Author Topic: National study claims Jacksonville's parks need help  (Read 7241 times)

simms3

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Re: National study claims Jacksonville's parks need help
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2013, 02:43:28 PM »
Interesting points Simms... I also think our lack of a quality parks system may have something to do with our natural outdoor settings, along with our auto centric population. People are used to driving everywhere in Jax, so for many its not an issue to drive to the beach or larger parks/preserves. We have miles and miles of beach, the St. Johns, Hanna Park, Huguenot Park, Little and Big Talbot Island, Guana River Preserve, The Arboreteum, Dutton Island Preserve, Baldwin Trail and so on. Some of those places are truly great places to get away to. If we were in a community without so many natural assets and recreational opportunities, I think there would be a lot more political will and outcry to make the necessary capital investments.



Well the "natural environment" explanation can only go so far.  Boston, Denver, SF, LA and San Diego all have arguably equivalent or superior natural environments and escapes (even Atlanta has tons of protected land, Stone Mountain, lakes and literally mountains all within the outer reaches of the metro), and yet each of these cities also focuses on building and maintaining great parks and public spaces within the city.  If you look at an aerial of SF, you see A LOT of park space in the city, and literally country on the other side of the water - far more beautiful country than in Jax, all preserved (John Muir is from the area and he is the founding father, arguably, of conservation).  Plus, yes, there are beaches here too!

The big question is IF all that "parkland" on the westside is for mitigation purposes, what is the city doing horribly wrong to facilitate the legal need to go that route?

It's one thing to set up Talbot/Huguenot as preserved land, obviously, this is all beautiful land with historical references.  It's another to buy up and set aside a ton of pine forest on the westside and northside and scattered about town and call it "park space".  This is NOT beautiful land or publicly useful.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 02:45:51 PM by simms3 »
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CityLife

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Re: National study claims Jacksonville's parks need help
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2013, 03:43:59 PM »
Again good points...and I agree that those places all have great natural beauty, but you're comparing Jax to some of the wealthiest large cities in the US. The cities you listed are also more dense and less reliant on the car, which I earlier speculated is a factor in the public demand for quality parks. I have family that lives on the border of Muir Woods in Marin County and its a hike and hassle to get there from the city. The beaches in San Fran, while gorgeous are not ideal for swimming. Cold year round and in the middle of the Red Triangle. While the parks and recreation in the Bay Area are enviable, I'm not sure its really an appropriate area to compare Jax to.

I still think money is a big factor too. I haven't confirmed this yet, but was recently told that Atlantic Beach maintains all of Dutton Island Park (a gorgeous intercoastal park), despite a significant portion being located in COJ boundaries. If COJ can't even afford routine maintenance, can it even think of major capital improvements? A homeowner struggling to make mortgage payments isn't going to be putting in new pavers and landscaping anytime soon, despite what their neighbors and peers are doing....
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 03:55:03 PM by CityLife »

cappidad

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Re: National study claims Jacksonville's parks need help
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2013, 05:09:39 PM »
It's all George Bush's fault.............

hound dog

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Re: National study claims Jacksonville's parks need help
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2013, 09:28:15 PM »
Money is the major factor.  COJ is receptive to neighborhood patronage/subsidies for parks (see the new Balis Park in San Marco Square, or the Stockon renovation), but hasn't taken steps to formalize a policy so this can be done on the regular in neighborhoods with initiative.

Unfortunately, though, such "public/private initiatives" amount to the city's abrogation of responsibility for its resources.  While this may be the reality right now, COJ needs more imagination and revenue to plan, maintain, and program the parks we have.  The city can't count on private money for all time.




simms3

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Re: National study claims Jacksonville's parks need help
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2013, 09:39:27 PM »
^^^And frankly there is really not that much private money either.  Kudos to the folks who stepped up for Balis, Stockton, and Baker parks.  However, not to downplay their charity, these parks are also next to their houses, essentially, so it was in the interest of their "backyard" so to speak.

I'd like to see people contribute to more central parks like they contribute to the zoo.  The zoo is great, but can we try to replicate that fundraising effort and attention level with public parks?  Pointing to Atlanta as a sunbelt example, of course the city has a much larger per capita budget for parks/public space/recreation, but it's not as if Piedmont Park and Centennial Park, Chastain, and any of the great parks there are due to public funds.  Piedmont Park runs on a foundation, an endowment so to speak, and has raised something like $120M in private/corporate money over the past 10 years to get it to the point it's at today.

