Author Topic: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100  (Read 7530 times)

Papa33

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2017, 05:02:34 PM »
I sense a Mark Woods article/column about this in the real near future.  He's probably writing it now.

lastdaysoffla

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2017, 07:22:25 AM »
I always cringe whenever I hear that Jax has "biggest park system" that may be true but the lack of quality and integration almost negates any benefit from acreage. The infrastructure just isn't there. Maintenance just isn't there. How can Klutho Park look the way it does? How can River Road be fenced off? Kudos to the city for working on the drainage at Memorial Park but how many countless parks are in need of major projects?

I wish the city gave more priority to parks. It really shows the pride a city has in itself when it has nice green spaces. Some of our parks look like downright jokes.

Take Greenridge "Park" for example.



It is is a three foot wide mowed strip of grass. That's embarrassing.




vicupstate

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2017, 08:04:39 AM »
Cause: Effect

http://health.usnews.com/wellness/health-buzz/articles/2017-05-16/which-us-city-is-the-fittest

I wonder how much people in Minneapolis-St.Paul save in medical bills because they maintain a healthier lifestyle?  I bet it surpasses the difference they pay in taxes for Recreation.
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sanmarcomatt

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2017, 08:25:41 AM »
I always cringe whenever I hear that Jax has "biggest park system" that may be true but the lack of quality and integration almost negates any benefit from acreage. The infrastructure just isn't there. Maintenance just isn't there. How can Klutho Park look the way it does? How can River Road be fenced off? Kudos to the city for working on the drainage at Memorial Park but how many countless parks are in need of major projects?

I wish the city gave more priority to parks. It really shows the pride a city has in itself when it has nice green spaces. Some of our parks look like downright jokes.

Take Greenridge "Park" for example.



It is is a three foot wide mowed strip of grass. That's embarrassing.



 Ha ha ha ha. I guess I have never paid attention to that sign. I always thought Greenridge park was off Greenridge road west of San Jose (a park similar to River Oaks Park). That is hilarious.

Snaketoz

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2017, 09:19:45 AM »
I think the park system in Jacksonville is the result of the citizens and the people they elect to office.  Every election cycle we hear how every candidate is going to "lower our taxes", and stop "unnecessary" spending.  It's all about priorities.  In Jacksonville our priorities are just eeking by, much like many of our residents.  If anyone ran for office and said we need to spend money on our parks, they wouldn't have a prayer of being elected.  I don't know if it's doable, but we need to change our way of thinking.  This city has a problem that will take generations to overcome.  We don't want to be a progressive city.  We don't want to spend the money to maintain what we have.  "We're already paying too much in taxes".  It's really a sad situation.

lastdaysoffla

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2017, 11:38:25 AM »

 Ha ha ha ha. I guess I have never paid attention to that sign. I always thought Greenridge park was off Greenridge road west of San Jose (a park similar to River Oaks Park). That is hilarious.

No, there isn't a park on Greenridge. There is a park on San Jose Blvd at the other end of Greenridge Road called Greenridge Road Park. It's small about two acres. But why even have signage on Hendricks? Especially with the incorrect name.

The COJ website has this description:

Quote
Greenridge Road Park is located in the Colonial Manor neighborhood of Jacksonville, on the east and west sides of San Jose Boulevard near its intersection with Greenridge Road. The park sits in the heart of the old Red Bank Plantation that was owned by the Albert Philips family. The plantation house built in the 1850’s still exists, and is the City’s second oldest building still being used as a residence. Development of Colonial Manor began in 1937, and the City acquired the parkland in 1937-1939. With no commercial intrusion, the subdivision and park have retained their attractiveness over the years. The park, adjacent to a creek that empties into the St. Johns River, stretches between lovely homes while providing the natural amenities of scenic trees and landscape.

Yet there is no parkland on the east side of San Jose near Greenridge Road Park.


One could argue I suppose that the sign on Hendricks is just directional to indicate there is a park at the other end of Greeridge road. But then why not a brown sign with an arrow. The sign on Hendricks makes it look like the side walk is the park.

