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The Bay County Conservancy's Hidden Gem in Downtown Panama City

A biodiverse, yet cozy garden in the heart of it all! Nestled in the heart of the downtown area, the Mary Ola Reynolds Miller Palm Park is just 1 of 22 nature preserves protected by the Bay County Conservancy, Inc. According to their website,, this non-profit was started in 1998, with the sole goal to obtain land with the goal of preserving natural resources.

I am briefly visiting the Lynn Haven area, and because so much is happening around downtown Panama City, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this hidden gem, among a few others which I will link down below!

For those of you that are familiar with the book and/or movie "Where the Crawdads Sing," you won't have a hard time picturing this palm park oasis! With this very book in hand, I had set out on a day of adventuring downtown. And afterwards, I intended to find a spot to unwind and reflect. After driving by this park and hearing a few locals mention the spot, it's no surprise that I found myself sitting on a bench through the trees shortly after the thought crossed my mind, admiring the water and the greenery that the garden had to offer. I had set out for inspiration that day, and after receiving plenty of it, I was able to enjoy a peaceful moment to collect my thoughts and re-center.

After doing some journaling and meditation, I sat on a bench tucked between the moss covered trees. There I dove right into my book, with the sound of nature flourishing around me. After listening to the squirrels, doves, and dragonflies, the sound of a car horn made me jump out of my skin! I was in my own world there in the garden with my book. In true Kaya fashion, I enjoyed my picnic lunch with the wildlife, moving and bustling between the moss-covered trees. Just about as 'marsh girl' as it gets, right?!

So my plant enthusiasts are probably wondering by now..."what's in the garden?" And I will tell ya'll, they have a little bit of everything tucked back in there, take my word for it. Or if you are in the area, go check it out yourself! The Bay County Conservancy is hard at work to create, as I mentioned, a biodiverse garden with plenty of variety. I particularly enjoyed looking at the water lilies, the pollinator garden, and the variety of flowering plants on the trail inwards. Fortunately, for any plants that weren't in bloom, the signage and labels showed pictures of the plants in their flowering seasons. So no matter what time you decide to stop by, you will be able to get a taste of the magic held in the garden. And I won't waste time describing the mural, because that's one you should see for yourself. The story behind the palm inspired mural sits at the bend of the trail, and the mural sits not much farther from that. All of this being said, there many pretty things to look at in addition to the native palms and trees!

I had several other adventures in downtown Panama City that day, which you can read more about in some of my other posts. But this stop at the Mary Ola Reynolds Miller Palm Park is definitely one to check out if you want a quick and organized taste of the foliage that the Gulf Coast area has to offer. A #hiddengem, for sure!

If you live in the area or stop by for a visit, be sure to check out the Conservancy's website for more gems like this one, because like I said....they have 22 Nature preserves in the area.

Check out my Pinterest for more info, or drop a comment below if you enjoyed your experience as much as I did! And take a look at my other adventures in downtown Panama City!

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This was such a great read, Paige! Thank you for sharing your experience with us ❤️🤍💙

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