Feature by Lily Hinz
A Rich History and A Bright Future: Lee Boys and Girls Club to Become Citi Teen Center
As 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.Read more
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.Read more
Kelly Rich, an experienced preservationist and community leader
to head Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council (SPAR)
JACKSONVILLE, 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.Read more
A Statement to Florida Legislature
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.Read more
The 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)Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.