Looking back at 2018: Staff Growth

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 did a lot of growing as an organization in 2018 – SPAR now has two full-time employees, Executive Director Kelly Rich and Development Director Heather Benfield; as well as our AmeriCorps intern, Victoria Baron. We are looking forward to the programming and projects they have in store for 2019!

We’d also like to give thanks to former Community Engagement Coordinator Kevin O’Halloran and former AmeriCorps intern Nehemiah Samuel for all their hard work for SPAR this past year. We are also grateful for Jax PorchFest co-chair Tiare Bugarin for her dedication to our biggest event of the year! And very special thanks to Julie Michael, our bookkeeper, for being a crucial part to the team!

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Looking back at 2018: Neighborhood Events

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! 

It just wouldn’t be Springfield without fantastic events! St. Patrick’s Day on Main Street and Oktoberfest on Main Street saw the streets shut down and thousands of people in the neighborhood. 2018 also saw the development of North Pearl’s First Friday events; a monthly collaboration of music, arts, culture, shopping, great food, and more! Our friends at Springfield Improvement Association and Archives - SIAA held another beautiful Holiday Home Tour in December, which included the installation of wreaths on Main Street. The Springfield Families Group hosted holiday movies in the park in December as well.

Want to stay connected with everything happening in Springfield? Visit the Historic Springfield Community Calendar, where area organizations share their events: http://historicspringfieldcalendar.org/

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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.

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2018 Springfield Tour of Homes

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!

The annual Springfield Tour of Homes takes place over two days each May and showcases the unique character of the community. This past year was the 40th year of this annual event, and we were thrilled to have five beautifully renovated century-old residences styled with a mix of vintage and modern décor, two innovative new construction homes built to reflect historic architecture, and one gorgeous commercial-to-residential loft renovation.

Special thanks to the over 100 volunteers, 8 sets of trusting homeowners, and dozens of generous sponsors who helped us with the Home Tour this year!

Mark your calendars for the Historic Springfield Tour of Homes 2019!

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2018 Throwback Baseball Game

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!

Another beloved Springfield tradition is the annual July 4th Throwback Baseball Game. The Westside and Eastside (of the Springfield Historic District) battle it out on the baseball field for bragging rights, complete with turn-of-the-century old school uniforms and equipment.

This family-friendly, free event draws hundreds to Klutho Park; and is a great way to spend time with your neighbors and friends on Independence Day.

We look forward to celebrating again with you in 2019 – which side is going to take the trophy?

(Photos: Thomas Love)

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Thank You 2018 Grant Partners!

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 grant partners for this past year; LISC Jacksonville, Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Wells Fargo, AARP, National Endowment for the Humanities and NEA Irma Hurricane Relief Project Subgrant. Thanks to their support, our organization can produce quality programming that reflects the inclusive mission of our organization.

We’d also like to recognize the work of the board, staff, and volunteers this past year; which led to several awards for the organization. In May, the SPAR Commercial Corridor Committee was awarded a Historic Preservation Award from the City of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission for the commercial corridor façade grant program, which has helped revitalize commercial areas of the Springfield Historic District. (Learn more about this program here: https://www.sparcouncil.org/facade_matching_grant) In April, SPAR received the Neighbors Get Moving award from the City of Jacksonville for it’s role in organizing and promoting wellness activities. SPAR was also honored for work supporting the commercial revitalization at the 2018 LISC Community Development Awards in February.

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Thank you to 2018 City Departments and Services!

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’d like to thank the JaxParks, the City of Jacksonville Special Events Department, the City of Jacksonville Planning and Development Department, City of Jacksonville Mowing and Landscape Division, JEA, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the FDOT Northeast Florida, Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), the City Council, and our Councilman Reggie Gaffney for being partners with SPAR. From installing bike repair stations to repairing lights on Main Street, we’re grateful for all the hard work completed in the past year for our neighborhood.

We’re looking forward to continued work with these departments in 2019!

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2018 New Springfield Businesses

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’d like to congratulate all of the new businesses that opened up in Springfield this year; Best Dressed Dame, Encore Title Services, LLC, Bleu Chocolate Cafe, Bobbyk Boutique, BARK on MAIN, Fred Cotten's Landmark BBQ, Ysyntricity, Jacksonville Pediatric Associates Main Street, The Cookbook Restaurant, Icecapade Frozen Treats, 1 Foxy Lady Cafe and Catering, Simply Ke'say Boutique, Sofia’s Closet and Alterations, and Sargent Cycle Products/ Sargent Upholstery Co. for investing $1 million in their Springfield expansion!

We’re also excited for these businesses that are working hard to open their doors soon: 1748 Bakehouse, Brick and Beam, Smith Brothers Plastering Company Inc., and Strings Sports Brewery.

If you have a business in Springfield or that serves the Springfield community, consider joining the Springfield Area Merchants and Business Association. Learn more about SAMBA here.

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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 sparoffice@sparcouncil.org. We’ll be announcing details about our 2019 Residential Revival Project soon.

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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 sparoffice@sparcouncil.org to be placed on our notification list.

(Photos: Debra Heuskin Photography)

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