Explore the Core: Introducing New Route & Partnership With Art Bikes Jax

Springfield Preservation and Revitalization (SPAR) is excited to share news about the success and growth of its Explore the Core program since the program’s inception in 2019. Inspired by the recognition of Historic Springfield as the “Most Bikeable Neighborhood in Jacksonville” and SPAR’s desire to build relationships with its other Urban Core neighbors, Explore the Core is the most tangible way to see how connected the oldest neighborhood is to the rest of Downtown Jacksonville. With a mission to promote the community’s bike-friendly reputation to the entire region, SPAR’s bike socials are free to join and include all ages and skill levels. 

In 2021, SPAR was awarded a $3000 grant from Fat Tire Amber Ale’s ‘Bike Advocacy’ grant program. Awardees across the country received grants to fund projects that promote cycling in their communities and give equal opportunity for all to access the outdoors. SPAR’s project will support the current Explore the Core program with the addition of a new route to Historic Durkeeville.

After experiencing continuous growth of participation and support throughout 2021, SPAR has partnered with Art Bikes Jax as the premier sponsor for the 2022 calendar year. Representatives from Art Bikes Jax will be joining in on Bike Socials and giving group tours in Historic Springfield highlighting local history and art. Both SPAR and Art Bikes Jax invite the Jacksonville community to join them on the first Bike Social of 2022 to trek the newly added route to Historic Durkeeville on Saturday, February 5th. The 2022 list of Explore the Core excursions include:

  • February 5th - Historic Durkeeville
  • April 29th - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp game
  • June 18th - Evergreen Cemetery 
  • September TBD - Historic Eastside Murals/Jacksonville Jaguars Game
  • October 28th - Historic Springfield Bike-A-Boo!
  • December 13th - Historic Springfield Annual Holiday Bicycle Ride

 

  


Meet the 2021 Candidates for our Board of Directors

Let us introduce you to our 2021 Candidates for the SPAR Board of Directors! The Board of Directors is presenting Jason Hardwick and Alejandro (AJ) Rodriguez as new candidates who would bring valuable skills, passion, and knowledge to our organization. In addition, John Shermetaro (current Treasurer of SPAR), Christine Lane, Ryan McFarland, and Bryant Shumaker are all seeking reelection to the Board for a second and final term. 

Please learn more about the candidates by reading their bios below. If you have any questions for them prior to voting at the annual meeting, please submit them before December 6th to [email protected] and the candidates will provide their answers at the Annual Meeting.

SPAR members will be able to vote on candidates at our Annual Meeting this coming Tuesday, December 7th at Hyperion Brewing Company. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Aside from voting, SPAR members will receive updates about on-going projects and efforts in the community. 

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Holiday Festivities in Historic Springfield

Can you believe it? The 2021 Holiday Season is upon us and Historic Springfield could not be more excited. There are so many events happening in our one-square mile over the next few weeks, and here is is your one stop shop to finding them all. If you have an event that you'd like to see added to our list, please send it to [email protected]

 

November 26th: Music on Main: Tree Lighting and DANKA - Join SPAR Council from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm in Sesquicentennial Park for Music on Main featuring the return of DANKA, the SPAR Holiday Market, and the Holiday Tree Lighting

 

December 3rd to December 30th: Holiday Light Tours with Go Tuk'n - This 1-hour tour, offered for only a few weeks a year, is a favorite for the whole family. Guests of all ages love snuggling up in the furry blankets and heated seats to see the gorgeous lights in Springfield, Downtown, Avondale, and Riverside. Each tour is unique with Go Tuk'n drivers selecting the best light displays at the time of your tour.

 

December 11th: Santa at Strings Sports Brewery - Bring the kids to get their photo taken with Santa at Strings Sports Brewery from 11:30 am to 1 pm!

 

December 11th: Springfield Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl! - Wear your favorite ugly sweater and stroll between Historic Springfield's breweries, Main & Six Brewing Company, Strings Sports Brewery, and Hyperion Brewing Company, for this holiday themed bar crawl. Participating businesses will have special beer releases, drink specials, and an ugliest sweater contest at 9 pm.  

