This morning, I was proud to join Groundwork Jacksonville, City Council colleagues, and local business and community leaders to celebrate the groundbreaking for a landmark projec tin our community: The Emerald Trail.
It took many years to get here, and hard work from so many in our community. We mad eit to this point because of the amazing leadership of Groundwork Jacksonville and CEO Kay Ehas. I am greateful to Kay and her team for taking this dream and turning it into a reality.
Groundwork’s mission is an important one: to improve the quality of life and our physical environment through community-based partnerships that empower our the people of our city. To that end, their continued work here on the Emerald Trail, and with the restoration of McCoys Creek and Hogans Creek, will have lasting positive impacts for our city and our neighborhoods.
The LaVilla Link that we are breaking ground on today is the first step—the model project—that will kick off this major initiative for our community. The next segment to go under construction will pass through Hogan Street and Groundwork is currently convening business owners and other stakeholders in the design process.
This is a big deal and will have lasting benefits for the neighborhoods linked by the Emerald Trail, and for Jacksonville as a whole. And while I am grateful to City Council for including the Emerald Trail in my Jobs for Jax initiative they passed earlier this year, it takes more than government to make this vision a reality. And as such, I am grateful for the many sponsors and private funders who have recognized the importance and benefits of a project like this, and who have invested in its success.
As we move forward with this and extend this trail throughout our urban core, I encourage our community to continue to rally in support of this project and its goals.
Again, I am grateful to Kay and Groundwork Jacksonville, the project donors and sponsors, and everyone who helped transform the Emerald Trail from a concept to the reality it is becoming today.