In the planning stages for more than a year, Groundwork Jacksonville announced the new Jacksonville Public Market, launching September 10, 2016. The Jacksonville Public Market will bring a wide range of family and nutritional programs, live entertainment, chef demonstrations, master gardener consultations, headline speakers, and youth entrepreneurial activities to the Eastside, exposing the neighborhood’s history and culture to both long-time Jacksonville residents and visitors to the city’s Sports & Entertainment District.
Groundwork Jacksonville’s 10-year vision is to recreate the Emerald Necklace by re-connecting the city’s neglected urban neighborhoods. “The Jacksonville Public Market is a huge step in accomplishing our mission to spur revitalization and economic development, and foster active outdoor living along the S-Line, while engaging the community in creating and sustaining their clean environment,” said Dawn Emerick, CEO of Groundwork Jacksonville. “We are thrilled and honored to lead this initiative and to see the hard work and vision of our Eastside residents and volunteers come to fruition in such an exciting and meaningful way.”
The Jacksonville Public Market will be located on A. Philip Randolph Boulevard from Albert Street, north to Oakley Street. The inaugural year’s markets will take place the day before regular season home games: Saturdays, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on September 10 and 24; October 22; November 12; and December 3 and 10; and, Friday, December 23, from 6 – 10 p.m. Eight villages are planned, showcasing fresh fruits and produce, healthy food, plants, arts, crafts, services and entertainment: Children’s Entrepreneur Village, Farmer Village, Artisan Food Village, Meat and Seafood Village, Arts Village, Vintage Village and Grocery Village.
Like many urban neighborhoods, the Eastside is considered a food desert with grocery stores located miles away and little access to fresh, whole foods. In the Historic Eastside/Springfield Community Quality of Life Plan developed by LISC in 2012, the community identified a vision to have “a level playing field” which included improved nutrition in the neighborhood and closer proximity to healthy foods, farmer’s markets, community gardens, and grocery stores
Funding for the market will come from a variety of sources including grants, sponsorships, vendor fees and concessions. Various sponsorship opportunities are available. Wells Fargo and EverBank have each generously committed $5,000 to Groundwork Jacksonville to support the market. “Wells Fargo is committed to developing resilient, sustainable communities,” said Damien Haitsuka, First Coast Area President, of Wells Fargo. “We are proud to make investments in organizations like Groundwork Jacksonville that help support initiatives such as the Jacksonville Public Market and create opportunities for our customers and local communities.” The mission of Groundwork Jacksonville is to bring about the sustained regeneration, improvement and management of the physical environment by developing community-based partnerships which empower people, businesses and organizations to promote environmental, economic and social well-being. For vendor details and more info visit www.JacksonvillePublicMarket.com or www.GroundworkJacksonville.org. Pictured is Fontaine LeMaistre, VI, VP Regional Commercial Market Leader Everbank, Eastside Business Owner, Dana Miller (The Man Cave Barber Shop), GroundWorks Jax Board Member Ken Convington.