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Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Metro Jacksonville's Bob Mann illustrates how a walk of only 600 feet through two local parks writes the book on why Jacksonville doesn't have nice things.

Published February 6, 2014 in Opinion      51 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

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What has happened to Jacksonville? In 1910 Jacksonville was being compared to Los Angeles, only our population was growing faster. It was fully expected that Jacksonville would soon overtake LA as one of America’s premier cities.  

It is likely that a Jacksonville resident from 1910 would recognize parts of our city today but they would be heartbroken when they realized that we have long since surrendered our position of dominance in our region. A simple visit to Orlando, Tampa or Miami would probably so stun them that they would willingly return to the realm of the dead.

This story is not about parks. It does, however, use parks to illustrate the state of our city today. The city that once had ‘the most beautiful streetcar line in the world’ now has endless miles of ghetto conditions, unmaintained roads, a mishmash of bad zoning, urban decay, demolition, favoritism and good ol' boys that are more likely to line their pockets than to serve their public. Fraught with Neanderthal-like thinking at every level, local state and city agencies including JTA, JPA, JEA, JAA, Public Works, parking enforcement and all of their associate agencies have long since removed us from any competition with Los Angeles. A loss of pride and the subsequent trash heaps that go along with it will cost us dearly.

(Bet you didn’t think that I could piss them all off in one fell swoop; talent on loan from Ipthar.)

So what is it about Jacksonville that reminds me of something that just fell out of a John Steinbeck novel?  Speaking of John Steinbeck why don’t we take a recent page from Grapes of Wrath territory or as Horace Greeley once said, "Go west" for our example of FIXED!

Some few years ago while serving as a City Councilman in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, we experienced a horrifying episode, one that would have sent every public servant in north Florida diving off the Dames Point bridge. This singular event may define the difference in Jacksonville and Oklahoma City.  You’ll recall in the book the Grapes 0f Wrath that these were A tough and hardened people, hard scrabble farmers whose soil is as hard as a rock in the summer and turns into an oatmeal mush in the winter.  And people so used to hardships that even the Amish community uses tractors.  

Oklahoma City in the 1990s was and is a major manufacturing center: automobiles, aircraft, and railroad junction with oil depots, the Air Force and Navy rounding out the economy. OKC was a city whose populace had become so damn negative in tearing down institutions whatever they were, until they became expert at it. This should sound familiar to a people from a city that once led the “City Beautiful Movement.”  

Like an exciting thunderbolt, we learned one day that another major automobile parts manufacturer was considering OKC as a location for a new mega plant. The choice had been narrowed down to just two cities. When their delegation arrived we rolled out the red carpet. We promised them the moon and stars and then a disaster called reality smacked us on our heads.

When the cameras stopped rolling, the president of the corporation escaped the banquets through a hotel door and drove up and down throughout the entire city in a rental car. The following day in front of mass media he informed us, "We will not be coming to Oklahoma City. "Apparently corporations do not want to move to a ignominious, grungy, unmotivated, scatological, pestiferous, corrupt, oily, aimless, indiscriminate, misplanned, uninspired, reasonless place, he explained that he had driven past miles of drill pipe, vacant buildings, crumbling roads, very little transit, skid row bums and literally stood in a ditch and measured litter a foot deep. We were a scene right out of the Dust Bowl. I should know-- as many of my roots can be traced to the drill rigs and the hard scrabble. Indeed, I attended Oklahoma State University.

Within days, emergency meetings were being held because a solution had to be found. Within months, every mayor commissioner and councilman in the metro was packed onto a fleet of tour buses. We painstakingly and slowly cruised throughout the downtown core. Abject failure led to visioning meetings on a huge and serious scale was the result, ultimately giving birth to the ‘MAPS’ (Metropolitan Area Projects). Think of ‘MAPS’ (approved in 1993) as a 7 year forerunner of the Better Jacksonville Plan. But unlike Jacksonville’s plans, the Oklahoma City plan rolls over every 10-12 years with a whole new package of forward thinking plans. MAPS is continually financed by electing to continue and renew the tax.

"The Central Business District General Neighborhood Renewal Plan (design completed 1964) and the Central Business District Project I-A Development Plan (design completed 1966). It was formally adopted in 1965, and implemented in public and private phases throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

The plan called for the demolition of hundreds of antiquated downtown structures in favor of renewed parking, office building, and retail developments, in addition to public projects such as the Myriad Convention Center and the Myriad Botanical Gardens. It was the dominant template for downtown development in Oklahoma City from its inception through the 1970s, supported by Oklahoma City Mayor Patience Latting. The plan generated mixed results and opinion, largely succeeding in re-developing office building and parking infrastructure but failing to attract its anticipated retail and residential development. Public resentment also developed as a result of the destruction of multiple historic structures. As a result, Oklahoma City’s leadership avoided large-scale urban planning for downtown throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, until the passage of the Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) initiative in 1993. Credit Wiki"




These improvements are very visible, tangible progress and the population has no problem in continuing to finance and continue to finance these infrastructure improvements. This is what the Daily Oklahoman had to say:

Quote
“Since the passage of the first MAPS in 1993, the landscape of Oklahoma City has experienced an incredible renaissance. Not only does the city have a vibrant canal and river area, the downtown area has become a top visitor spot."


Streetcars are coming, parks improved, and freeways removed replaced by green parkways with rocks and fountains. Historic districts have been restored and highlighted and a huge La Villa sized warehouse district complete with a canal has become San Antonio North.

This article is not intended as an indictment against Jacksonville’s parks department but should serve as a warning to what we have become. In this photo essay I visited two parks. Even worse, the entire essay of photos were taken within the space of 600 feet.

Removal of a quality children’s park for another glorified parking lot, streets without lighting, drainage, sidewalks and administrative lethargy. What do potential blue and white-collar companies see when they visit our city? Just a lower wage version of ignominious, grungy, unmotivated, scatological, pestiferous, corrupt, oily, aimless, indiscriminate, misplanned, uninspired, reasonless place with crumbling road’s, very poor transit, skid row bums and literally litter measured a foot deep. Let’s add to that the one place where we have finally roared past our one-time California rival. We have a ‘murder and non-negligent manslaughter rate’ (2012) that easily trumps Los Angeles. Describe our city in a single word? BROKEN!

