JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Friday Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown kicked off an effort designed to get residents out and enjoying Jacksonville's many parks.
The initiative is called the People + Parks Connection and encourages people to visit Jacksonville parks and check out their new hiking trails, launch kayaks from newly designated sites and swim in Jacksonville pools, river and beaches.
Included in the People + Parks Connection are new signage and directional blazing on almost 45 miles of trails in seven parks. This also includes 3 1/2 miles of new trails at two Jacksonville parks. The City of Jacksonville also has 10 newly designated kayak/canoe launch sites on the St. Johns River, its tributaries and the Intracoastal Waterway.
Hikers will now be able to scan a QR code at trail kiosks at 10 parks. The QR codes will link hikers to a trail map. They will also be shown a welcome video with the mayor and then a park naturalist will lead them on a video tour of the park.
The city of Jacksonville partnered with the Sierra Club of Northeast Florida Group and SORBA Jax, the local affiliate of the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association to make the improvements and new additions. As part of the partnership, the Sierra club will lead monthly trail hikes on the second Saturday of the month. The club will also assist with trail projects.
Mayor Brown also announced his Waterproof Jacksonville campaign. For at least two weeks there will be swim lessons at every outdoor public pool. The city is offering the swim lessons to hopefully reduce accidental drownings.
The program will rotate swimming instructors this summer to every public pool. Swim lessons prior to this program were only offered at ten of Jacksonville's pools.
"When I talk about making Jacksonville a destination, I'm talking about programs and initiatives like these that build upon our community's assets and highlight the best of what Northeast Florida has to offer," said Mayor Brown.
First Coast News