|About||The Memorial Park Association, Inc. is a non-profit corporation solely for the purpose of the restoration and preservation of Memorial Park which was established in honor of the 1,200 Florida men who lost their lives in the service during World War I.|
The Memorial Park Association, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Florida non-profit 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.
THE STORY OF MEMORIAL PARK
Built by the people of Jacksonville to honor the 1220 Floridians who died during World War I, Memorial Park, one of Jacksonville’s crown jewels, was dedicated Christmas Day 1924 on the banks of the St. Johns River. Designed by the renowned Olmsted Bros. landscape architecture firm, Memorial Park stands at the heart of one of Jacksonville’s great neighborhoods, within walking distance of a flourishing restaurant district and just a few blocks down the street from one of the city’s cultural treasures, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, as well as the nearby Riverside Arts Market.
When the weather is good, as it often is in Jacksonville, the park is crowded. Fishermen toss their line over the balustrades into the St. Johns River. Walkers, runners and cyclist circle through the park along the broad walkways. The great lawn is covered with people tossing Frisbees, kicking soccer balls, playing games of catch or just picnicking on blankets they set on the ground.
Since 1986, when the Memorial Park Association (MPA) was formed, the City of Jacksonville has had a partner in maintaining and nurturing this wonderful asset. The city provides security for the park and provides routine maintenance. The MPA’s job is to fill in the gaps in routine maintenance, spending about $20,000 a year on park maintenance.
But MPA does far more than assist in maintenance, taking on larger scale projects the city cannot or will not undertake.
On the MPA’s watch, Charles Adrian Pillars’ great sculpture “Life” has twice undergone restoration. Following major hurricane damage, restoration of the walkways and the landscape was completed in two phases by 2002. The MPA completed fundraising and dedicated two new bronze eagles, designed and cast by Diane LaFond Insetta in 2010.
2014 was very busy year for the MPA. Members raised more than $50,000 to help serve the MPA’s mission and contributed more 730 volunteer hours working in the park. The MPA secured an agree
City of Jacksonville’s Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission as the award recipient of the Archaeological/Landscape/Park category
The Memorial Park Association was founded in 1986.
On Christmas Day, 1924. the memorial and park were dedicated in honor of the1220 Floridians who died in the first World War