Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Taking Pride in City Annual Effort Cleans Up

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Taking Pride in City Annual Effort Cleans Up

Article excerpt

The stucco walls and wrought-iron barriers on Rogero Road were overdue for a new coat of paint, a modest touchup after more than 40 years of sun and rain.

Last week, they got their due.

The barriers in one of Arlington's original 1950s-era neighborhoods were cleaned and repainted as part of JaxPride Week, a yearly event that encourages neighborhood organizations to take a larger role in protecting Jacksonville's quality of life.

"That was something that was really ugly and peeling and needed to be cleaned up," said Roberta Thomas, president of the Fort Caroline Club Estates South Civic Association.

After carting away trash and bottles discarded there over the years, Thomas recruited neighbors to paint the barriers, installed decades ago to conceal unsightly drainage ditches.

Several cleanups and landscaping projects around town are timed to coincide with JaxPride Week, which continues through tomorrow.

JaxPride, a non-profit beautification group, has organized the week for several years.

In addition to neighborhood projects, the week's schedule included a forum on urban planning principles to preserve and redevelop neighborhoods. The Ideas and Actions forum included discussions about redeveloping fraying neighborhoods and ways to make new projects visually pleasing.

The forum, held annually since 1994, has become a way to expose community activists and local officials to new issues in development. Speakers, who this year included a former West Palm Beach mayor who oversaw a downtown redevelopment, also bring practical advice from their own experiences, said Shirley Dasher, JaxPride's executive director.

Today, volunteers will host a workshop at which Westside residents will suggest long-term visions for developing part of 103rd Street near Cecil Field.

Much of that area is undeveloped now, but the road is expected to be a focal point for Westside growth as the closed naval air station is converted to civilian use and Branan Field-Chaffee Road is built as a link between Clay County and 103rd Street. …

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