Perhaps we could load all of our belongings onboard an old truck and escape to Colombia, been there, done that; I happen to know that so-called ‘3rd World’ is much closer than most Jacksonville residents think.

It is time to either run away or stand up and be counted. If this city has any soul, then it is made up of a part of all of us. I’ll stand my ground and fight wherever there is a fight. Won’t you join me Jacksonville.

Quote
"Tom Joad: Well, maybe its like Casy says. A fella ain't got a soul of his own, just a little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to ever’body. I’ll be all around in the dark. I’ll be everywhere, wherever you can look. Wherever there’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad and I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when the people are eatin’ the stuff they raise, livin’ in the house they build, I’ll be there too."

CREDIT: The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, 1939

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51 Comments

Noone

February 06, 2014, 08:45:47 AM
On 2/11/14 after approval of 2014-22 we will be spending a million bucks on Exchange Club Island Park. So relax. Metropolitan Park is an official Mayor Brown kayak launch location. That is positive.

IrvAdams

February 06, 2014, 09:30:51 AM
A very powerful piece. The article is a real motivator, and points out the fact that if you're not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. Any of us can stop and pick up a piece of trash. Any of us can write emails, go to city council meetings, spread word to our friends, etc.

As an aside, regarding parks, I think Hogan's Creek and it's associated green acreage has huge possibilities. I think I'll go down there and pick up some trash sometime soon.

Thanks for the motivation.

duvaldude08

February 06, 2014, 10:45:24 AM
Wait, what happened to all the money that alloted to fix metro park? Has it not happened yet? But the sad thing is, in order to get the city to act, you pretty have to put something like this on the news and embarass city hall, then all of a sudden its cleaned. Otherwise, they ignore it. Why have all these parks if we are not going to maintain them. Pull up the park signs and just let them be jungles.

coredumped

February 06, 2014, 11:03:23 AM
There's so much Jax needs to do in order to improve these types of conditions.

You need people to care - that starts with our youth, they need good parenting and good education. Then they might care about their surroundings and get out and vote for change (good change, not the obama kind :) ) in leadership.

It's a whole host of problems contributing to our issues, and it's not going to fix itself overnight. Even if we can vote someone who looks like he/she is going to do good for the city, we need people to care enough to hold them accountable.

toi

February 06, 2014, 01:04:59 PM
Mr. Mann - you should know that the garden that you photographed at Krestul Park is maintained by an older person who does so out of a desire to plant flowers and other native plants that attract butterflies.  The City specifically does not mow or weed whack that area.  It is not an arboretum or state garden with budgets and staffs, and yes, wildflowers can be that (wild).  Similarly, wildflowers are seasonal -- much of the time they can look weedy.  The butterflies don't know that, though.  But for the volunteer's ten plus years of work in that garden it would just be grassed and mowed.   It is also winter - sometimes it is best to just let plants be.   I live in the area and am grateful for her service. 

civil42806

February 06, 2014, 01:34:41 PM
You can probably find that in any city, pretty lame photo presentation

DeadGirlsDontDance

February 06, 2014, 01:36:04 PM
We can't have nice things in general thanks to the charming  mix of apathy, greed and stupidity that characterizes our local government. Nobody cares about the problems unless they see an opportunity to line their pockets. Then greed kicks in, and they don't really care about Project Whatever except in terms of how to squeeze the most money out of it. After the decision to do something has been made, Our Fearless Leaders seem strangely reluctant to listen to potential solutions from anybody except folks who stand to make big bucks if the city follows their advice. Which is stupid. I give up. (There's yer apathy.)

We specifically can't have nice PARKS because functioning bathrooms, working water fountains, and comfortable seating may attract Scary Poor People. God forbid the Scary Poors should stop pooping on the sidewalks, that might deprive Upstanding Citizens of a pefectly good excuse to hate them.

Ocklawaha

February 06, 2014, 05:00:07 PM
Mr. Mann - you should know that the garden that you photographed at Krestul Park is maintained by an older person who does so out of a desire to plant flowers and other native plants that attract butterflies.  The City specifically does not mow or weed whack that area.  It is not an arboretum or state garden with budgets and staffs, and yes, wildflowers can be that (wild).  Similarly, wildflowers are seasonal -- much of the time they can look weedy.  The butterflies don't know that, though.  But for the volunteer's ten plus years of work in that garden it would just be grassed and mowed.   It is also winter - sometimes it is best to just let plants be.   I live in the area and am grateful for her service.

I have absolutely no problem with volunteerism or the volunteers themselves. My argument is about the general state and condition of our city (or lack thereof).

My response to a volunteer butterfly garden would be to hold it to a standard. These projects should be public-private partnerships that needn't cost much more then is currently spent. A good example would be to identify it as a 'butterfly garden'. Have the city's maintenance people keep the benches and paths trimmed so people can actually enjoy the work in the various flower beds. It doesn't take much to trim around a few botanical signs, and maybe an extra 20 minutes to trim up around a place that appears weedy.

Our city is drifting into a comatose state, and none of our politicians or citizens with the mindset of 'Civil' (comment above) are going to provide the life support needed to revive our once held vibrance and dominance. While Civil is correct that you can indeed find such conditions in any city, the fact is, in Jacksonville and once upon a time in OKC, the conditions find you. Everywhere.

jcjohnpaint

February 06, 2014, 05:09:38 PM
Great article Ock. 
Thanks for this! 

Jaxson

February 06, 2014, 06:17:49 PM
We can't have nice things in general thanks to the charming  mix of apathy, greed and stupidity that characterizes our local government. Nobody cares about the problems unless they see an opportunity to line their pockets. Then greed kicks in, and they don't really care about Project Whatever except in terms of how to squeeze the most money out of it. After the decision to do something has been made, Our Fearless Leaders seem strangely reluctant to listen to potential solutions from anybody except folks who stand to make big bucks if the city follows their advice. Which is stupid. I give up. (There's yer apathy.)

We specifically can't have nice PARKS because functioning bathrooms, working water fountains, and comfortable seating may attract Scary Poor People. God forbid the Scary Poors should stop pooping on the sidewalks, that might deprive Upstanding Citizens of a pefectly good excuse to hate them.

I have noticed the same thing about the lack of restroom facilities in many city parks and other public areas.  I recall that they removed the restrooms from Hemming Park/Plaza because of a few people behaving badly.  The title of this thread is very fitting considering that we are willing to remove amenities and further the downward spiral of what should be points of pride for our city.