 

December 14th: Historic Springfield's Annual Holiday Bicycle Ride - Meet up at Sesquicentennial Park at 5:30 pm for an leisurely evening ride through the Historic District to enjoy the lights and spectacle of the holidays. All ages are welcome and bike decorations and costumes are encouraged. 

 

December 17th: A Very Special Christmas Dance & Talent Show! - Dare 2 Hire Different, Dabbs Productions, and The Sweet Spot & Urban Lounge are hosting a talent show and dance that allows individuals with different abilities to be themselves. Doors open at 4 pm, the Talent Show is from 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm, and the dance will follow from 6 pm to 8 pm.

 

December 18th: Winter Holiday Market at Main Street Food Park - Stop by the Main Street Food Park between 12 pm and 8 pm to shop with a variety of vendors, dine with some local food trucks, visit with Santa, listen to wonderful holiday music from the John Lumpkin Institute, and enjoy a holiday movie. 

 

December 18th: Run Santa Run 5K - 1st Place Sports is hosting the Run Santa Run 5K taking place at Henry J. Klutho Park. Hosting both a one mile fun-run, as well as a 5K, the whole family can dress up in Santa suits and run together! This 5K is after dark so participants can enjoy the full effect of the course's illuminations, inflatables, and music. 

 

Remember, you don't have to wait to join in on these events. You can alway walk, bike, or drive at any time throughout the month to enjoy the decorated porches throughout the neighborhood. 


JEA Update: North Main Street Project

North Main Street was opened on September 2nd, 2021. 

  • The 30-inch & 36-36-inch water main installations completed on N. Main Street and progressed into E. 1st Street. This work on E. 1st Street will be paused for 3-4 weeks to complete the gravity sewer installation. Thereafter, the 30-inch & 36-inch water main installations will resume and progress east towards Ionia St. & Palmetto St. This work will be ongoing in this E. 1st Street area for 12-14 months. 
  • Gravity sewer replacement/installation has begun on 1st Street east of N. Main Street and will progress east towards Market Street over next approx. 3-4 weeks.
  • 16-inch water main installation has resumed on 1st Street between Market St. and Liberty St, and will progress east towards Ionia Street over next approx. 4 months.
  • 36-inch water main installation that began on Beaver Street at Fair Grounds has progressed to APR & Albert Intersection.  It will continue to progress west down Albert St. towards Palmetto Street, where it will be joined with the segment of 36-inch water main that was just installed on Palmetto St. between Albert St. and Union St. The 36-inch water main installation on Albert St. and Palmetto St. will be ongoing for next approx. 5 months.
  • Overall project completion date is anticipated to be May of 2023.

Little Free Libraries of Springfield

Throughout Historic Springfield, one of the most beloved installations to be found is the collection of Little Free Libraries. The Little Free Library program started in 2009 in Hudson, Wisconsin with a small handful of libraries. In the eleven years since the first library was built, the Little Free Library network has grown to include over 100,000 registered libraries in over 100 countries worldwide. An estimated seven of those make their home in our one square-mile.

The newest Little Free Library addition to Historic Springfield is now located at the SPAR Building (1321 North Main Street). Charter #50646 was donated to SPAR by our neighbors, the Breitmosers. It was then revamped and designed by our neighbor and friend, Heather Bishop. Devised to look like it belongs in our historic district, the library resembles a house and even has a solar light to illuminate the inside at night for easy book browsing. SPAR couldn't be more thrilled with this fantastic addition to our Main Street property.

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Delores Barr Weaver issues matching challenge for SPAR Building restoration

Mrs. Weaver has pledged $50,000 to the effort if the community can raise $50,000 in a 1:1 match. 

Contact: Kelly Rich          

Phone: 904-353-7727

Email: [email protected]

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (June 10, 2021) –  Springfield Preservation and Revitalization, or SPAR, is excited to announce that Jacksonville philanthropist Delores Barr Weaver has issued a matching challenge to help the organization reach their fundraising goal for capital improvements of the SPAR Building located at 1321 North Main Street. The building, which SPAR acquired in 1994, was catastrophically damaged during Hurricane Irma forcing the nonprofit to move into a temporary space off Main Street shortly thereafter. 

