Memorial Park renovations already underway

Janny Rodriguez reports. 9/7/2016

For some, it's just a park, but for others it's a hidden treasure and an integral part of Jacksonville's history.

We're talking about Memorial Park right in the heart of Riverside-Avondale has been a part of the First Coast for nearly a century. Over the years it has deteriorated.

The Memorial Park Association, which is a nonprofit is the engine behind a massive renovation plan that is already underway.

"Like an old house it needs a lot of love and this park needs a lot of love," says Pattie Houlihan, Chair of Development Committee.

Memorial Park was first opened in 1924 and since been home for the Jacksonville community.

“It was initiated and established for all the floridans that died in World War One not just the people of Jacksonville," says Houlihan.

The park was designed and offered to the city of Jacksonville by the Olmsted firm and has since served as a spot not only for families but for anyone to enjoy.

"We come here at least three times per week just to run around and play bad hang out,” says Heaven Kleckler.

But after many years of use, The Memorial Park Association says it’s time to do major work to the center oval lawn. "We'll be doing an abundance of drainage and irrigation that's why the number is so big," says Houlihan.

So far the cost is at $283,000 but it doesn’t end there. The master plan which includes restoring fencing and adding lighting, just to name a few things, cumulative will cost well over one million dollars.

"As they see the park become more of what it has been and what it could be that they would be interested in it. It's a very special place," says Agnes Danciger, President of the Memorial Park Association.

Danciger says although she is thankful for the city’s support as well as many generous donations, the organization needs your help to keep the six-acre park for many more years to come.

They hope to break ground next week, and be finished with the central lawn by Veterans Day.

(© 2016 WTLV)


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