New County Park in the Sugarfoot Oaks Neighborhood

Alachua County invites residents to a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open a new pocket park in southwest Gainesville. The ribbon cutting is on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, at the park (817 S.W. 64th Terrace, Gainesville) at 3 p.m. Parking is limited, and those attending should be aware of the nearby road construction project on S.W. 8th Avenue.

The park sits adjacent to the family resource center operated by a collaboration between the Southwest Advocacy Group (SWAG), Partnership for Strong Families, and Alachua County. The lot was donated to the County in 2005, by Philip C. (Dusty) Hopkins of Boca Grande. A small playground previously sat on the site of the new park but was not up to the level of use it received from neighborhood kids.

“Kids in the unincorporated area of southwest Gainesville have a shiny new pocket park thanks to Wild Spaces and Public Places,” said Alachua County Parks and Conservation Land Director Charlie Houder. “The park completely fills its quarter-acre lot with a play structure, child-sized basketball shot court, picnic tables, and benches. As the first pocket park developed by Alachua County, it is designed for pedestrian access and use by children from the surrounding neighborhood aged five to twelve.

SWAG is a not-for-profit corporation whose goal is to address the needs of the community by connecting individuals and families to needed services and resources. It began in February of 2010, when a group of nine women came together to discuss their concerns for a cluster of neighborhoods in southwest Gainesville, just outside of the city limits. The group has partnered with more than 40 organizations that culminated in the creation of a family resource center, a playground, and a health clinic in the heart of the neighborhoods.

Wild Spaces and Public Places, the funding source for the improvements, is generated by a one-half cent sales tax approved by the voters in 2016. Funds are divided among the County and the municipalities and may be used for the purchase of conservation lands or the development of recreational facilities.

For more information, contact Charlie Houder at 352-264-6804 or chouder@alachuacounty.us.

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