Which isn't crazy when you consider the other tiny park just a block away.




Mickey King Park clocks in at a luxurious .5 acre. Complete with a lengthy paved running path.




From COJ:

Quote
Mickey King Park is located in the Colonial Manor section, at the west intersection of Greenridge Rd. and Hendricks Ave. The 1935 plat of Colonial Manor dedicated the park to public use. The park lies in the old Red Bank Plantation, owned by the Philips family in the latter half of the nineteenth century. In 2003 the City renamed the park to honor Mickey King (1934-2002). Mr. King was elected to the City Council in 1971, and also devoted himself to working with the area’s youth, especially in athletic programs. Among his many fields of service were as assistant director of the Boys Home, president of the Jax Youth Football Assoc., and as a member of the Special Olympics Advisory Board. The park provides an attractive green space for the visual pleasure of passing motorists and pedestrians.


 



I-10east

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2017, 04:45:00 PM »
Damn that's pretty awful, with all of the foliage that took over.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 04:50:25 PM by I-10east »

Kerry

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2018, 10:15:18 AM »
Jaxnyc79 makes a good point about every subdivision having its own park that isn't counted.  The City should take this into account when allocating dollars and new park lixations.  If the private sector is already doing it then why is the City trying to compete with it?  Just focus funding on the non-sprawl areas.
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Jagsdrew

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2018, 11:09:12 AM »
Jaxnyc79 makes a good point about every subdivision having its own park that isn't counted.  The City should take this into account when allocating dollars and new park lixations.  If the private sector is already doing it then why is the City trying to compete with it?  Just focus funding on the non-sprawl areas.

Agreed. I feel our parks are a system of 'do less with more' and not 'do more with less'.  We have a "vast" park system but can't maintain it. Heck in another thread the most known park in Jacksonville that's on every postcard can't be properly maintained, Friendship Fountain.

New developments in the burbs now include waterparks, greenspace, dog parks etc. A basic public park wouldn't foster the same amount of activity as a park in dense/urban area or in a subdivison. 

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Tacachale

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2018, 12:43:22 PM »
^We *can* maintain the system, and have done so in the recent past. The last few administrations just didn't prioritize it.
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2018, 11:20:06 PM »
Agreed, we way under fund park maintenance but we also have parks not located where people congregate in large numbers.  When I visit other metros, I see large parks along or at intersections of major thoroughfares or in the midst of densely developed areas.  Most of our parks seem to be in more remote locations, off residential roads or in out-of-the-way places.  Nothing wrong with this.  We do need parks in natural areas and embedded in neighborhoods.  But, we also need ones where people gather/pass by in larger numbers to boost access, visibility, usage and to more frequently remind people of the value of parks (which might motivate our elected officials to pay more attention to them).

After eliminating a handful of "large" parks (see analysis below), mostly devoted to passive preservation, how many "regional" parks are there?  I mean parks of 100 plus acres.  [I did find at least 4 x 100+ acre regional parks on the City's web site: Ringhaver, Hanna, Palmetto Leaves and Losco though based on parking spaces of 20 total between the latter two, it appears they don't figure on some of these parks catering to many people.]  And, as per above, are such parks equally spaced about the City and highly visible/accessible?  I have been to "regional" parks with greenhouses, gardens, educational nature centers, walking/jogging paths, varied playgrounds/swimming pools and playing fields, green spaces, dog walks, lakes or ponds, picnic tables, etc. all in one park to attract people of varied interests into one area (can we say like Central Park :)).  Most of our parks seem to be "single purpose" because they are not large enough or haven't been designed/located on land that enables this wider range of activities.  How many parks have mile or longer walking/jogging paths?  How many soccer/ball parks allow for many other uses in the same park to encourage gatherings of whole families and/or neighbors?

