About Memorial Park Association
Memorial Park Association, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Florida nonprofit entity dedicated to the protection and preservation of Memorial Park in Jacksonville, Florida. It was created in 1986 by a group of park enthusiasts and local philanthropists concerned with Memorial Park’s persistent state of decline and disrepair, just a year after Memorial Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Riverside (now Riverside-Avondale) National Historic District. In 1987 the Association entered an Adopt-a-Park Agreement with the City of Jacksonville, which has since enabled it to perform various operations and maintenance functions, including necessary physical improvements, consistent with the historical character of the park and concurrent with the City’s obligation to maintain Memorial Park for the greater public good. In 1988, the Association commissioned initial restoration plans for the park. By 1992, a project to restore the iconic memorial sculpture Spiritualized Life was initiated for the first time since its installation in 1924. Another followed in 2004. Between 1993 and 2012, the Association facilitated numerous projects and initiatives to further preserve and protect the park, including the installation of ornamental metal fencing around the perimeter and upgrades to the irrigation and lighting systems, the planting of oaks and other native vegetation, the renovation of the entrance piers, plaza, balustrades, and fountain basin, and the dedication of marble benches to honor various important friends of Memorial Park, just to name a few.
Current Efforts & Goals
In 2012, Memorial Park Association initiated major planning efforts to restore and rehabilitate Memorial Park to its original grandeur. With the help of Atlanta-based landscape architect David Sacks (RLA), “who took painstaking efforts to fully research the history and significance of the origins of the park, from sketches and plans of hardscape and plantings to detailed correspondence between Ninah Cummer and the Olmsted Brothers,” the Association has a viable master plan which was used as the foundation for Spirit of Victory, an ambitious capital campaign, and for the restoration project that will span the next several years.