Know Growth

February 06, 2014, 07:54:12 PM
Depressing outlook? We can do better..........

What if Jacksonville is simply reflective of huge swaths of the United states, world?
What if even the "Edge Cities",their very creation driven by Central Core Flights,have succumbed to this certain malaise?

Things "Nice" begs introspection. Social construction.

Some feel they can no longer even enjoy a "Nice" Shoppes of Avondale. For others,the "Transformation" is cheered,held in awe

(by the way- this in the Parks , Recreation section....we could reflect on Jacksonville's "Green Hedge"; Northeast Florida Timberlands Project,public lands complex. Not all bad there.Here.)

mtraininjax

February 07, 2014, 08:22:00 AM
Wow, a picture of one of the 330+ parks in Jacksonville, the largest PARK SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and all of a sudden, we need streetcars to them all, so that we can maintain them appropriately?

Wow!

Only so much money to go around in the giant Alvin Brown tax pool, pick what you keep, what goes. Easy to complain, harder to govern. Step up and make a difference, run for city council and make a difference.

ChriswUfGator

February 07, 2014, 09:10:59 AM
Wow, a picture of one of the 330+ parks in Jacksonville, the largest PARK SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and all of a sudden, we need streetcars to them all, so that we can maintain them appropriately?

Wow!

Only so much money to go around in the giant Alvin Brown tax pool, pick what you keep, what goes. Easy to complain, harder to govern. Step up and make a difference, run for city council and make a difference.

I doubt we're anything close to the largest public park system in the country, mtrain. Where did you get that statistic? Our biggest public park is what, metro park at 32 acres? Central Park in New York is, by itself, 843 acres. In fact I'd venture to guess that all of our parks would probably fit within single parks in several other cities, like fairmount in Philadelphia.

Ocklawaha

February 07, 2014, 09:45:43 AM
Wow, a picture of one of the 330+ parks in Jacksonville, the largest PARK SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and all of a sudden, we need streetcars to them all, so that we can maintain them appropriately?

Wow!

Only so much money to go around in the giant Alvin Brown tax pool, pick what you keep, what goes. Easy to complain, harder to govern. Step up and make a difference, run for city council and make a difference.

No, we need streetcars downtown and in the historic streetcar neighborhoods of Riverside-Avondale-Fairfax and in Springfield-Brentwood. The resulting development (around a 3 to 1 ROI nationally) will bolster the tax base and allow us to maintain our parks and give our police, fire and teachers, proper equipment, pay and retirement.

While we're at it, how about EVERYONE pick up and deposit at least one piece of litter today! GIVE A DAMN JAX!

IrvAdams

February 07, 2014, 10:09:03 AM
Jacksonville is actually very well represented in the list of the largest parks in the country (credit Google, etc.). For instance, the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve in Ft. Caroline (and also partially across the river on the Northside off Heckscher drive) is a total of 7,870 acres, making it a top-10 park size-wise in the US. It has miles of walking and biking trails, along with ancient Indian shell mounds and a gorgeous view of the St. Johns. A beautiful place, and free to the public.

Ocklawaha

February 07, 2014, 10:18:26 AM
Jacksonville is actually very well represented in the list of the largest parks in the country (credit Google, etc.). For instance, the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve in Ft. Caroline (and also partially across the river on the Northside off Heckscher drive) is a total of 7,870 acres, making it a top-10 park size-wise in the US. It has miles of walking and biking trails, along with ancient Indian shell mounds and a gorgeous view of the St. Johns. A beautiful place, and free to the public.

Agreed, and what would the Timucuan Preserve look like if the city was maintaining it? My guess is a badly designed set from an old Tarzan Movie. I actually have photos of the Yellow Bluff Confederate/Federal artillery earthworks before I embarrassed the city on live TV with dozens of Civil War Reenactors (guys who took it on themselves to clean it up and restore the fencing - IN PERIOD WOOL UNIFORMS).

Kudos to the 1st NY ENGINEERS GAR and the KIRBY SMITH CAMP SCV.

Tacachale

February 07, 2014, 10:41:52 AM
^It's the largest city park system with something like 80,000 acres. It includes the city portion of the Timucuan preserve, which is several thousand acres. The Preserve is maintained by a previously unheard of collaboration between the city parks department, NPS, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and some individual land owners. The Preservation Project by itself added about 50,000 acres which wouldn't have been saved by the state or NPS. Jacksonville is fairly unique in including tens of thousands of acres of preserve land (which wouldn't be saved by the state or NPS) and more traditional city parks under one department.

As far as urban parks go, it wasn't going to be all one park, but if the Confederate Park/Hogans Creek greenway plan had been completed it would have been fairly large for an urban park. Another good idea that hasn't been followed up on (though finally some progress is being made).

Point being, there was a time, not so long ago, that Jacksonville was considered innovative and trend-setting when it comes to parks. The stuff shown in Bob's article could be fixed tomorrow if the city leadership prioritized it.

Overstreet

February 07, 2014, 12:58:07 PM
Wow, a picture of one of the 330+ parks in Jacksonville, the largest PARK SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and all of a sudden, we need streetcars to them all, so that we can maintain them appropriately?

Wow!

Only so much money to go around in the giant Alvin Brown tax pool, pick what you keep, what goes. Easy to complain, harder to govern. Step up and make a difference, run for city council and make a difference.

I doubt we're anything close to the largest public park system in the country, mtrain. Where did you get that statistic? Our biggest public park is what, metro park at 32 acres? Central Park in New York is, by itself, 843 acres. In fact I'd venture to guess that all of our parks would probably fit within single parks in several other cities, like fairmount in Philadelphia.

Perhaps if you only think downtown, but with Hugenaut at 318, Hanna at 450 and Cecil Recreation center at 1500 acres Central Park seems a little small.

ChriswUfGator

February 07, 2014, 01:17:25 PM
Jacksonville is actually very well represented in the list of the largest parks in the country (credit Google, etc.). For instance, the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve in Ft. Caroline (and also partially across the river on the Northside off Heckscher drive) is a total of 7,870 acres, making it a top-10 park size-wise in the US. It has miles of walking and biking trails, along with ancient Indian shell mounds and a gorgeous view of the St. Johns. A beautiful place, and free to the public.

