In a fortuitous Earth Day announcement, Hemming Park revealed today it will receive $100,000 from Southwest Airlines in partnership with Project for Public Spaces.
The grant money was awarded to the organization as part of Southwest Airlines and Project for Public Spaces’ “Heart of the Community” program, which aims to help activate public space in cities.
“We are thrilled to have been selected as a 2015 grant recipient with the ‘Heart of the Community’ program and look forward to working with Southwest Airlines, PPS and our local community,” said Vince Cavin, executive director of Friends of Hemming Park, in a press release. “With this generous support, we will continue to re-imagine and reinvent Hemming Park as an exciting and inviting public space for everyone living in or visiting Jacksonville.”
Potential plans for the grant money include high-quality amenities for the space, such as more tables and chairs, outdoor reading rooms and information kiosks. Also stated in the press release, Friends of Hemming Park will work with Project for Public Spaces to set a clear vision and programming platform for the park.
Hemming Park is one of six public spaces across the U.S. awarded a 2015 “Heart of the Community” grant through a competitive application process. The five other recipients are Civic Plaza in Albuquerque; Cornog Plaza in Ft. Myers, Fla.; 4MKE: 4th Street and Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee; Congress Square Park in Portland, Maine; and Strauss Park in St. Louis.
“Cities are more than destinations—they are places of human connections and livelihood,” said Gary Kelly, chairman, president, and CEO of Southwest Airlines, in the press release. “Our purpose at Southwest is to connect people to what’s important in their lives. What better way to do that than by helping to create more access to our public spaces where communities can come together.”
DVI would like to send a huge congrats to the Friends of Hemming Park team! We can’t wait to witness what’s next for Hemming Park as it continues to transform into a vibrant, active public space.