Groundwork Jacksonville, Inc. is a partnership between the City of Jacksonville, US National Park Service, US Environmental Protection Agency and Groundwork USA, Inc. and is part of the Groundwork USA network. Groundwork Jacksonville is one of 20 such trusts across the country, the only Groundwork trust in Florida and the first in the Southeastern United States. Groundwork Jacksonville is the city’s primary non-profit specifically created to clean and redevelop Hogans and McCoys creeks and convert contaminated land into parks, playgrounds, trails, and other public spaces to create the “emerald necklace” championed by famed architect Henry Klutho in the early 20th Century.
The Groundwork Jacksonville Steering Committee, comprised of local city, non-profit, community and business representatives, was formed primarily to respond to the vast need for environmental and community revitalization in the Historic Springfield and Eastside neighborhoods bordering downtown Jacksonville. Their application to establish a Groundwork Trust in Jacksonville was approved in October 2013, and work on the feasibility study began in earnest in January 2014. The feasibility study process was undertaken and completed by the Groundwork Jacksonville Steering Committee in partnership with Groundwork USA, with guidance from the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This process was designed to identify on-the-ground project and program needs in the community, assess existing assets and resources, and outline a structured plan for establishing Groundwork Jacksonville that would address these needs and make its community-driven vision of restoration and renewal a reality.
On June 30, 2014, the Groundwork Jacksonville Steering Committee unanimously voted to approve its Feasibility Study and submit it to the Groundwork USA board, which then reviewed and approved it. On September 16, 2014, the completed and approved Launch Strategy was submitted to the Groundwork USA board, which commended both the Feasibility Study and the Launch Strategy and offered an enthusiastic go-ahead for the launch of Groundwork Jacksonville! Feasibility Study