We both know I'm not talking about state nature preserves, we're talking about city parks...you're comparing apples to razorback hogs. And yes, I'd love to see the google link you're referring to, where Jacksonville is allegedly in the top X of cities in the country for its public parks (not national forests, nature preserves, etc., which even then we still don't really rank in, compare anything local with Yellowstone, or the Ocala National Forest). But anyway, let's see the link...

vicupstate

February 07, 2014, 01:25:39 PM
Jax has the largest park system in name only.  The Preservation Project put 10,000's of acres into conservation.  Acreage that in nearly all (non-consolidated) cities would NOT even be inside it's city limits and not in municipal ownership.   

That is and was a wonderful thing to do.  However the potential that all of that land holds is not realized, just like the city as a whole.

There is a difference between conservation land and truly usable and accessible park land.  There has been no large scale effort to provide access or park amenities in these areas.   If you only look at the developed part of the city, and not the Greenbelt crescent that encircles the developed areas, the amount of park land is well below the national average.  Some parks are decently maintained (Ortega, San Marco, etc.) but the majority of the city parks are minimally maintained.

When Peyton was in his first term, he proposed sweeping changes and improvements to make the 'largest' park system the 'best' park system.  A study was done which showed Jax spent comparatively very little on parks and recreation.   After the city council saw their park fiefdom might be taken form them, they killed his plan, which he didn't even fight hard for.     

Tacachale

February 07, 2014, 01:36:22 PM
Jacksonville's park system is difficult to read because there's little else to compare it to. The bottom line is a lot of the preserve land in Duval County is city park land, not state or national. Much of the Timucuan preserve is the city; Huguenot, Hannah, and the Cecil Recreation Center are all city parks. In fact, most of the Preservation Project land was developable and wouldn't have been saved by the state or the NPS, although it was worth saving.

Jacksonville's conservation efforts are a unique and enviable accomplishment. However, the urban parks don't stack up in comparison. As Vic says at one time there were plans for them that were just as innovative. That's clearly not the focus currently, as can be seen in the article.

simms3

February 07, 2014, 01:51:10 PM
I ask 3 questions:

1) What's the real tangible difference between lots of that preservation land, much of which is on the Westside, and simply undeveloped land?  And as a follow-up, did we really need to "preserve" all of that pine forest from mass development?  So far as I can tell, Jax isn't really large or sprawling enough, especially on the Westside, to warrant this as an accomplishment or protection from anything.

2) Does Jacksonville, even in its developed areas, have the population density to really warrant spending more on its parks?  I believe so, but I do think there's a catch 22 - in that most city/urban parks really aren't heavily used, because they are poorly maintained, and maybe they are poorly maintained because nobody uses them to begin with and there's not as much justification to squeeze P&R budget increases into an already tight city budget.

3) Where does a great waterfront park fit into this equation.  I personally believe that the city should pick either the Shipyards or the JEA site on the Southbank to make into a park, or mostly into a park.  And it should spend a lot of money and effort to properly do so.  Jacksonville's waterfront is one of the least accessible in the country, and for a major city that's really not a good thing in the long run for quality of life or for differentiating factors.

For urban environments, what's the difference between a land-locked Atlanta and a waterfront Jacksonville if the public can't easily or freely access the waterfront in Jacksonville?

Tacachale

February 07, 2014, 02:44:47 PM
1) The difference is simple: "undeveloped land" that's developable can be developed; preserve land can't. I don't think anyone has ever argued that Jacksonville isn't sprawling enough.

2) The budget is a problem, but the real problem is with the leadership that oversees the department and sets the budget (or in our case, that doesn't set it and makes the City Council do it)

3) Very true and fortunately the city has the land assets to make a go of this. The Southbank Riverwalk project will hopefully help. Though the Shipyards will be developed, any leader with half a wit will make sure a public use element is part of it.

Buforddawg

February 07, 2014, 06:32:02 PM
I want to know why the Crown Plaza has done everything in it's power to halt any repairs/replacement of the Riverwalk and why city "Leaders" won't tell them to take a hike and do the replacement.

spuwho

February 07, 2014, 07:33:08 PM
Just my two cents.

One of the issues of consolidated government is that when revenue drops, they have to tug on the strings of every budget to protect the constituencies within.

If libraries, parks, transportation to name a few were under their own governing bodies they could manage the constituencies within themselves and not have to pull dough from other city items to maintain at least a status quo.

Is Jacksonville "really bad". No I have seen, lived it, not a chance. Can it do better? Absolutely.

But it takes will and a common agenda. As the Visit Jacksonville chief said so well, "Everyone in Jacksonville is just doing their own thing".

Perhaps it will take a public shaming by a large employer before the will can be found.

ChriswUfGator

February 07, 2014, 08:28:36 PM
Perhaps it will take a public shaming by a large employer before the will can be found.

I wish even that would work with this council, but it doesn't. Look at the HRO, you had CSX, Haskell, BlueCross, etc., at the meetings saying "we want this" and the council gave them the middle finger, and at least one of them then went and picked up an award from a right wing church that's not even located in his district. Parks and libraries aren't going to fare any better against this backdrop, I'm afraid.

thelakelander

February 07, 2014, 08:58:11 PM
According to the Trust for Public Land ParkScore index, Jax ranks 44 out of the top 50 cities in providing park access to its residents.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-jun-national-study-claims-jacksonvilles-parks-need-help



Basically most of our "park" space is preserves and conservation land on the outskirts of the county. We actually blow pretty bad when it comes to park space within the beltway, which is where most of our residents actual live.

ChriswUfGator

February 07, 2014, 11:27:20 PM
According to the Trust for Public Land ParkScore index, Jax ranks 44 out of the top 50 cities in providing park access to its residents.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-jun-national-study-claims-jacksonvilles-parks-need-help



Basically most of our "park" space is preserves and conservation land on the outskirts of the county. We actually blow pretty bad when it comes to park space within the beltway, which is where most of our residents actual live.

Wait a second, so not only was the claim that our park system is #1 in the country completely wrong, we're actually ranked #44 out of 50? Lol...why do people have this knee-jerk defensive Napoleon complex about how everything around here is the best, greatest, etc.? People need to travel more. Thanks for posting the correct number, lake.

Noone

February 08, 2014, 07:47:02 AM
According to the Trust for Public Land ParkScore index, Jax ranks 44 out of the top 50 cities in providing park access to its residents.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-jun-national-study-claims-jacksonvilles-parks-need-help



Basically most of our "park" space is preserves and conservation land on the outskirts of the county. We actually blow pretty bad when it comes to park space within the beltway, which is where most of our residents actual live.

