Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton was joined today by City Council Member Art Graham, former City Council Member Matt Carlucci and the Recreation and Community Services Department for a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony at the 9A/Baymeadows Regional Park
Located between Baymeadows Road East and 9A, the new 51.9-acre active park features two youth and two adult soccer (multi-purpose) fields, a concession stand with restrooms, picnic facilities, playground, entrance road and parking. The cost of design, master planning and construction totaled $3.9 million, supported by bond funds and a Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program grant.
'The 9A/Baymeadows Regional Park will be a fantastic venue for Southside residents to exercise and enjoy quality time together,' said Peyton. 'We appreciate the dedication of Council Member Graham, former Council Member Carlucci and the community for working together to enhance our quality of life by making this park a reality.'
'Building this great complex took years of persistence by the mayor, council members past and present, Baywatch, the Skinner family, and others, during some very tough budget times,' said Graham. 'Today makes it all worthwhile. I feel it shows no matter what future budget issues we face, we'll never give up on maintaining Jacksonville's high quality of life.'
In 2001, volunteers from area neighborhoods such as Hampton Glen, East Hampton, Deerwood, Reedy Branch, South Chase, James Island, Belle Rive, Royal Lakes, and Timberlin Park organized as Baywatch – a play on the word Baymeadows and the group's intent to keep an eye on the development, growth, transportation, zoning, and parks and recreation issues relating to the area.
Baywatch and other residents lobbied the city for the creation of a park. The property was purchased from a Skinner family company, Disston Ranch LTD, LLP, in June 2002 for $3,675,000 with bond funds.
Following the land purchase, former Council Member Carlucci held community meetings to obtain input from the residents and discuss the park's master plan. Council Member Graham, who helped break ground on the long-awaited project in October 2006, has continued regular meetings with area residents to discuss needs and funding options for the park.
Future phases will include eight lighted tennis courts and a pro shop, four lighted baseball fields with a score box/restroom/concession facility, additional parking, and a walk path.