Mrs. Weaver, a long-time supporter of many charitable causes in Jacksonville, has pledged to contribute $50,000 through a 1:1 match, challenging the Northeast Florida community to step forward with $50,000 to unlock her gift. This gift will be made through the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund at The Community Foundation of Northeast Florida.  

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SPAR Welcomes New Marketing Coordinator

 

Vaughn Murphy has been settling in to his new role as Marketing Coordinator with SPAR. Please give him a warm welcome when you see him! 

A little about Vaughn:

Vaughn was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, and attended First Coast High School. By the 10th grade, he was the school’s band brass section leader and by senior his year, the band’s Head Drum Major leading over 100 members. In that same year, Vaughn dove headfirst into DJing when the DJ for the school’s band party got sick and Vaughn jumped in to save the day with his stack of CDs. Since then Vaughn (more famously known as DJ Stylez WorldWide) has grown to work with some of the biggest artists in the music industry. In 2003, he was the hype DJ for the “I’m Serious Mini Tour” featuring TI, Lil Wayne, Master P, Young Buck, Three Six Mafia and in 2004, the official DJ of the ten-city tour.

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SPAR Announces UF Health Week in Springfield

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 6, 2021) –  Springfield Preservation and Revitalization, or SPAR, is excited to announce that Historic Springfield has been chosen as the host site for UF Health Week May 10–14. While much of the public honors health care workers daily, UF Health hosts a special celebration annually, which coincides with National Hospital Week. UF Health is the third largest employer in the city, and SPAR aims to introduce employees to the unique businesses in the Springfield Historic District. 

To show appreciation for UF Health’s role in the community, more than 14 local businesses have partnered with SPAR to offer discounts and incentives to UF Health employees. It is a prime example of the unique opportunities that SPAR looks for to promote Historic Springfield’s commercial corridors. Local business owners feel that UF Health employees who experience the personality of the neighborhood will become regular customers. Seeing more UF Health badges on Main Street and throughout the neighborhood will become an everyday experience. 

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COJ & JSO Join Forces to Fight Blight

The City of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville's Sheriffs Office are teamed up to address blight in the urban core neighborhoods of Jacksonville, including the greater Springfield area. JSO's Blight Abatement Team (BAT) is coordinating with COJ's CARE system to remedy blight issues and conditions, giving residents of the urban core faster response times to reported problems.

For those not familiar, the CARE system is the City's program to eliminate blight. The CARE system can be accessed via online, telephone (904.630.CITY) or email. It can also be accessed via smart phone app, as well. 

Download the Trepass-Authorization Form

What kind of things can be reported as blight?

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Celebrate Our Local Black-Owned Businesses & Organizations

Being a part of a community means supporting the community - and not just on social media. Have you been asking yourself the question of how you can best support our diverse community right here in Historic Springfield? An actionable way to support is to shop at black-owned businesses. Not just today, but every day. Redirecting our economic resources is one important step towards achieving racial equity not just in our neighborhood, but our city. 

Let’s make a conscious effort, as neighbors, to spend our money at the diverse shops and businesses who chose to make Historic Springfield their home. We gathered a list of black-owned brands from our Springfield Merchants and Business Association (SAMBA) membership. From retail and beauty to fitness and food, Springfield has plenty of choices when looking to shop small and support our diverse commercial corridors. 

 

Restaurants/Food Trucks/Desserts

1 Foxy Lady Cafe and Catering

Crabgod LLC 

Junkanoo Shack, LLC

Icecapade Frozen Treats

Nola's Snoballs Sweets & Savory Eats

Silkie's Chicken and Champagne Bar 

Springfield Scoops

The Cookbook Restaurant

The Sweet Spot & Urban Lounge

 

Service

Avela Day Spa

AMillion Strands Hair & Boutique

Belle Epoque Realty

Justice Fitness

Kindred Care EMS

Make Up Craze Beauty

Pamela Batts-Brown, Realtor

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. - Theta Phi Chapter

Rachelle Miller, Realtor

RE/MAX Supreme

 

Retail

Simply Ke’say Boutique

Sweet Christi’s


We know there are so many other great black-owned businesses in Historic Springfield, including Auntie Peaches, Big House of Glass, Belle Epoque Realty, Catie Rosie's, Classic Maven Boutique, Explore Jax Core, Ysyntricity, and more. Who else could we add?



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