Thanks for the info and when looking at our Blueway space  the river imagine the vibrancy that can happen with immediate legislatively created access especially in our new DIA zone.

JayBird

February 08, 2014, 08:50:28 AM
Wait a second, so not only was the claim that our park system is #1 in the country completely wrong, we're actually ranked #44 out of 50? Lol...why do people have this knee-jerk defensive Napoleon complex about how everything around here is the best, greatest, etc.? People need to travel more. Thanks for posting the correct number, lake.

Well no Chris, actually they have some credibility. This map is a ranking based on functionality, enjoyment to people, access to facilities and such. However, our own city claims they are the "Largest Urban Park System in the US".

So maybe instead of lashing out at those whom are only stating facts they were told by several sources, why not write one of those strongly worded letters to the city and state agencies that make this claim?

Personally, I think Jacksonville is cheating by just calling open space park space. But then again, every one that comes here for the first time always comments on how green the city is and how that was unexpected. So maybe I now wear the Jacksonville inferiority complex goggles now too.

Here from Visit Jacksonville
[/url
Here from Visit Jacksonville
[url]http://www.visitjacksonville.com/things-to-do/outdoors/]http://www.visitjacksonville.com/things-to-do/outdoors/][/url
Here from Visit Jacksonville
[url]http://www.visitjacksonville.com/things-to-do/outdoors/


Here from from COJ Parks & Recreation:
http://www.coj.net/departments/office-of-economic-development/business-development/life-in-jacksonville/parks---recreation.aspx

Here from COJ:
http://www.coj.net/about-jacksonville.aspx

Here from About.com:
http://jacksonville.about.com/od/historystatsfunfacts/a/Jacksonville-Fun-Facts-And-Trivia.htm

Here from Naval Air Systems Command:
http://www.navair.navy.mil/jobs/fl1.html

Here from the VisitFlorida:
http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/trails/articles/2011/november/urban-sanctuaries-in-giant-jacksonville-the-nation039s-largest-city-park-system.html

And of course, right here on MJ:
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/mobile/2011-mar-americas-best-city-parks

ChriswUfGator

February 08, 2014, 09:24:00 AM
Wait a second, so not only was the claim that our park system is #1 in the country completely wrong, we're actually ranked #44 out of 50? Lol...why do people have this knee-jerk defensive Napoleon complex about how everything around here is the best, greatest, etc.? People need to travel more. Thanks for posting the correct number, lake.

Well no Chris, actually they have some credibility. This map is a ranking based on functionality, enjoyment to people, access to facilities and such. However, our own city claims they are the "Largest Urban Park System in the US".

So maybe instead of lashing out at those whom are only stating facts they were told by several sources, why not write one of those strongly worded letters to the city and state agencies that make this claim?

Personally, I think Jacksonville is cheating by just calling open space park space. But then again, every one that comes here for the first time always comments on how green the city is and how that was unexpected. So maybe I now wear the Jacksonville inferiority complex goggles now too.

Here from Visit Jacksonville
http://www.visitjacksonville.com/things-to-do/outdoors/

Here from from COJ Parks & Recreation:
http://www.coj.net/departments/office-of-economic-development/business-development/life-in-jacksonville/parks---recreation.aspx

Here from COJ:
http://www.coj.net/about-jacksonville.aspx

Here from About.com:
http://jacksonville.about.com/od/historystatsfunfacts/a/Jacksonville-Fun-Facts-And-Trivia.htm

Here from Naval Air Systems Command:
http://www.navair.navy.mil/jobs/fl1.html

Here from the VisitFlorida:
http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/trails/articles/2011/november/urban-sanctuaries-in-giant-jacksonville-the-nation039s-largest-city-park-system.html

And of course, right here on MJ:
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/mobile/2011-mar-americas-best-city-parks

Well, Jay, the thing is, I just read your links, and none say that. While I know it must be difficult finding the time in between your duties as internet-millionaire / corrections officer / real estate investor / youth counselor / world traveler / all the other crap you claim to be an expert in, I'd still expect you to actually read the links you post to determine whether or not they support your point. Next time you might even try doing it before you post them. But I digress...

Anyway, please point me to where any of these confirm we have "the largest park system in the country"...not simply "one of the" or "a large..." and better yet would be one that acknowledges the point we already argued two pages ago, at which time Lake posted the map showing 90% or thereabouts of what Jacksonville counts as 'parks' are really just pine forests in conservation areas with no trails, benches, or other amenities (e.g., wouldn't be considered a 'park' anywhere but here). In addition to not reading the links, I'd have to question whether you actually read the conversation before posting, this was already covered.

Anyway, so which of your links says we have "the largest park system in the country"?

thelakelander

February 08, 2014, 09:25:45 AM
I've never seen a list by acreage or square miles but the claim of the largest urban park system is possibly true because Jax is consolidated with Duval County. Everything in the county outside of Baldwin and the beaches is going to be included in that acreage count. It's like saying Jax is Florida's largest city. Technically, by land area and population within the municipal limits this is correct.  However, only a fool would make the argument that the Miami area is smaller in reality.

Quote
Jacksonville proudly boats the largest urban park system in the country with more than 80,000 acres including 10 state parks, five national facilities and dozens of gardens and arboretums.

http://onlyinjax.com/adventure/

IrvAdams

February 08, 2014, 09:28:39 AM
Jax also has three of the top-100 largest parks in the US:

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0933260.html

IrvAdams

February 08, 2014, 09:30:47 AM
Correction...make that four!

ChriswUfGator

February 08, 2014, 09:36:37 AM
I've never seen a list by acreage or square miles but the claim of the largest urban park system is possibly true because Jax is consolidated with Duval County. Everything in the county outside of Baldwin and the beaches is going to be included in that acreage count. It's like saying Jax is Florida's largest city. Technically, by land area and population within the municipal limits this is correct.  However, only a fool would make the argument that the Miami area is smaller in reality.

