Heather Benfield

  • published PorchFest Friend & Family 2019-07-16 10:39:02 -0400

    PorchFest Friends & Family


    Experience PorchFest with our all-inclusive food and drinks package! VIP tickets include:

    • Access to VIP area with amazing view of Main Stage
    • Complimentary beer, wine, and food
    • Access to VIP restroom facilities
    • Invitation to our Sponsor Thank You Party in January 2024


    • 1 VIP pass which includes access to VIP Area with bathrooms as well as complimentary beer, wine and food
    • 1 ticket to Sponsor Thank You Party



    • 2 VIP passes which include access to VIP Area with bathrooms as well as complimentary beer, wine and food
    • 2 tickets to Sponsor Thank You Party
    • Family name listed on donor signage in main festival area

  • published Tour of Homes in Events 2019-04-04 10:22:35 -0400

    Tour of Homes & Gardens


    The 44th Annual Historic Springfield Tour of Homes and Gardens, presented by The Akers Group with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty, is a two-day event, on both May 13 & 14, from 12 noon to 5 pm.


    Buy tickets on both days of the event at the starting location: SPAR Building (1321 North Main St). SPAR members with a valid membership receive an additional discount off each ticket purchased, but must purchase their tickets at the SPAR Office to receive discount. You will also be able to purchase your ticket online in the coming month. 

    Purchase online: You can purchase your tickets online here. All tickets purchased online during the Early Bird period will be redeemed at the Will Call table at 1321 N. Main Street. Tickets will be full price ($20) if purchased the days of the event.


    Saturday, May 13, from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm

    Sunday, May 14 from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm

    *Tickets are valid during both days of the Tour.


    A guided bicycle tour edition is also available for guests, FREE with purchase of a regular Tour of Homes ticket and is BYOB - bring your own bike. In this extended version, local history expert Leigh Burdett will guide guests throughout the neighborhood, including homes on the Tour, highlighting the historical locations, people and architecture along the way.
    The bicycle tour will depart from 1321 N. Main Street on Saturday, May 13 at 1 pm and lasts about 3 hours. To reserve a spot on the tour, please call (904)- 945-1571.


    A Tour map and guide will be provided to all guests at the starting location: SPAR Building at 1321 N. Main Street. Many walk or bicycle the Tour route, but some may wish to drive.


    Parking can be found on the curb near the starting location or other public lots near by.


    The Tour of Homes benefits Springfield Preservation & Revitalization (SPAR), the 501c3 grassroots organization dedicated to preserving the historic character, facilitating investment, and building community in the Springfield Historic District. The Tour of Homes has showcased the unique character of the community for 42 years, and is a major fundraiser for programming and services provided by SPAR Council.


    Message us via Facebook or email sparoffice@sparcouncil.org for the fastest response. Or call 904.353.7727.


    Become a 2023 Home Tour Sponsor! Download our Sponsorship Kit here and email [email protected] with your interest. 

  • published Sesquicentennial Park in Events 2019-02-19 13:23:01 -0500

    Sesquicentennial Park

    SPAR has installed a temporary park on Main Street, aptly named Sesquicentennial Park, in celebration of 150 years of the Springfield neighborhood. The pocket park was completed in February 2019 and was in use for the entire Sesquicentennial year. Due to the successful activation of the space, the lease for Sesquicentennial Park has been extended over the past few years. 

    SPAR hosts events in Sesquicentennial Park and we look forward to the park being activated not only by us but by our neighbors, as well.

    The park, located at 1527 N. Main St. and centered around a century-old live oak tree, is semi-enclosed with picket fencing and features a stage. The grand opening of the park was March 6, 2019 with the kick-off of “Music on Main." This music series, organized by SPAR, includes food trucks, live music, beer and wine, and is free and open to the public. 

    Currently there are no public spaces north of 1st Street on Main Street in Historic Springfield. SPAR is leading the way to change that by utilizing this place-making strategy that has seen success in many other urban areas. The goal is to create or enhance public spaces. This helps meet community needs and bring underused places to life.


    Booking the Park: 

    1. Would you like to book Sesquicentennial Park for your next outdoor event? Download the Sesquicentennial Park Application here

    2. Submit your $20 application fee at the time of submission here  (If you are a member of Springfield Area Merchants and Business Association, this fee is waived)


    "What a great idea: Downtown needs its vital neighborhoods like Springfield to have great activities like these that draw neighbors and residents together." - The Florida Times-Union


    Sesquicentennial Park was created with support from:
    Springfield Preservation and Revitalization
    Jacksonville PorchFest 
    LandVilla Outdoor
    LISC Jacksonville
    JoAnn Tredennick and Jack Meeks


  • Community Meeting February 2019

    Date: 2/7/19
    Location: Wells Fargo Community Learning Center (1601 N. Main Street)
    Time: 5:30 pm

    Kelly Rich, SPAR Executive Director, welcome the approximate 45 guests to the meeting.

    Read more

  • published Music on Main in Events 2019-02-08 12:21:54 -0500

    Music on Main - Free Music Series


    Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council (SPAR) is pleased to announce an extension of the lease for the use of Sesquicentennial Park (1527 N. Main Street) throughout 2022 and the return of Music on Main, our successful music series launched as a part of the 150th Anniversary of Historic Springfield. Music on Main will be taking place on the last Wednesday of each month from March to May 2022 in Sesquicentennial Park. The event will include food trucks, live music, beer and wine, and will be free and open to the public. The park will open on each event date at 5:30 p.m. and music will be featured from 6-8:00 p.m. 

    Music on Main is proudly sponsored by PNC Bank. Without their support, we would not be able to offer this gift of music for the community.

    “We’re excited to continue to bring this free music series and public space to the Jacksonville community,” Kelly Rich, SPAR executive director said. “Sesquicentennial Park has been embraced by our local residents as part of our Main Street corridor and we are glad to see its continued use in 2022.”

    Bring a blanket and picnic with local food trucks that will be in the park, plus beer and wine, all available for purchase from 5:30-8:00 p.m. Music begins at 6 p.m. 

  • published Explore The Core in Events 2019-02-08 11:17:15 -0500

    Explore The Core

    Bicyclists, rejoice! Springfield is officially the most bike-able neighborhood in Jacksonville’s urban core, according to WalkScore.com. This recognition was based on scoring using four components including bike lanes, hills, destination and road connectivity, and bike commuting mode share. Additionally, Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council (SPAR) received a Neighbors Get Moving award from the City of Jacksonville in 2018, recognizing it for its role in organizing and promoting wellness activities in the Springfield Historic District community.

    Residents and visitors can enjoy a ride on the S-Line Urban Greenway, a nearly three-and-a-half mile paved bike trail through multiple urban core neighborhoods, or easily bike to many of Jacksonville’s other locations and destinations.

    Bicycle maintenance stations are located behind the SPAR Office at 1321 N. Main St. and in Henry J. Klutho Park at the intersection of Pearl Street and W. 3rd Street. Support for these maintenance stations comes from an AARP Community Challenge ‘Quick Action’ grant program. You'll also find a plethora of bicycle racks at local businesses throughout the neighborhood. 

    2022 Bike Socials

    February 5th - Historic Durkeeville

    April 29th - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp game

    June 18th - Evergreen Cemetery 

    September TBD - Historic Eastside/Jacksonville Jaguars Game

    October 28th - Bike-A-Boo!

    December 13th - Historic Springfield Annual Holiday Bicycle Ride


    Check Out our Routes

    Historic Springfield to Historic Durkeeville

    Built in the late 1930s and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2020, Durkeeville is a historically Black neighborhood that was founded at a time when African Americans were excluded from living in other parts of the city. On your trip to Durkeeville along the S-Line Urban Greenway, you can visit both J. P. Small Ball Park (home to the Negro Baseball League's Jacksonville Red Caps and the city's first Florida-Georgia games) and the Durkeeville Historical Society. Reach out ahead of your trip to schedule a tour with DHS


    Historic Springfield to Eastside Murals

    As you cycle along A. Phillip Randolph, take some time and absorb the story told within the murals painted on the Eastside. The historical scenes, including a student-painted depiction of Ax-Handle Saturday and the vivid colors of the Locals and Legends mural featuring impactful African-American residents of Jacksonville, are intentional and are there to introduce visitors to the rich history of the neighborhood.



    Historic Springfield to Railyard District

    On your trip to the Railyard District along the S-Line Rail Trail, make sure to take a moment and enjoy the Sugar Hill Mosaic located near the cross-section of West 13th Street and North Davis Street. This five-foot high, 96-foot long mosaic, a collaboration between RouxArt and Groundwork Jacksonville, honors the legacy of the Sugar Hill neighborhood, which was once the center for African-American prosperity in Northeast Florida. In addition, this first piece of the Emerald Trail will take you right past Engine 15 Brewing Company’s Downtown location on your way to the Jacksonville Farmers Market.


    Historic Springfield to Riverside Arts Market

    Taking place every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. underneath the Fuller-Warren Bridge, the Riverside Arts Market (RAM) is a must-see destination in Jacksonville’s urban core. Serving more than 100 artists, artisans, makers, farmers, this family-friendly and dog-friendly bazaar has something for everyone. RAM features different theme days throughout the year, as well as activities throughout each day such as 9AM yoga, dance and musical performances, and guest speakers in the 350-person amphitheater next to the St. John’s River. 


    Historic Springfield to San Marco Historic District

    It’s quite lucky to have another of Jacksonville’s vibrant Historic Districts just a short cycle away. The route to San Marco is a straight-shot due south and across the Main Street Bridge. While the end point of this route is Aardwolf Brewery, you can continue down just a bit further to San Marco Square, named after Venice’s Piazza San Marco, after enjoying a pint of delectable craft beer. 


    Historic Springfield to the Stadium Area

    Have tickets to a concert at Daily’s Place? Heading to an event at Veterans’ Memorial Arena? Or maybe heading to see the Jacksonville Shrimp or the Jacksonville Jaguars play at home? Don’t combat the traffic! Whether you live in Springfield or want to come have a dinner or a brew before your planned night out, cycle this route down to the Stadium District for any of the hundreds of events scheduled throughout the year. 


    Special thanks to Art Bikes Jax for sponsoring our bike socials for 2022! Remember to bike responsibly and obey all traffic laws.

    May be an image of bicycle and outdoors


    Download the FULL Explore The Core Map 



  • published Historic Preservation Workshops in Events 2019-02-08 11:15:26 -0500

    Historic Preservation Workshops

    Join us for our 2022 Historic Preservation Workshop Series! Special thanks to the City of Jacksonville's Planning and Development department and Southern Brothers Inspections for partnering with us on this series. 

    We'll be offering several opportunities throughout the year on different topics that affect homeowners in Historic Springfield. Historic properties have unique charm, craftsmanship and also a special process to renovate them. Both residential and commercial renovations within Historic Districts of Jacksonville require a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) from the City of Jacksonville. Learn about that process, what requires a COA and what does not, and how to be most efficient with your time when it comes to renovating a historic property. Join the City of Jacksonville Planning and Development staff for these informative presentations with time to ask your questions!

    Workshop Series

    February 15: COA Process and Researching Your Historic Home with SIAA

    June 9: Significant Architects in the Urban Core by Michael Montoya

    August 23: COA Process

    Registration is preferred, but all programs are free. Each presentation will take place at the VyStar Community Collaboration Space inside the SPAR Building (1321 Main St N, Jacksonville, FL 32206). The doors will open at 5:30 p.m., the presentation will take place from 6-7 p.m.

    For an overview of acquiring a COA, watch our recorded webinar: Historic Preservation Workshop: COA Process

  • published SesQ Saison - Collaboration Beer in Sesquicentennial 2019-02-08 11:15:06 -0500

    SesQ Saison - Collaboration Beer

    In celebration of the Sesquicentennial of Springfield, area breweries are collaborating on a special beer. Springfield breweries Hyperion Brewing Company, Main & Six Brewing Company, and Strings Sports Brewery are working with Downtown’s Intuition Ale Works and San Marco’s Aardwolf Brewing Company.

    “Springfield is Jacksonville’s original neighborhood, and we’re looking forward to honoring that with this beer,” Kelly Rich, SPAR executive director said. “We have a wonderful craft brewery scene in Jacksonville, and this beer embodies the collaborative spirit that I love about our urban core neighborhoods. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Champion Brands and our local breweries on this anniversary beer.”

    The “Sesq Saison” is a Belgian Style Brett Saison with an effervescent and complex flavor profile with citrus and spice.

    “Springfield is a great community that has been an integral part of North Florida for the last 150 years and continues to thrive,” David Rigdon, Chain Sales Manager for Champion Brands, said. “Great communities are built by the residents and local businesses. The question asked – what would be the best way to share this story of a century and a half of culture with all of Jacksonville? The answer given – over a pint of great beer collaborated by their local breweries of course!”

    This beer will be available at special pop-up events throughout Northeast Florida during 2019. We will be updating this page, along with our Facebook and Instagram pages, when additional events are scheduled. 


  • published Sponsorship in Donate 2019-01-24 15:11:08 -0500


    Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (SPAR) Council runs multiple yearly events and programs. If you or your business are interested in receiving sponsorship information on specific programs, please fill out this form and we will be in touch with you soon. Your in-kind gifts of items or services are also appreciated!

    Thank you for your interest in supporting our organization's work!

    Sign up

  • published Sesquicentennial in About 2019-01-10 09:18:28 -0500


    Springfield is celebrating the sesquicentennial of the neighborhood in 2019, and we want you to join us!

    Springfield’s sesquicentennial celebrates the area’s 150th anniversary of establishment after John H. Norton—one of Jacksonville’s first real estate developers—was tasked with parceling the area’s land and selling it off. Jacksonville merchant Calvin L. Robinson is credited with naming the new development Springfield because of "a spring of good water located in the field through which West Fourth Street would now pass (near Broad Street).” (via: Historic Preservation Guidelines for Springfield)

    SPAR and other neighborhood organizations are hosting programming throughout 2019. Visit the Historic Springfield Community Calendar to stay updated with events happening in the neighborhood.     

    If you'd like to purchase a sesquicentennial flag to display at your home or business, you can do so here. If you're interested in sponsoring a sesquicentennial banner that will be displayed in our commercial corridors throughout 2019, you can do so here.

    We'll be sharing SPAR hosted sesquicentennial programming and events on this page, stay tuned for more!

    Sesquicentennial Programming for 2019

    - Explore the Core: We're celebrating the bikeability of Springfield to other urban core neighborhoods with a series of bike socials for 2019! Learn more.

    - Music on MainMusic on Main is a FREE and open to the public music series in Sesquicentennial Park to celebrate Springfield's 150th birthday! Learn more.

    - Historic Preservation Workshops: Join us for this free workshop series with the City of Jacksonville's Historic Preservation Department staff. Learn more.

    - SesQ Saison: a collaborative beer brewed by Hyperion Brewing Company, Main & Six Brewing Company, Strings Sports Brewery, Aardwolf Brewing Company, and Intuition Ale Works. Available at pop-up events in Northeast Florida throughout 2019. Learn more.

    - Sesquicentennial Park: SPAR has installed a temporary park on Main Street, aptly named Sesquicentennial Park, in celebration of 150 years of the Springfield neighborhood. 

  • Looking back at 2018: Neighborhood Organizations

    We’re counting down to 2019 and Springfield’s Sesquicentennial by looking back at 2018 and giving thanks. Join us in celebrating this past year!

    Today we’d like to give thanks to our fellow urban core neighborhood organizations. We are looking forward to growing our relationships with these groups and working together on mutually beneficial projects and events.

    This year we were honored to be a part of the Museum of Science & History, Jacksonville Neighborhoods (open through May, 15, 2019) signature exhibition that marks the 50th anniversary of Jacksonville consolidation, focusing on the development and sustainability of Jacksonville’s many neighborhoods – urban, suburban, and rural.

    SPAR staff also hosted tables at a CLIMB event on the Eastside and at two FSCJ volunteer fairs this year.

  • published 2018 Residential Revival Project in Media & Blog 2018-12-26 12:05:30 -0500

    2018 Residential Revival Project

    We’re counting down to 2019 and Springfield’s Sesquicentennial by looking back at 2018 and giving thanks. Join us in celebrating this past year!

    We were thrilled to grow our Residential Revival Project this year and give back to a long-term Springfield couple on a small-scale exterior renovation. With $1,000 for materials and the help of donations and volunteer work, SPAR was able to do the equivalent of $15,000 worth of repairs.

    The neighborhood residents and businesses truly came together to help protect the historic fabric of our community. Because of the success and continued need in the neighborhood for similar projects, SPAR will continue the program to assist a minimum of one low to moderate income resident each year with the costs of exterior maintenance and restoration of their historic homes.

    If you or your business is interested in learning more about donating to this project or volunteering, please email [email protected]. We’ll be announcing details about our 2019 Residential Revival Project soon.

  • published 2018 Jax PorchFest in Media & Blog 2018-12-26 12:03:08 -0500

    2018 Jax PorchFest

    We’re counting down to 2019 and Springfield’s Sesquicentennial by looking back at 2018 and giving thanks. Join us in celebrating this past year!

    2018 marked the fifth year of Jax PorchFest, and the event drew approximately 15,000 people to Springfield! Special thanks to the sponsors, committee members, volunteers, and attendees for making it the most successful Jax PorchFest to date!

    This family-friendly, free music festival held on the front porches of the neighborhood and in Klutho Park embodies the welcoming spirit of the Springfield community.

