Hemming Park

  Monday on “First Coast Connect” guest host Ryan Benk spoke with Friends of Hemming Park interim director Bill Prescott, Candy Apple Cafe & Cocktails co-owner Jen Earnest and Wolf and Cub Boutique co-owner Emily Moody about the future of Hemming Park. Local musician Desean Kirkland performed live in studio and Cole Pepper brought us the latest sports news. 


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

The nonprofit that manages downtown Jacksonville’s Hemming Park is getting another chance to prove it can handle the responsibility.

Mayor Lenny Curry originally planned for the city to take back control of the park after the Friends of Hemming Park misspent public funds. But Curry last week announced he’d extend Friends’ lease another six months.

Business owners around Hemming want city government to know the park’s condition directly affects their livelihoods.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council Neighborhoods Committee voted Monday to recommend the full council withdraw a bill to designate Hemming Park’s confederate monument a historical landmark.

Council president Lori Boyer called for the withdrawal, but said she wants to bring back a more thought-out plan for preserving the park’s history.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council this week approved a bill making it easier for police to ban people from city parks when they break rules. Drinking in the park could get the offender banned for a year, for example.

A separate bill approved Tuesday also extends Hemming Park’s boundaries. Now, if someone is banned from Hemming, they can’t hang out on the surrounding sidewalks or under the Skyway platform.  

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council is expected to approve new park regulations and strengthen enforcement of them at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Jacksonville police have been banning people from parks only for crimes listed in the city’s code, like sexual battery and prostitution. But officers have said that limits their ability to enforce park rules because other crimes aren't listed.


Saphara Harrell / WJCT News

Jacksonville City Council members met Wednesday to discuss ways to cut down on rule-breaking in the park outside of Jacksonville’s City Hall.

The council is proposing to extend the boundary of Hemming Park’s rules to the surrounding streets. The council is especially concerned with disturbing the peace, patrons not wearing appropriate clothing, panhandling and sleeping in the park.

Under the new plan, rules violators would have to move to sidewalks across from the park or risk a trespassing violation.

Lindsey Kilbride

Managers of Jacksonville’s Hemming Park are looking to add new rules — like prohibiting personal grooming in the park — while trying to better enforce existing ones.

Friends of Hemming Park representatives met with members of the Jacksonville City Council, park security and police officers at City Hall Wednesday.


Weekend Warriors: Oktoberfest, Yoga & Zombies

Oct 14, 2016
Flickr/Creative Commons

As the work week comes to an end, let WJCT's interns Kayla Davis, Blake Allen and Andre Roman be your guides for art, culture and fun on the First Coast.

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox

Scott Bradlee is an American composer who got his start in jazz before turning to pop music. His Postmodern Jukebox combines today’s hits and an old school sound. The project has millions of views on YouTube thanks to covers of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass,” and Radiohead’s “Creep.” Tickets start at $40.

Hot Ticket: A Weekend For Music On the First Coast

Aug 26, 2016
hemming plaza
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

This weekend’s Hot Ticket is brought to you by a variety of musical artists.

Saphara Harrell / WJCT News

Update 08/24/2016

The Jacksonville City Council approved a host of bills Tuesday.

Hemming Park funding passed 16-3. The septic tank plan passed 19-0. The tree planting bill passed 19-0. And both bills funding Lonnie Miller Regional Park development passed unanimously.

Saphara Harrell / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council Finance Committee approved just under $58,000 Wednesday to fund Hemming Park through the rest of the fiscal year.

The park’s leadership, Friends of Hemming Park, has been under scrutiny for how it spent a million city dollars over the last year.


Live Afternoon Music Returns To Hemming Park

Aug 8, 2016
Sarah De Nicolais

The sound from John Citrone's acoustic guitar filled the air Monday afternoon at Hemming Park. Lunchtime live tunes recently stopped in downtown’s central park due to budget restraints, but a local business will now sponsor performances twice a week.

Hemming Park

Friends of Hemming Park, the organization in charge of running downtown Jacksonville's central park, recently stopped live music in during the park's weekday lunch hours due to budget constraints and feedback from City Council that city dollars should not be spent on programming or events. 

That announcement came on the heels of city government  concerns over a recent audit and a general reduction of funding for the group.

SAPHARA HARRELL / WJCT News

Friends of Hemming Park CEO Vince Cavin has resigned as head of the nonprofit.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Updated 9 a.m. 7/28

Jacksonville’s Hemming Park is a step closer to becoming a designated city landmark after the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission voted Wednesday evening to recommend protecting  the historic park, including its Confederate monument.

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