Most great cities have iconic riverfront parks that connect people to their waterways. In Jacksonville, we are fortunate to have one of our nation’s great rivers, the St. Johns, flowing through the heart of our city, while also having an expansive blank slate of publicly owned land along the river in Downtown.

The Garden Club of Jacksonville is located within walking distance of this publicly owned land and is connected by the beautiful St. Johns River and the Northbank Riverwalk.

Jacksonville has the chance to transform a significant portion of this riverfront property into a signature network of public green spaces and iconic parks that prioritizes public access, connects the community to the river, provides a catalyst to surrounding economic development, and creates a more resilient Downtown.

Other mid-size cities like St. Petersburg, Tampa, Chattanooga, Detroit, Louisville, Buffalo, and Nashville have successfully capitalized on this approach, resulting in vibrant riverfronts and reinvigorated downtowns. Why not Jacksonville, too? A truly remarkable park system along our river would transform our city, while helping to protect us from future storms and rising waters.

Riverfront Parks Now envisions a connected network of green spaces and active parks along Jacksonville’s downtown riverfront developed through a community-driven process that prioritizes public access.

The Garden Club hosted a virtual program called Transform Downtown’s Riverfront in August 2020. You can watch that recording here.

The Garden Club joins these nonprofit organizations in supporting the citizen-led initiative Riverfront Parks Now:

Individuals and organizations who share this vision are invited to join our effort! Please contact Nancy Powell, executive director of Scenic Jacksonville, here.

Go to the Riverfront Parks Now website, and sign up for the newsletter at the bottom right of the homepage. Read the blog to find out how you can get involved by attending public meetings and sharing your voice.