Keith Marks

“Big Block” Play at Hemming Park’s New Imagination Playground

Hemming Park unveils Imagination Playground, a giant, mobile play set that unlocks the limits of imagination of children, young and old. Imagination Playground is big block play; an innovative mobile equipment system that will transform the park into a play space that encourages learning, social development, movement, and fun! It is child-directed and open-ended. Jacksonville has a new home for imagination at . In addition to , children will have the opportunity to create a community mosaic outside city hall, hula hoop, get their faces painted, take a yoga class, and take photos in a mobile photo booth. Fun 4 …

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Hemming Park, by Fran Ruchalski

National Feed the Homeless Day in Hemming Park

In recognition of National Feed the Homeless Day, Hemming Park hosted Jacksonville’s social service partners for an event in the park on Tuesday, December 17 from 10:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. This will be a yearly event highlighting the social services available to those in need in Jacksonville. All invited organizations have the mission to eradicate homelessness from Jacksonville, and the gathering shows a local, unified face in combatting this national social issue. Through educating the community of the range of services that exist locally for anyone experiencing hunger, homelessness, or in need of services, there are resources and agencies ready to assist. The …

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NEIGHBORHOOD: Hemming Park

Laid out in the early 1820s, a public square was created by , considered to be the founder of Jacksonville. After his death, his heirs sold the piece of land to the city for $10, maintaining the vision of this square, originally called , to be a public square. The Civil War left Jacksonville decimated, but those northern troops returned as tourists. By 1869, Jacksonville had become a hot destination for visitors. Great hotels were built to accommodate, and Jacksonville had over a dozen; the biggest and fanciest two faced onto  (another one of Hemming Park’s former names). “You could …

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Change Keeps Downtown Fresh

Barroom conversations and threads among Jacksonville’s urban cultural creatives over the past years have abounded with pessimistic rants, open wishes, and pleading prayers for a more conscious, vibrant, and progressive city. Over the years, that energy has been randomly dispersed in grassroots campaigns and DIY-style events. A growing army of younger energy has single-handedly made it their mission to be the change they want our city to be. These individuals, typically operating on shoestring budgets, rely heavily on their networks, fans, and a hope and a prayer, to spark a notion in others that, “if we can dream it, we …

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