New nonprofit will guide Jacksonville’s riverfront park

The master plan for Jacksonville’s Northbank riverfront along East Bay Street and Gator Bowl Boulevard shows the future sites of the Jacksonville Fire Museum, USS Orleck and planned parks as well as the new Museum of Science & History and a hotel. (Downtown Investment Authority)

The Riverfront Parks Conservancy is dedicated to the stewardship, activation, enjoyment and ongoing care of the riverfront parks and riverwalks in Downtown Jacksonville, including those there now and the ones being planned.

Conservancy board chairwoman Barbara Goodman introduced the new nonprofit at Riverfront 2025: A Look Ahead, a recent meeting to update the public about riverfront plans. Their group will work with the city parks department on developments under design or construction, including Riverfront Plaza Park on the former Jacksonville Landing site, plus Shipyards West Park, Friendship Fountain and Metropolitan Park.

“One of the key learnings from the benchmarking study done by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and Riverfront Parks Now that a key success factor of making riverfronts accessible and activated is a nonprofit partner Conservancy organization,” Goodman said. “From the Central Park Conservancy in New York City to the Memphis River Parks Partnership to our own Memorial Park Association, all were started as grassroots efforts with the recognition that additional park support is critical.”

Barbara Goodman (Riverfront Parks Conservancy)

“We welcome the support from the community and working with the Conservancy to ensure the parks being built will be long-term, world-class assets accessible, activated and enjoyable for generations to come,” added Jacksonville Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director Daryl Joseph.

Development on one piece of the downtown riverfront has already begun with construction of the Four Seasons hotel, office building and expanded city marina on the old Kids Kampus site, just as designs are released for the second generation of Jacksonville’s Museum of Science & History across from Intuition Ale Works.

The Downtown Investment Authority also announced that Agency Landscape + Planning LLC, a landscape architecture and urban planning firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been selected to develop a design for the planned 10-acre Shipyards West Park nearby.

Other planned riverfront development includes a …


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