Jax certainly doesn't have the 8 billionaires Atlanta does (as a matter of fact, it's one of the largest cities without a single billionaire!), and it doesn't have the ~14 or 15 F500 HQs and other corporate presence Atlanta has to maintain multitudes of enviable parks, but it DOES have enough citizen/corporate wealth to create just one or two large, central public parks the city can be proud of (parks that will bring people to the center of town, potentially spurring significant economic development).
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JFman00

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Re: National study claims Jacksonville's parks need help
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2013, 10:20:53 PM »
Millennium Park in Chicago, though more than 3 times over budget, completed with 270 million dollars from the taxpayers, and over 200 million from private donors. The trade-off? The BP Pedestrian Bridge, Exelon Pavilions, Chase Promenade, AT&T Plaza, Boeing Galleries... aside from the relatively short hours, it's a gorgeous park though...

vicupstate

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Re: National study claims Jacksonville's parks need help
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2013, 10:30:53 PM »
When Peyton ran the first time, he pledged to make the biggest park system into the best.  A major study was done that recommended taking city council patronage out of the maintenance/capital improvements process and provided a structure for corporate and non-profit support/funding/volunteer opportunities.  It used Minneapolis (#1in the survey)  as an example to follow.  It mentioned the dramatic underfunding as a problem too. 

City council pushed back against giving up their re-election tool, and balked at the plan. Peyton folded and that was the end of that.  No leadership, no results.
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Noone

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Re: National study claims Jacksonville's parks need help
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2013, 07:44:02 AM »
I think this is great for identifying areas where more green space is needed. I also agree with Simms that our park system blows.

^^^Fantastic point. And nowhere is it more highlighted than in our new DIA zone when talking about access to our St. Johns River our American Heritage River a FEDERAL Initiative in our new highly restricted DIA zone.
1. RAM dock only opened when RAM is open

2. Jim Love, Kevin Kuzel Berkman Floating Dock compromise misrepresented by OGC during the 2013 FIND grant application process.

3. Palmer Terrace Park and the official Mayor Brown Kayak logo. Dave Roman, Don Redman, where are you?

4. Have absolutely given up on asking you know who about you know what. New parking rules on Bay St. YEAH!!! Go Jack Shad!

5. Sydney Geffen Park and the official Mayor Brown Kayak logo

6. Jacksonville's Downtown International Redneck Kayak launch the envy of our new school superintendent.

7. Downtown Experience for who? DIA subcommittee meeting today at 4pm 1St floor city hall. Highlight will be Happy Hour announcements. Also ask about the Public Access of the floating dock at Shipyards III. There is none.

8. Is there just one MJ'er that will write a check for a buck to 2009-442? artificial Reef Trust Fund?

9. PALMS FISH CAMP- A funding source for any of the above that could be used in joining Mayor Brown and new DIA CEO Aundra Wallace in making Downtown a Destination and not a pass through.

I am Downtown and why you aren't.

hound dog

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Re: National study claims Jacksonville's parks need help
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2013, 11:17:51 AM »
Corporate endowment of parks is a great idea. On the Southbank alone you've got Baptist, Aetna, Prudential, Stein Mart and Suddath.  San Marco/St. Nicholas has maybe a dozen parks of varying sizes.  Match a corporation with a park and you're off to the races.

theduvalprogressive

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Re: National study claims Jacksonville's parks need help
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2013, 07:45:15 PM »
I've always believed Jacksonville should have a "mini Central Park" Downtown.
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tufsu1

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Re: National study claims Jacksonville's parks need help
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2013, 10:00:55 PM »
* we have one...its called Hogan's Creek Greenway (Confederate Park)

JFman00

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Re: National study claims Jacksonville's parks need help
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2013, 10:03:27 PM »
* Essentially cut off from downtown by Union and State.

Debbie Thompson

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Re: National study claims Jacksonville's parks need help
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2013, 11:04:04 PM »
It doesn't take more than a minute to brave the crossing of the East/West expressway that is State/Union and get to the greenway from downtown.

JFman00

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Re: National study claims Jacksonville's parks need help
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2013, 11:07:57 PM »
I'm about as eager to cross State/Union on foot as I am crossing Roosevelt/17.