Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018: A Message from our President

Todd_headshot_1.jpgThe past twelve months have been extraordinary for SPAR and Springfield, both within our residential blocks and along our commercial corridors. Our signature annual events – the Historic Springfield Tour of Homes, the July 4th Throwback Baseball Game, and Jacksonville PorchFest – were all bigger and better than ever, with record-setting attendance and great publicity for our community.

We worked with the City and municipal agencies on dozens of issues, hosted community meetings and preservation workshops, led cultural projects, completed numerous neighborhood cleanups, improved public safety and activated our parks with popular programming and permanent public art. We welcomed fantastic new businesses to Main Street and supported our existing businesses through an invigorated business association (SAMBA) and entrepreneur-friendly events. And of course, we welcomed many new neighbors to our Springfield Historic District community, and assisted with their countless questions regarding our unique, diverse neighborhood.

We take our role as a community leader seriously, but these activities and their positive impacts would not be possible without the support of hundreds of Springfield residents and community partners. I speak on behalf of the SPAR Board of Directors and our staff, in saying that we are all deeply appreciative of each and every contribution of time, funds and talent. (Read more)

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Volunteer Spotlight: Cynthia Gipson

Feature by Lily Hinz

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“If an introvert like me can volunteer, anybody can.”

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Sculpture Walk Springfield Update

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Ten large scale sculptures are being installed in Henry J. Klutho Park just in time Jacksonville PorchFest 2017, on Saturday, November 4th. Read our original announcement in July, here.

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Something afoot in Springfield

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Photo: the Thursday evening running group

Article by Lily Hinz

While Springfield is known for its historic character and libatious porch parties, a growing running group has neighbors afoot with interest.

Every Thursday evening, runners and walkers of all ages, shape, and size, meet at Hyperion Brewing Company on Main Street to pound the pavement of the Springfield Historic District. T.J. McCaffrey, of East 3rd Street, came up with the idea to start the group earlier this year.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Debbie Thompson

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Article and photo by Lily Hinz

Debbie Thompson, in her own words, has her “finger in every pie” in Historic Springfield, but was hesitant to talk about herself. Her desire is to highlight the hard work and accomplishments of the many organizations in the neighborhood. During a sit-down with her, I was able to learn a lot about the many opportunities to volunteer and contribute just from hearing about her involvement. Debbie is a preservationist, an activist and a fantastic neighbor.

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Executive Director stepping down in November

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9/22/17

Christina Parrish Stone, SPAR Executive Director, announced Thursday that she will be stepping down from her position this November.

Parrish Stone has worked tirelessly, acting as a diligent advocate for the Springfield Historic District and advancing the mission of the organization. The community and the SPAR Council are exceedingly grateful for her contributions, and look forward to building on the many successes of her tenure moving forward.

SPAR Council will be seeking a new Executive Director, with information about that opportunity shared soon.

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Meet the Candidates for the 2017 Board of Directors

At the September 21, 2017 annual community meeting, SPAR members will vote on candidates for our Board of Directors. There are seven openings available. The current Board of Directors feel these six new candidates would be valuable assets to the organization in helping lead the Springfield Historic District forward. We are proud to present them to our membership for their approval. In addition, Todd Hollinghead, currently serving as Vice President of SPAR, is seeking reelection to the Board for a second and final term. 

If you have any questions for these candidates, please submit them prior to September 21st via email to the SPAR office at sparoffice@sparcouncil.org, and the candidates will provide their answers at the annual community meeting on September 21st. No questions will be taken from the floor.

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Dogs of Springfield

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By Katie McPherson

You see them strolling the sidewalks and snoozing on porches, grabbing coffee or enjoying breakfast around town with their people. We’d like to introduce you to some of the neighborhood pups, as told by their families.

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Springfield Stories: A Corner Attraction

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Authored by Lily Hinz

If you ever find yourself on Market Street at its intersection with East 6th Street, you will notice a pristine, colorful and fun landscape outside a charming yellow duplex. If you are fortunate enough to drive by around the time of a holiday, you will likely take pause to marvel at and snap a quick picture of the décor there. Heather Bishop and Jennifer Ramsey work tirelessly on their themed decorations for holidays, while also maintaining their standard landscaping year round.

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Sculpture Walk Springfield: Call to Artists

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Sculpture Walk is coming to Henry J Klutho Park in the Springfield Historic District. A partnership between Sculpture Walk Jax, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and SPAR, the project will display ten large scale sculptures with up to four being purchased as permanent pieces for the community. SPAR is supporting this project with a $5,000 matching grant (courtesy of funds generated by our Jacksonville Porchfest event) and is also coordinating lighting, landscaping and seating with City of Jacksonville. The end result will be like nothing else in Jacksonville!

Artist submissions will be accepted until September 1st, 2017, and the opening reception will be held on November 4th, 2017 during Jacksonville Porchfest. Click here to download all the details!

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