Editor's Note: It has come to the attention of the Progress that the community meeting scheduled for Aug. 27 will be accessible via zoom, https://us04web.zoom.us/j/71945967444?pwd=sXqSm7P4rDAb0vha-JnTqAOPIFLV3S.1. Meeting ID: 719 4596 7444 Passcode: 2D3dL1
The Fred Douglass Community Development Corporation, in a joint effort with the city of Jacksonville, continues developing plans for the revitalization of Lincoln Park. Initial work has already been completed.
The park renovations are the first of a three-phase project which includes park renovation, establishment of a community garden and erecting a community center.
During community meetings regarding the park, Dr. Kenya Etim, has articulated the three goals organizers have set for the park revitalization project. These are a safer environment, a smarter outdoor space and specific designs and equipment intended to help improve the health of both seniors and children.
Work has been completed on the Skyline pavilion, including the replacement of the roof, painting of the support beams, power washing the floor and the installation of a retaining wall to prevent damage from erosion. New picnic tables and two grills are also expected to be added to this pavilion.
Currently being considered is the purchase of an informational kiosk to be placed just outside the parking lot near the basketball courts. The kiosk will contain historical information, park rules and a park layout.
A sandpit with pretend excavation equipment is being ordered. Two swing sets and a merry-go-round and seesaw that are ADA compliant will be chosen at the next meeting.
To gauge whether the ideas being contemplated were representative of community desires, an initial survey was conducted during the Juneteenth celebration. The 90 surveys completed confirmed organizers were on target with their development plans. In addition, the surveys revealed many approved the idea of a park manager. If such a position is instituted, the city would moving toward having this become a paid position, according to Etim. They would also serve as a community liaison, reporting to the city.
The two reasons cited most often in the surveys as to what would make people more likely to use the park, were bathroom doors and more available seating.
“One surprise, but heartening, result from the survey was that people feel safe visiting the park,” Etim stated.
The next community revitalization meeting is set for 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation, 309 E. Commerce St. in downtown Jacksonville. “Anyone with interest in park improvement is welcome,” Etim stated.