August Volunteer Spotlight: Michael McCall and Josh Wilkerson

For August's Volunteer Spotlight, we interviewed Michael McCall and Josh Wilkerson

image1_(2).jpgL: What kind of volunteer work have you done in Springfield? You had a lot to do with the beautiful blue Historic Springfield banners I have seen popping up on porches, right?

M&J:  All kinds!  We feel so inspired by seeing others in action and neither of us can sit still for very long.  We specifically love to volunteer during both home tours because it's a great way to meet people while showcasing our beautiful neighborhood.  Throughout the year we do random things like clean and mow both public and abandoned properties, cut back low hanging tree limbs to make our sidewalks safer while out walking our dogs, we've helped paint the bridge in Klutho Park and the eagles in Confederate Park to brighten those up, we clean and maintain flowers in the planters on the Hogan's Creek bridges, we've helped clear storm drains so they function again, we added patriotic decorations to Klutho for the baseball game, and we helped form the Holiday Society. We've just recently signed on to help coordinate the Christmas Home Tour and the annual Halloween Party, we will be working with SPAR on grant proposals that will help purchase holiday decorations for Main Street, and we are raising funds now to pay for a mural that has been designed and will be installing soon in the neighborhood.  We've also contributed to the art installation in Klutho, the off-duty police program, and Porch Fest.

The Springfield banners came about because we like to change our porch up with each season.  Usually, Michael creates a flag to hang for each season (flags using cut-out foam hearts for Valentines Day, plastic eggs for Easter, etc.) and he thought having one to mimic the sculpture of the blue Springfield ribbon would be beautiful so sought a vendor who he worked to design the banner.  Once hung, there was so much interest from others that we negotiated a deal with the vendor, placed a bulk order, and offered them up so others in Springfield could also enjoy the banner.  We felt it was another small way we could help Springfield set itself apart from other neighborhoods here in Northeast Florida.

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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.

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July Volunteer Spotlight: Christine Lane

Volunteer of the Month: Christine Lane

Noelle Easterling sat down with Christine Lane, who was chosen by SPAR leadership for this month’s volunteer spotlight. Christine was born in Canada and was raised in Rochester, NY. She attended college at SUNY University in Buffalo, NY and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design. She moved to Jacksonville 3 years ago and has been a resident of Springfield since April of 2017.

N: What kind of volunteering have you done in Springfield?  I know you purchased your very own trash picker-upper to pick up trash on your street and around the neighborhood, but it goes far beyond that, right?

C: I have volunteered at Main Street and Hogan’s Creek Clean ups, at Porch fest setting up tables (which was an emergency assist) and served beer at Porch Fest and Hyperion for their St. Patty’s Day Block Party.

N: What inspired you to volunteer?

C: I started volunteering so I could meet people in a fun way. I care very much about Springfield and enjoy being involved.

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Proceeds from Dogs of Springfield Calendar Donated to Great Cause

A total donation of $730, facilitated by  Hannah Joy Photography via the Dogs of Springfield calendar, has been donated to Cusatti's Critters. Click on the hyperlink to see photos of the dogs under their care at their Facebook page!

Cusatti's Critters is a non-profit charity, run by JSO officers who have a long history in, and connection to, Springfield. The charity takes in old or handicapped dogs that are abandoned or surrendered. Currently, they are caring for more than 20 dogs. However, much of their shelter was damaged by Irma so they are rebuilding. This is our way of giving back and showing our support for this wonderful cause! 
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SPAR Board Now Accepting Applications


SPAR board members, staff, and committee members at a Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp game

We're happy to share that the SPAR Board of Directors is currently accepting applications for new board members. We are looking for board members who believe in our mission to preserve and revitalize Springfield and are willing to be active in their governance roles. A primary responsibility of board directors is to participate in the development of policy and major decision-making at board meetings held once a month. Another key responsibility is to be active on an ongoing basis in a committee of the board. 

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"Formed to Fit" Sculpture in Klutho Park

FB_IMG_1528467752465.jpgIn collaboration with Sculpture Walk Jacksonville, SPAR, along with the help of multiple generous donors, has purchased "Formed to Fit" by Jennifer Rubin Gary, to be erected in Klutho Park...permanently!

A partnership between Sculpture Walk Jax, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and SPAR afforded the opportunity for ten large scale sculptures to be displayed in Henry J. Klutho Park. They were erected just in time for Porchfest 2017, and will be there until fall 2019.

You can read more about this here.

Want to support the cause? Find out more about (and donate to) Sculpture Walk Jacksonville here: www.sculpturewalkjax.com

Photo by Amanda Luiso

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SPAR Welcomes New Administrative Assistant

This week, we are welcoming a new administrative assistant to the SPAR team. Heather Benfield will be a new friendly face in the SPAR office, so feel free to stop by and say hello!
 
A little about Heather:
A native of Texas, Heather lived up and down the East Coast before finding a home in Jacksonville, where she has resided for the last 12 years. Heather attended the University of North Florida, where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in History and Art History. With an enthusiasm for the past, Heather found a love for Jacksonville's historic neighborhoods, with their rich history and passionate residents.

She previously worked for Riverside Avondale Preservation and the Riverside Arts Market as programs manager, where she helped move the neighborhood forward with innovative initiatives. During this time she also personally hosted events like Picnic in the Park, and was awarded BUZZ Magazine's 30 Under 30 in 2014. Heather loves bike rides, high walkability scores, gardening, and travel. 
On why she is excited about this job:
"I have a background in local preservation organizations, a passion for community involvement, and a love of historic homes. I love hosting and creating programming that engages the community and allows people to connect with their neighborhood."

On what she loves most about Springfield:
"I've lived in the Riverside, Avondale, and currently Murray Hill historic neighborhoods. My husband and I (and our two wonderful dogs) are hoping to buy in Springfield next year! I love Springfield because the sense of community here is unlike any other neighborhood, the willingness to help your neighbor is incredible and has made me want to be a part of the community."
Heather in her natural element.
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Street Sweeping Pilot Program

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The City of Jacksonville is conducting a street sweeping pilot program in the Southwest quadrant (South of 8th, West of Main) of the Springfield Historic District.

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SPAR Wins Historic Preservation Award

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Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council (SPAR) was pleased to be honored by the City of Jacksonville's Historic Preservation Commission at their annual awards ceremony held on May 3rd, 2018. The award recognized SPAR for its commercial corridor facade grant program which has helped revitalize commercial areas of the Springfield Historic District. The facade grant program was led by the Commercial Corridors Committee of SPAR, chaired by Jamie Toraason. Through this program -the only one of its kind in Jacksonville- SPAR enabled owners of historic buildings to make improvements to their facades. In doing so, both the character of the community and the experience of the customers and guests were improved.

The program has contributed thousands of dollars to local Springfield businesses and organizations and will be accepting new applications through 2018, with new grants awarded on a rolling basis. To be eligible, a business must be a member of the Springfield Area Merchants and Business Association (SAMBA), a subsidiary of SPAR. Read more about our commercial facade grant program

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SPAR Recognized for Community Wellness

award_1.jpgSpringfield Preservation and Revitalization Council (SPAR) was pleased to accept the Neighbors Get Moving award from the City of Jacksonville at their inaugural Neighborhood Awards & Community Summit on April 21, 2018. The award recognized SPAR for it's role in organizing and promoting wellness activities and the Springfield Historic District community and for making physical fitness not just a task, but a lifestyle.

[Photo: Todd Hollinghead, SPAR President, accepts the award from city and state representatives.]

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