City Council Member Lynette Self and the Department of Parks, Recreation, Entertainment and Conservation today held a ceremony to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new skate plaza at Ed Austin Regional Park.
The latest trend in skate park design, the plaza will feature skater-friendly benches, stairs, planters and railings. The skate plaza is expected to be completed the end of this year.
'Skateboard enthusiasts contacted me several years ago about having a skateboard park built at Ed Austin Regional,' said Council Member Self. 'My commitment was to look for the dollars to build one. This is the result of that commitment to the kids. I am thrilled to have this facility become a reality.'
Formerly known as District Two Regional Park, it was renamed in honor of former Jacksonville Mayor Ed Austin in May 2005. The 144-acre park currently features two adult baseball fields, two youth baseball fields, four basketball courts, five soccer fields, two youth softball fields, 1.75 miles of walking trails, playground equipment, two concession stands, benches and bleachers, bike racks, three picnic shelters with tables and grills, restroom facilities, a community center and gymnasium.
This Arlington-area park also features the city's top disc golf course. Also known as the 'Fore Palms Disc Golf Club,' this 18-hole layout includes open and tree-lined fairways through the park on a course carefully that was designed to challenge all levels of players. Tournaments and weekly events are available for more advanced players, while beginners can learn the game and the techniques from advanced players and disc-golf professionals who frequent the course.
The City of Jacksonville acquired the 144-acre site on Feb. 7, 1994. Formerly the Dunes Golf Course, the site was purchased from George W. Cook and Handi Boy, Inc. for the development of a regional park.
Following acquisition, enhancements made to the site included soccer fields, a four-field softball complex and roadway improvements. A master plan was developed in 2001 outlining the ultimate build-out strategy based on existing usage and the addition of the Police Athletic League (PAL) as the partnering park manager.