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.

Street Sweeping Pilot Program


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











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

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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Now Hiring: SPAR Administrative Assistant

Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council (SPAR)
Administrative Assistant


The Administrative Assistant is the Assistant to the Executive Director of Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council (SPAR). The Administrative Assistant is responsible to, evaluated by, and works at the direction of the Executive Director. The Administrative Assistant is responsible for supporting, organizing, and occasionally managing various activities consistent with the organization’s mission and financial objectives, as outlined below. This description is intended to be broad and duties of this position will vary and grow as the organization advances. This is a part-time position.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Jason Waters

20180327_175114_1_2.jpgJason Waters came to Springfield looking for a community he could become engaged with, and he found it.

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Boys & Girls Club Becoming Citi Teen Center

Feature by Lily Hinz

A Rich History and A Bright Future: Lee Boys and Girls Club to Become Citi Teen Center

IMG_4431.jpgAs many Springfield residents know, the Laurence F. Lee Boys and Girls Club, located at the corner of Liberty and 10th Street, served the community for nearly 50 years, but closed after summer camp in 2015. The recession and rising maintenance costs took a toll on the facility, which necessitated a total renovation of the buildings and the grounds.

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SPAR Honored at Community Development Awards

Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council (SPAR) was honored for our work supporting commercial revitalization at the 2018 LISC Community Development Awards held earlier this week.


Todd Hollinghead and Kevin O'Halloran accept the award for SPAR. Photo by Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville.

We have worked to encourage the success of both our established and new businesses in Springfield, with advocacy, patronage and programs. Through the Springfield Area Merchants and Business Association (SAMBA), a subsidiary of SPAR, we have connected potential businesses with property owners, provided grants to small businesses to encourage investment, and organized popular events supporting entrepreneurs. Our goal is to create healthy, vibrant commercial districts in Springfield, and we're pleased to be recognized for our role in the neighborhood's progress.

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Introducing Kelly Rich, SPAR Executive Director

Kelly Rich, an experienced preservationist and community leader 
to head Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council (SPAR)

Rich_Kelly-7446-ParenteauPhoto.jpgJACKSONVILLE, Fla.
– (January 30, 2018) — Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council (SPAR) has hired Kelly Rich as the organization’s new executive director, effective Feb. 19. Rich comes to SPAR with more than 10 years of experience as an active preservationist, community leader and event planner.

“We were very lucky to find such an experienced and accomplished advocate to help carry SPAR as we continue our momentum,” said Todd Hollinghead, president of the board of directors. “Our previous executive directors set high standards for our new director, but after an extensive, nationwide search, we are delighted Kelly agreed to join us. She is the perfect fit for SPAR as our neighborhood grows both in number of active residents and commercially.”

Rich will lead SPAR’s activities and efforts making Historic Springfield a preferred place in which to live and do business. She will lead programs that drive the preservation, revitalization and balanced growth of the community.

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Oppose HB 521 and SB 574

A Statement to Florida Legislature

Dear Representatives,

I am writing to you on behalf of Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council (SPAR), a neighborhood non-profit representing the Springfield historic district in Jacksonville, FL. Our organization opposes HB 521 and SB 574 as we believe it would have a detrimental effect on our local economy and the environmental resiliency of our community.

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