Quote
Jacksonville proudly boats the largest urban park system in the country with more than 80,000 acres including 10 state parks, five national facilities and dozens of gardens and arboretums.

http://onlyinjax.com/adventure/

I agree with the 'only a fool would argue' logic, but unfortunately that seems to be exactly what's happening. Forgetting that most of that acreage isn't anything you could actually call a 'park', even this link (which at least actually makes that claim) is by its own admission counting State parks in its figure. How is a State park (or forests, nature preserves, etc.) supposed to be considered a) part of the municipal park system, or b) urban? Maybe there isn't one, but I'd like to see a list of actual urban parks by acreage (not state-owned forests  and conservation tracts), I bet we're woefully behind our peers.

ChriswUfGator

February 08, 2014, 09:41:33 AM
Jax also has three of the top-100 largest parks in the US:

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0933260.html

Since when do you count State-owned nature preserves with few or no public amenities as a city park? If we wanted to count up who's got the largest amount of pine forest let's call it what it is. If it has benches, fountains, sidewalks, a playground, etc., then call it a park. These aren't parks, they're forests etc., with nothing in them other than land. It's also self-contradictory, including mostly State parks in a list that claims to be city parks.

JayBird

February 08, 2014, 09:49:04 AM
From the first link

Quote
A testament to the untouched beauty of the region and a reflection of the unique authenticity of the Northeast Florida experience, the abundant expanse of park land and ecological preserves in Jacksonville provide an unforgettable opportunity to escape the confines of city life and relax in nature’s playground. With over 80,000 designated acres, including the 46,000-acre Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, Jacksonville proudly boasts the largest urban park system in the country.

Second link:
Quote
Parks Overview: The City of Jacksonville operates the largest urban park system in the United States, providing services at more than 337 locations on more than 80,000 acres.

Third link:
Omitted because they worded it with "one of"

Fourth link:
Quote
The city of Jacksonville operates the largest urban park system in the US with over 80,000 acres devoted to parks and community areas.

Fifth link:
Quote
Living & Working in Jacksonville
According to the United States Census Bureau, Jacksonville has an area of 874.3 square miles. Of this, 757.7 square miles is land and 116.7 square miles is water. Jacksonville operates the largest urban park system in the United States, providing facilities and services at more than 337 locations on more than 80,000 acres throughout the city. Jacksonville gathers significant natural beauty from the St. Johns River and Atlantic Ocean and many parks provide access for people to boat, swim, fish, sail, jet ski, surf and water ski. Jacksonville also boasts some of the most prominent golf courses in the country including TPC at Sawgrass, site of the PGA Tour’s Players Championship. Jacksonville has been chosen by a number of film and television studios for on-location shooting.

Sixth link:
Quote
But seeking sanctuary in a city the locals call "Jax" doesn't have to be daunting. With such size comes the nation's largest urban park system, including more than 337 locales on more than 80,000 acres.

And this wasn't personal, but I assume you don't like people opposing your view. As for the rest:
internet-millionaire: never said I was, and I am far from it. Actually nothing I do deals with the internet.
corrections officer: not even close, though I do work for a non profit agency that assists men being released from state prison. I also am on a state committee for the welfare of persons incarcerated. 
real estate investor: I own my house and rent out another, I guess that could justify an investor 
youth counselor: no, the only youth I work with are those whom are in need of homeless assistance through Catholic Charities and then I am more of a case manager than a counselor or mentor. 
world traveler: outside of trips to the bahamas, going to the jags game in london was my first time out of country in my life .... would you like to check my passport
all the other crap you claim to be an expert in: and here is the heart of your anger. I know I can be seen as condescending at times but usually its just my sarcasm. I grew up in Jersey and it must be in the water because that's just how we are. I am not, nor have I claimed to be an expert in anything. The reason I take part in mj is to learn. There are people who love to recycle the nonsense falsehoods and urban myths and if I know them to be wrong, I state what I know or believe to be true. If I'm wrong, someone corrects me. This is how we learn.

As for this whole foolish back and forth, I wasn't attacking your opinion personally. I was trying to make the point that it is unfair to criticize the posters who stated the largest park system because they do have a valid point. I even said that I didn't agree with that claim, but that doesn't mean I disagree with them.

I am not sure what your issue is with me, I know many lawyers but don't believe we've crossed paths before in real life. But whatever it is, get over it. Life is too short for such personal attacks. Especially when they lack truth. I respect your opinions, but let's just agree to disagree. Okay?

icarus

February 08, 2014, 09:53:08 AM
I was reading through this thread and a couple of points popped up ....

1. Jacksonville has a ton of conservation land that was acquired under previous administrations (Brown doesn't photograph well in front of trees) and it may well be that we have the most 'land' set aside for conservation or park use.

2. We don't maintain the parks we have created very well and some of the most utilized parks, i.e. Memorial Park, don't even have amenities like restrooms.

3. We can add conservation and park lands to the very long list of resources with the potential to make our City significant that our leaders squander by not utilizing.

I know Delaney and even Peyton pushed for some resources to open up conservation land for public use .... where Is Brown??


ChriswUfGator

February 08, 2014, 10:13:20 AM
From the first link

Quote
A testament to the untouched beauty of the region and a reflection of the unique authenticity of the Northeast Florida experience, the abundant expanse of park land and ecological preserves in Jacksonville provide an unforgettable opportunity to escape the confines of city life and relax in nature’s playground. With over 80,000 designated acres, including the 46,000-acre Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, Jacksonville proudly boasts the largest urban park system in the country.

Second link:
Quote
Parks Overview: The City of Jacksonville operates the largest urban park system in the United States, providing services at more than 337 locations on more than 80,000 acres.

Third link:
Omitted because they worded it with "one of"

Fourth link:
Quote
The city of Jacksonville operates the largest urban park system in the US with over 80,000 acres devoted to parks and community areas.

Fifth link:
Quote
Living & Working in Jacksonville
According to the United States Census Bureau, Jacksonville has an area of 874.3 square miles. Of this, 757.7 square miles is land and 116.7 square miles is water. Jacksonville operates the largest urban park system in the United States, providing facilities and services at more than 337 locations on more than 80,000 acres throughout the city. Jacksonville gathers significant natural beauty from the St. Johns River and Atlantic Ocean and many parks provide access for people to boat, swim, fish, sail, jet ski, surf and water ski. Jacksonville also boasts some of the most prominent golf courses in the country including TPC at Sawgrass, site of the PGA Tour’s Players Championship. Jacksonville has been chosen by a number of film and television studios for on-location shooting.

Sixth link:
Quote
But seeking sanctuary in a city the locals call "Jax" doesn't have to be daunting. With such size comes the nation's largest urban park system, including more than 337 locales on more than 80,000 acres.