FYI, the City lists as parks dozens of our public school playgrounds and swimming pools under joint use agreements with the School Board.  Others include right of way along drainage corridors/creeks that have little recreational value.  Some are even the triangles at an intersection of angled streets (see Historic Kings Road Park in San Marco).  Should those really count as "City" parks?  They certainly aren't available for general use many times.  It seems much of this is to pad the City's statistics.

The biggest oversight is not having large acreage of green space downtown along the waterfront.  We are about to develop our only once-in-a-lifetime City controlled "acreage" along the waterfront (JEA and the Shipyards/Metro Park) into multi-use developments.  Where will there ever be a chance again for a within-walking distance "regional" park both along the waterfront and in the urban core?  Will people be attracted to downtown living without such green spaces (Private developers of scale play up their green spaces as a top amenity for living in the developments they build so you know this is what people want where they live!).

In the end, it's like much of Jax's other issues:  No master plan, failure to sustain a long term vision/planning and a desire to do things on the cheap dare we raise taxes for such things.

Interesting to note:  If we remove those few large parcels - that are really about preservation - such as the Timucuan Preserve, which being mostly a swamp that couldn't be developed anyway, what would Jax's park statistics look like?  On the City's web site, it says we have 80,000 park acres and, of that, 40,000, fully 50%, are in Timucuan alone.  Interestingly, it says Timucuan has only 30 parking spaces plus 15 boat trailer spaces (that's about one space for every thousand acres!). [http://www.coj.net/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation-and-community-programming/parks/timucuan-ecological-and-historic-preserve  A similar situation is Pumpkin Hill Creek Park, at 3,800 acres (nearly 5% of total parks) and Thomas Creek Preserve at 1,400 acres (6 parking and 10 boat trailer spaces!).  The City apparently also includes about 3,000 more acres of the Talbot Island state parks.  And, the Pablo Creek Preserve is currently a 2,000 acre conservation easement not yet fully controlled by the City.  We have now accounted for about 62% of parks in these 5 properties, almost all of it preservation of wetlands.

thelakelander

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2018, 11:33:47 PM »
I believe a big oversight is our lack of recognizing that Springfield Park was/is our historic central park. Although not on the river, it does straddle a tributary for over a mile, forming the border between downtown, Springfield and what was Sugar Hill. It has a recently constructed greenway along a historic promenade that's probably a mile in length. It has baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, playscapes and a dog park. It's also bordered by several historic public buildings that could be destinations and museums in their own right. It also has a private museum (Karpeles) already in operation. It has historic monuments, ponds, gazebos, restroom facilities, etc. There's also plenty of land for infill development. It is within walking distance of the Skyway's Rosa Parks Station. There's also a college campus that could be a lot more of an urban destination that it currently is. Overall, the space has a lot of things going for it. What it lacks is routine maintenance and focus to take advantage of what city leaders developed as a pristine centralized space in 1929.
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2018, 11:44:30 PM »
Lake, I don't see "Springfield Park" on the City list.  Are you referring to Confederate Park by chance?  The City shows that at a grand total of 6 acres.  Not what I had in mind  8)  It does list a "Confederate Playground" at an additional 2.9 acres that appears to be contiguous.  Still, total is small by standards.  Shipyards, Metro Park and JEA would total about 90 to 100 acres in total based on my figuring plus they would feature our star attraction, the St. Johns River.  To be clear too, these projects don't have to be mutually exclusive.  Both should be done to truly benefit the urban core and City at large.  Do we dare?!

See: http://www.coj.net/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation-and-community-programming/parks/confederate-park and http://www.coj.net/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation-and-community-programming/parks/confederate-playground

Snaketoz

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2018, 06:08:49 AM »
Springfield Park is off Boulevard, Confederate Park is off Main St.

thelakelander

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2018, 07:19:12 AM »
jaxlongtimer, here's a really old post:

https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2007-oct-jacksonvilles-central-park





Springfield Park was the name of the park that originally spanned most of Hogans Creek. At some point, we renamed it into 7 smaller named spaces. However, even in their decayed state, they're still one big 37 acre park in the middle of the city.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali