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.

Valerie Jenkins presented SPAR with the Wells Fargo $10,000 contribution check.

Kelly Rich introduced Richard Leon, the Urban Forest Manager for the City of Jacksonville. Richard works on excavating and planting new trees. There have been 674 trees planted so far from the Tree Planting Project. He shared that Laurel Oak trees were often planted during WWII, and that type of tree’s lifespan is about 70 years, so the goal is to replace those trees and other with the planting of new trees for the Tree Planting Project. Residents can call 630 CITY for inquiries on trees to be planted, or to request a tree to be planted in front of their home or right of way. There is an interactive website that residents can see the progress of this project: Updates for the Springfield Planting Project: bids for the trees at various nurseries came back in on Feb. 6, and they are still waiting to choose which would be the most beneficial for the project to be started and completed. Infant tree requirements are usually chosen if about 3” in diameter and up to 8’ tall. When the trees are planted, they are tagged with instructions on how to care and maintain them. Specific trees can be requested, but it comes down to what’s been provided. The Main Street Project has been completed and the trees used were Cabbage Palmettos and Elm. Richard reiterated that there is no cost to have a tree planted.

Kelly Rich then introduced Lisa Dunn with the SIAA Garden Club. The Garden Club is currently working on the Main St. Beautification Project, which is centered around the beautification of Main Street. They received a matching grant from the City for this project, which includes landscaping to help with the views of physical appreciation for the Springfield neighborhood. They will need 330 volunteer hours to help with their project. SPAR will be installing planters on Main Street and will need some monitoring and maintenance to help maintain the beautification of Springfield.

Kelly Rich then spoke about the Design Review Committee. She reminded attendees that SPAR is not here to police projects, but to help in the assistance of home projects. If residents would like help with their COA before submitting it, they can reach out to SPAR, and someone from the Design Review Committee can meet with them about their project. The next historic preservation workshop will be on March 21 and is covering Windows, Fences, and Doors. There are additional COA workshops and a Code Enforcement workshop planned for 2019.

Kelly shared that this year’s Residential Revival Project will take place on April 26 and 27. SPAR received a $5,000 matching grant from the City of Jacksonville to assist with this project. Volunteer needs will be shared with the community soon.

An update on SAMBA was given by Kelly. In 2017, there were 0 members and by 2019 there are 59 members. In 2017 there was an average attendance of 12 attendees to the meetings, and in 2018 there was an average of 24 attendees. The monthly meetings are free to visit and open to anyone in Springfield or those who want to do business in Springfield. SAMBA works to invite quality speakers to the meetings and include resources for businesses. The next SAMBA meeting is at Standard Feed and Seed on Feb. 11 at 6pm.

Kelly then gave an update on the Springfield Sesquicentennial. The Sesquicentennial Park on Main Street will be set up for 2019 and a stage will be installed. SPAR is hosting several programs throughout the year to celebrate: historic preservation workshops, bike socials, and a spring and fall music series. New Sesquicentennial flags will be available next week for purchase. The Music on Main spring music series will be each Wednesday in March and on March 31; the start time is at 5pm and ends at 8pm. This series is sponsored by Abel Harding of IBERIABANK and Engine 15 Brewing Company.

Kelly shared information on the SPAR bike campaign, Explore the Core. SPAR created a map with suggested routes to other urban core neighborhoods in Jacksonville. SPAR is also hosting bike socials every other month in 2019, the next ride will be to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp game on a Friday night in April.

Kelly shared that the City of Jacksonville’s Historic Planning Commission has announced their inaugural McEachin Award. This annual award coincides with National Preservation Month and serves as the Commission’s contribution to a month of activities recognizing and celebrating the preservation of historic structures by providing commemorative plaques to the year’s best Historic Preservation Projects. All applications must be completed by March 1. The application and more information can be found here:

Kelly gave an update on events happening in the neighborhood that weekend, including the Grand Opening of Classic Maven Boutique, the February Handmade Market at Best Dressed Dame, the Community Clean Up at Liberty Park, the Second Saturday Night Market, and a skateboarding contest hosted by The Block Skate Supply. Also for the Sesquicentennial, there is a collaboration between Springfield breweries Hyperion Brewing Company, Main & Six Brewing Company, and Strings Sports Brewery and urban core neighbors Aardwolf Brewing Company and Intuition Ale Works Brewing Company. The kick off party will be at Crispy’s Springfield Gallery on Feb. 20 at 6pm. Additional events coming up are the SIAA Mardi Gras Ball on March 2, and the St. Patrick’s Day Block Party on March 16.

Springfield Councilman Reggie Gaffney gave updates on projects relating to Springfield. He is working on a resolution for SPAR in celebration of the Sesquicentennial, to be read at Council in 2 months. The Westside Church of Christ is planning on installing a basketball and tennis court at their location. Fred Cotten’s BBQ is looking for parking lot space. On February 28th from 12-1pm there will be a Day of Healing at City Hall.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:14pm.  


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