And this wasn't personal, but I assume you don't like people opposing your view. As for the rest:
internet-millionaire: never said I was, and I am far from it. Actually nothing I do deals with the internet.
corrections officer: not even close, though I do work for a non profit agency that assists men being released from state prison. I also am on a state committee for the welfare of persons incarcerated. 
real estate investor: I own my house and rent out another, I guess that could justify an investor 
youth counselor: no, the only youth I work with are those whom are in need of homeless assistance through Catholic Charities and then I am more of a case manager than a counselor or mentor. 
world traveler: outside of trips to the bahamas, going to the jags game in london was my first time out of country in my life .... would you like to check my passport
all the other crap you claim to be an expert in: and here is the heart of your anger. I know I can be seen as condescending at times but usually its just my sarcasm. I grew up in Jersey and it must be in the water because that's just how we are. I am not, nor have I claimed to be an expert in anything. The reason I take part in mj is to learn. There are people who love to recycle the nonsense falsehoods and urban myths and if I know them to be wrong, I state what I know or believe to be true. If I'm wrong, someone corrects me. This is how we learn.

As for this whole foolish back and forth, I wasn't attacking your opinion personally. I was trying to make the point that it is unfair to criticize the posters who stated the largest park system because they do have a valid point. I even said that I didn't agree with that claim, but that doesn't mean I disagree with them.

I am not sure what your issue is with me, I know many lawyers but don't believe we've crossed paths before in real life. But whatever it is, get over it. Life is too short for such personal attacks. Especially when they lack truth. I respect your opinions, but let's just agree to disagree. Okay?

It's not personal, I'm not angry, I've not met you. For all I know, you're a nice guy. But like most people I do consider the source, and you have a knack for taking the position of authority in whatever topic is being debated. It doesn't rise beyond the level of a minor annoyance though, certainly not actual anger. Human nature being what it is, everybody wants to be right, I'm no different, that doesn't mean it automatically becomes personal when someone disagrees with me. I'm not a park expert, nor did I sleep at a holiday inn express last night. I do watch human nature, and every time I see one of these "Jacksonville has the latest, greatest, biggest, most amazing...(insert item)" claims, I automatically start looking for the misleading statistic, this place has a napoleon complex, we have to be the best in everything...on paper.

Here, when we're discussing urban parks, and for whatever reason all of our local statistics are throwing 80000 acres of pine forest into the mix, how is that an urban park? It's neither a park, nor urban. Just another example of misleading local statistics that make things sound better than they are. We don't have the largest park system in the country, we probably have one of the worst, and simply throw in 80k acres worth of pine forests to bolster the figure.

JayBird

February 08, 2014, 10:16:50 AM
Quote
But back to the issue, when we're discussing urban parks, and for whatever reason all of our local statistics are throwing 80000 acres of pine forest into the mix, how is that an urban park? It's neither a park, nor urban. Just another example of misleading local statistics that make things sound better than they are. We don't have the largest park system in the country, we probably have one of the worst, and simply throw in 80k acres worth of pine forests to bolster the figure.

Yes this I agree with. As I stated earlier its foolish to consider it all parks. However, I think every city does that to a point. New York City has a wonderful parks system, but they also have "parks" that make the Bay and Broad Pocket Park look top of the line. In Dallas there is a city "park" that is actually a parking lot between office towers.

And actually maybe this brings up a good point, the reason we can't have nice things is because as a community we spend too much time criticizing the past actions or current actions instead of focusing on a future vision and then working everything to get to that point.

IrvAdams

February 08, 2014, 10:35:26 AM
You should really see the Timucuan Trail in Ft. Caroline. It may not have full park amenities like a metro park, but it has restrooms, the miles of trails are maintained well and there is signage, observation decks, and lots of observable history of this gentle Indian people from 1000 years ago. It's big enough to get lost in.

Hiking trail parks are parks too. Give it some love.

simms3

February 08, 2014, 12:10:50 PM
Chris, I'm pretty sure you also speak with authority on every topic you participate in, as well.  I do, too.  We can't possibly take offense at others who do.  I'm certainly used to people attacking me, personally, for a variety of reasons, knowing that they all stem from my so-called arrogance and my "speaking with a tone of authority", however, you are just as big a culprit.  I think people know you personally or have at least met you, and you can get away with it, it appears, however, you can't take offense when others take the very same tone you do, and moreso, you can't attack them personally for it.

I-10east

February 09, 2014, 07:15:49 AM
why do people have this knee-jerk defensive Napoleon complex about how everything around here is the best, greatest, etc.?

Funny that you say that. IMO it's exactly vice-versa with many having a 'knee jerk' doomsday complex, and everything here is a failure, the worst etc. It seems like the 'defensive people' can atleast meet halfway, whereas the doomsdayers will not budge at all with any kind of middle ground. The doomsday repetitiveness is amazing, which is why I don't post on these type of threads much anymore.

edjax

February 09, 2014, 10:50:23 AM
^^ have to agree with you on that one.  I wonder why some people still live here the way they talk about everything in a negative tone. They will say they are just wanting to make it a better place but when 90% of what you say is negative not really sure how you are going to make a positive impact on a consistent basis. 

IrvAdams

February 09, 2014, 11:43:17 AM
When I was younger (college-age), many of my friends and relatives left Jville for other locations, citing various reasons (some justified). Now many of them have come back to live, or at least to visit, and they say stuff like "Wow, what great strides this city has made.". Point being, if you back up and look at it, things are changing for the better and that should be the focus, I think. Building up the positive.

peestandingup

February 09, 2014, 07:14:06 PM
Jax also has three of the top-100 largest parks in the US:

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0933260.html

Since when do you count State-owned nature preserves with few or no public amenities as a city park? If we wanted to count up who's got the largest amount of pine forest let's call it what it is. If it has benches, fountains, sidewalks, a playground, etc., then call it a park. These aren't parks, they're forests etc., with nothing in them other than land. It's also self-contradictory, including mostly State parks in a list that claims to be city parks.

I agree, but honestly everyone does this. Even if they're nature preserve-ish type of "parks", as long as they're open to the public, people can camp there, hike, etc. Not exactly my cup of tea, but they're still a park. Take Yellowstone for example. No sidewalks, playgrounds, etc.

