Photo courtesy of Mark Krancer

City Council Appropriates $200,000 For Memorial Park Association

memorial park logo


Appropriation matches $200,000 in private donations to fund park improvements

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – June 11, 2014– At Tuesday’s meeting of the Jacksonville City Council, council members approved Council member Jim Love’s request to allocate $200,000 to the Memorial Park Association. The City will match $200,000 in private funds raised by the Memorial Park Association, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and protection of Memorial Park. City funds will come out of the district’s Lob lolly recreation/parks account.

The Memorial Park Association will use the combined $400,000 for the following improvements:

  • Repair four entry walls at Riverside Avenue
  • Restore the “Life” statue to include restoring fountain basin, slabs, walls-cladding and coping and replacing plumbing equipment and controls
  • Repair perimeter walls at Memorial Park Drive and Margaret Street
  • Improve drainage

“Memorial Park is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is one of this city’s most treasured and historic parks,” said Councilman Jim Love. “Unfortunately, time and a lack of resources has taken its toll on this park. The Memorial Park Association has proven the community’s commitment to making much-needed improvements by raising $200,000. I am pleased that the city can match their private fundraising efforts.”

Under the City of Jacksonville’s Adopt-A-Park program, the Memorial Park Association performs various operations, maintenance and improvements consistent with the historical character of the park. Since 1987, the association has successfully undertaken a number of projects and initiatives to protect and preserve the park including installing ornamental metal fencing and cast bronze Eagles designed and fabricated by Diane LaFond Insetta, upgrading irrigation and lighting systems,  planting oaks and other native vegetation and renovating the entrance piers, plaza and fountain basin. During the last 10 years, the association has raised $320,000 in private donations to fund these efforts.

“Memorial Park faces challenges for the restoration and repair of important historic elements, including the iconic ‘Life’ statue, and for updating its landscape and infrastructure to adapt to modern standards,” said Pattie Houlihan, president of the Memorial Park Association. “We are grateful both to the members of this community who donated their time and treasure, and to Council member Love for his matching grant. Now, we can begin the important work of returning Memorial Park to its original glory.”

Park improvements are anticipated to begin later this year. The park will remain accessible to the public during renovations.

About Memorial Park and the Memorial Park Association

Memorial Park is located at 1620 Riverside Avenue, between Margaret Street and Memorial Park Drive in Riverside near the 5 Points area of Jacksonville, Fla. The Memorial Park Association is a nonprofit charitable organization with a mission to enhance, promote and preserve Memorial Park as the premier historic park in the City of Jacksonville. Designed by the famed Olmsted Brothers almost a century ago, it is dedicated to the 1,220 Florida men and women who lost their lives in the service during World War I. In 2012, the Memorial Park Association initiated major planning efforts to restore and rehabilitate Memorial Park to its original grandeur, culminating in the development of a viable master plan that is the foundation for continued restoration efforts. Learn more about Memorial Park and the Memorial Park Association here or visit them on Facebook.


Media Contact: 

Memorial Park Association
Robin Patton