Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Hogans Creek Waits for Its Makeover

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Hogans Creek Waits for Its Makeover

Article excerpt

Hogans Creek is like an antique. It has seen better days, but the beauty is still there if only it received more attention.

Some hardworking residents and neighborhood groups have been trying, but they haven't received enough help from the city of Jacksonville.

The Mayor's Office needs to pull together all the strands of the Hogans Creek watershed and make something happen.

There are basically three main sections of the creek: Klutho Park near the health complexes at Eighth Street, Confederate Park and the area that dumps into the St. Johns River near the Maxwell House plant.

The stream has suffered from a lot of abuse over the years, so much so that it is one of the streams targeted by environmental officials for cleanup.

The water definitely is not fit to drink. Nor are the fish fit to eat.

The stream itself is so polluted that warnings have been posted near popular fishing spots.

The fecal coliform level, according to a 2012 report prepared for the city Environmental Protection Board, was just below the critical level.

A technical report on the creek was prepared in 2010 in order to address the fecal coliform sources in the creek. Those could come from sources as varied as industry, storm water runoff, sanitary sewer overflows, animals and homeless camps.

And there is some toxic ash cleanup that needs to be finished near Confederate Park that is holding up some redevelopment.

Yet, like an antique, there is beauty, and it's not difficult to find.

Most of the great parks are located on the outskirts of Duval County.

But what about the center of the city?

Tucked away in the inner city, Hogans Creek peeks out from under a trail behind Shands Jacksonville.

Continuing under Eighth Street, Hogans Creek then peeks up near the Duval County Health Department building and begins as the centerpiece of a series of parks called the Emerald Necklace.

There you find one of the neat additions of the residents, a disc golf course that was built by Springfield citizens who have adopted the area.

Klutho Park has a gorgeous bandstand area that still is a good shape and wide expanses of grass. …

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