It sounds like the beef here is consolidation & what a place such as Jax is able to call a "city park". Technically it's correct, even though misleading.

Now, lets all go out for some frosty chocolate milkshakes.

Scrub Palmetto

February 10, 2014, 08:03:45 PM
I see a great deal of potential in Jacksonville's parks, and that's speaking of the ones that aren't already in good shape. Let's focus on the goal, the prize. We're not there yet... but yes, we know, that's obvious, take the needle off the record. Focusing on the present state may be an important component of progress -- knowing where we stand helps to know where to move -- but too much of that alone can be the opposite.

I think that if we have relatively little parkland outside of amenity-deprived preserves and forests, then shouldn't that be a blessing? Shouldn't the improvement and even perfection of those few really 'urban' parks be that much easier, with a higher citizen-to-parkland ratio? You have more potential advocacy/volunteer pool, higher usage pool, etc. per park or acreage.

Also, as someone who loves Florida's natural history almost more than its human history (if my username doesn't already give that away), and who lives to hike and be in wilderness, I rather like that Jacksonville has as much protected land as it does. And I see potential in that, too, and no reason that that should detract from the truly urban parks. They can both be improved and both be sources of pride. And all the derisive mentions of pine forest in this thread surprise me. I love Florida's pine-dominated ecosystems! Flatwoods, scrub, sandhills -- heck, these are places where my username looks best. :)

Here in Kansas City, citizen-led park improvement and public-private partnerships have had tremendous success. There's a lovely historic park near me that sits down in some ravines, and it had largely been neglected in recent decades. Citizens got together to create a hiking/mountain-biking trail plan, and they spent months blazing these trails themselves, removing invasive plant species and garbage, fundraising, etc. The park got so much attention that the city has been doing its part, too, adding/improving sidewalks, planting over 100 new trees, and replacing deteriorated playground equipment. Other deteriorating urban parks in the area are seeing a similar renaissance. But it's not people complaining and begging or ignoring, it's people doing. People are realizing the potential that their neighborhood parks have and they're taking a leading role themselves.

This is the kind of proactive, positive spirit that gets things done, and frankly I'm not seeing many signs of that at all in this discussion or in Jacksonville in general. Change isn't going to happen easily without it. Jacksonville is not this terrible place, but people have to start having more pride in their community, if we have to slap it into them. I'm not convinced shoving more bad news in their faces is the way to do it. Here in the Midwest, decay's omnipotence is news enough in most cities. An article like this would be very "duh." You can't avoid the decay, but you can't dwell on it, either. You can push against it. Politics aside for a moment, where are Krestul & Metro Parks' advocates? What are they up to? If people organized and demanded permission to improve these parks where they can, even if only through fundraising, would they be turned away? Isn't advancing ideas like this in MJ's power?

brcool

February 11, 2014, 01:40:57 PM
This article is not about parks, people.  You cannot even see that the real point of Mr. Mann's editorial is that we are a city without commitment and fortitude, showing an ugly face to anyone who bothers to look.  Even when we have a plan we quit halfway through.  And we continue to throw bad money after good - or vice versa - with projects that just aim to "dress up the ugly" rather than address the root causes within our government, our population, our business community...  The point here is that there is so much squandered potential.  And any person who references "they" in their comments is part of the problem.  WE have opportunities, WE have challenges to meet, WE have choices to make, WE have rights -- but not without responsibility.  I have a classic photo of then-Mayor Hans Tanzler posed with actress Lee Meredith (circa 1968 when Jacksonville was consolidated) in front of a sign toting Jacksonville as "The Bold New City of the South".  We have failed miserably over the past 45 years on almost every front, and could probably learn a thing or two from our past mistakes.  No vision, no consensus, no passion for anything that doesn't benefit ME (or my neighborhood, or my district, or my constituency, or my pocketbook...) directly.  Not much interest in the higher good.  And we're not doing much to engage our youth in being part of tomorrow's success either.  Everything seems to come down to bureaucracy and power.  I moved back to Jacksonville twelve years ago because "I believed" in what could be.  Not so much anymore.

BridgeTroll

February 11, 2014, 02:22:59 PM
This article is not about parks, people.  You cannot even see that the real point of Mr. Mann's editorial is that we are a city without commitment and fortitude, showing an ugly face to anyone who bothers to look.  Even when we have a plan we quit halfway through.  And we continue to throw bad money after good - or vice versa - with projects that just aim to "dress up the ugly" rather than address the root causes within our government, our population, our business community...  The point here is that there is so much squandered potential.  And any person who references "they" in their comments is part of the problem.  WE have opportunities, WE have challenges to meet, WE have choices to make, WE have rights -- but not without responsibility.  I have a classic photo of then-Mayor Hans Tanzler posed with actress Lee Meredith (circa 1968 when Jacksonville was consolidated) in front of a sign toting Jacksonville as "The Bold New City of the South".  We have failed miserably over the past 45 years on almost every front, and could probably learn a thing or two from our past mistakes.  No vision, no consensus, no passion for anything that doesn't benefit ME (or my neighborhood, or my district, or my constituency, or my pocketbook...) directly.  Not much interest in the higher good.  And we're not doing much to engage our youth in being part of tomorrow's success either.  Everything seems to come down to bureaucracy and power.  I moved back to Jacksonville twelve years ago because "I believed" in what could be.  Not so much anymore.

Great first post brcool... welcome to the forum!   8)

BoldBoyOfTheSouth

February 11, 2014, 03:34:30 PM
This thread is a perfect example of what's wrong with Jacksonville.

The parks were just an example of the dilapidated state of our city on so any levels. It points out the lack of pride, motivation and gumption of a provincial people who've given up and can't imagine a better city.

It's obvious that public education in this city does not encourage critical thinking because everybody is only concerned about the size of their, well, parks.

Oklahoma City now thinks outside of the box. They are no longer concerned about their size of their oil wells but concerned about the physical and intellectual aspects of their city and the human capital of her people.

Ocklawaha

February 11, 2014, 06:02:15 PM
This is short because post op, I can't see! LOL!

brcool, Excellent! Welcome aboard and as we say on MJ x1000

BridgeTroll, Thank you, agree completely.

BoldBoyOfTheSouth, BINGO! x 1000, exactly. A city spending WAY too much time arguing over the shade of color on it's fire trucks while the whole damn town burns down.

Robert Mann
aka: OCKLAWAHA
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