forest mirror those of wetlands like the Florida Everglades, on a much smaller scale. However, it is still nice to savor the beauty that wetlands have to offer.
- Nature trail
The nature trail is a half-mile-long untouched trail that allows people to get up close and personal with plants native to Florida’s wetlands. Enjoy the forests filled with signs and QR codes identifying specific trees. Winding turns will eventually take you along the bank of Lake Behnke and eventually drop you into the cactus and succulents section of the park.
- Max is the friendliest cat you will ever meet!
The park is home to several cats. However, some are friendlier than others. Max is an old yellow cat who loves people. He can often be found sunbathing next to the main office and plant shop. If you see him make sure to approach slowly and give him lots of love!