William Bartram Park is named for William Bartram who was a botanist and naturalist who traveled around the southeastern states in the late 1700’s identifying the various flora and fauna, birds and bees of the region.
Bartram’s travels unintentionally brought him to Pensacola in 1775 and it turns out he thought Pensacola was the “bee’s knees” so he wrote about the hospitality he experienced during his brief visit in his book “Travels,” which was published in 1791. Two hundred years later a group of nature enthusiasts decided it was about time someone designated a nature trail in Pensacola in Bartram’s name. Many of the same plant species that were growing in Pensacola at the time of Bartram’s visit were cataloged along that trail.
Situated on Bayfront Parkway, today the park serves as a passive nature area with benches and picnic tables as well as a walking path. Informational signage related to coastal defenses, William Bartram Trail, as well as other memorial plaques and markers exist in this peaceful waterfront setting.
William Bartram’s father, John Bartram was also a botanist and is credited with establishing the first botanical garden in America, and was the botanist to King George III.