hemming plaza

Saphara Harrell / WJCT News

In WJCT’s “Rediscovering Jax” series, we’re taking a look at the stories behind familiar places.

Hemming Park has been called “the heart of downtown,” and the nonprofit Friends of Hemming Park have made it their goal to revitalize it. Just as the One Spark festival is opening for voting, the group’s Operations Director Damien Lamar Robinson, is walking through the center of the square next to the fountain.

Melissa Ross / WJCT

As the fallout from the terrorist attacks in Paris continues, we speak with Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner of the Jacksonville Jewish Center and UNF professor Dr. Parvez Ahmed about growing anti-Islam and anti-Semitic sentiments in Europe.

WJCT president and CEO Michael Boylan then joins the show to discuss WJCT's The Square contest, new programming and more.

We also hear updates on downtown Jacksonville's Hemming Park from Vince Cavin, executive director of Friends of Hemming Park.

And Kerry Speckman joins the show with this weekend's biggest events.

Peter Haden / WJCT

Officials gathered in Jacksonville’s Hemming Park Monday for the unveiling of “Charlie’s Cafe,” a new lunchtime eatery named after longtime Jacksonville Congressman Charles Bennett. The cafe is a public-private partnership between the City and the nonprofit Friends of Hemming Park.

Tables for 64 diners and outdoor space heaters will be set up for lunchtime every weekday. Charlie’s will feature a rotating line-up of caterers, restaurants and food trucks until a permanent food vendor is chosen.

Friends of Hemming Park Director Vince Cavin said this is just phase one.

Street art, medical marijuana, Springfield, and Hemming Plaza were among our top stories this week.

Kona School

Sports and a lot of local live music are what's going on this weekend on the First Coast.

Bridge to Success, Hemming Plaza, and water taxis are in the headlines today.

Downtown Vision, Inc.

A public-private partnership has been formed to to revitalize Hemming Plaza in downtown Jacksonville.

Emily Long / WJCT

Homeowners thinking about overhauling their yards or patios can conserve while they renovate by using existing spaces to create new looks.

Cuchullain / WIkimedia Commons

National conservation officials say Jacksonville is notable for it's abundance of public lands, but that the quantity and quality of parks could be improved.

Emily Long / WJCT

Several Jacksonville organizations are collaborating to clean and beautify the city's downtown in preparation of the One Spark festival, including Hemming Plaza.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

An estimated 500 people came together in Hemming Plaza to remember Trayvon Martin and to call for change on Sunday.

Martin was the 17-year-old black teenager killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in February of last year.  A Seminole county jury acquitted Zimmerman of the murder late Saturday night. Sunday’s protest in Hemming Plaza was organized by 23-year-old Katherine Segura with the group Dream Defenders.