    We hope you enjoyed this year’s festival, and we’ll be announcing soon preliminary details about the 2019 event. Follow Jax PorchFest and the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (SPAR) page for the latest updates.

    If you’re interested in learning about sponsorship, vendor, or volunteering information for the 2019 Jax PorchFest, please email s[email protected] to be placed on our notification list.

    (Photos: Debra Heuskin Photography)

  • Thank You 2018 Sponsors, Donors, and Members!

    (Photo: Debra Heuskin Photography)

    We’re counting down to 2019 and Springfield’s Sesquicentennial by looking back at 2018 and giving thanks. Join us in celebrating this past year!

    Today, we’d like to thank all our sponsors, donors, and members. Their support of our organization allows us to work on our mission of ensuring Historic Springfield is a preferred place to live and do business by leading programs that drive the preservation, revitalization, and balanced growth of our community.

    If you patron a sponsor of a SPAR program or event; please thank them for their support!

    If you or your business are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities for 2019, please reach out to [email protected]. You can learn more about becoming a member of SPAR here.

  • published Looking back at 2018: Bike Socials in Media & Blog 2018-12-19 16:00:22 -0500

    Looking back at 2018: Bike Socials

    We’re counting down to 2019 and Springfield’s Sesquicentennial by looking back at 2018 and giving thanks. Join us in celebrating this past year! 

    One of many reasons that Springfield is a fantastic place to live is the bikeability of the neighborhood. We celebrated that last night with the Holiday Bike Ride, an annual Springfield tradition of friends and neighbors leisurely riding through the Historic District to enjoy the lights and spectacle of the holidays.

    This year we also took a bike ride to a Jacksonville Jaguars game and SPAR Board, Staff, and Committee members rode to a Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp game! We love being a bike ride away from even more entertainment options!

    Keep an eye out on the SPAR page for information on our 2019 bike socials!

  • published Thank you 2018 volunteers! in Media & Blog 2018-12-18 11:57:17 -0500

    Thank you 2018 volunteers!

    We’re counting down to 2019 and Springfield’s Sesquicentennial by looking back at 2018 and giving thanks. From now until the new year, join us in celebrating the past year. On this first day, we’d like to recognize our volunteers!
    Read more

  • published 2018 Holiday Bike Ride in Media & Blog 2018-12-11 13:05:35 -0500

    2018 Holiday Bike Ride - December 18

    Join your friends and neighbors for this Springfield holiday tradition - the Holiday Bicycle Ride. It's a leisurely evening bicycle ride through the Historic District to enjoy the lights and spectacle of the holidays.

    Kids are encouraged, as are bike decorations!

    Meet at bandstand in Klutho Park (corner of W. 3rd & Silver) at 6pm on December 18, and the ride should end around 8pm. The route will cover the majority of the neighborhood and allow riders to experience all of Historic Springfield’s best holiday displays from the perfect vantage point.

    There will be post ride festivities to be announced in the event page!

    *all riders are encouraged to have a bike light & safety gear

  • Ribbon Cutting for New Bike Repair Stations

    We had a ribbon cutting ceremony with AARP on Nov. 27 for our new bicycle maintenance station behind the SPAR building on Main Street! We were one of 129 grantees to receive funding through AARP Livable Communities' AARP Community Challenge "Quick Action" grant program. 

    SPAR's project funded two bicycle and wheelchair maintenance stations (the other in Klutho Park); as well as the installation of additional trash receptacles on Main Street.

    Click here to read more about the grant. 

  • September Volunteer Spotlight: Diane Graese

    Diane Graese moved to Springfield from Las Vegas a little over a year ago. In a very short time, she has built a reputation as a passionate and dedicated volunteer in our community.  “I came to Jacksonville because it was a big city; I came to Springfield because a website called Neighborhood Search told me I would find all that I was looking for. I knew no one, but on my first visit here there were people who welcomed me into their homes and I felt such a good vibe,” Diane explained.  “I ignored the naysayers and listened to the stories of how the neighborhood was changing and the visions for the future.”

    Read more

  • Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (SPAR) Selected as AARP Community Challenge ‘Quick Action’ Grant Recipient

    We are excited to announce that SPAR is one of 129 grantees who will receive funds through AARP Livable Communities’ AARP Community Challenge ‘Quick Action’ grant program. Awardees across the country will receive grants to fund innovative projects that can inspire change and make counties, cities, towns and rural areas better places to live for residents of all ages.

    Read more