Monday, November 8, 2010

Great Park Adventure - Gerrie's Park

Oh my heart. I am just in love with this park right now. No, it isn't the most spectacular or entertaining, but I did a little homework to learn more about it, and now have a bit of a soft spot for the place.

I grew up in Arlington. I lived a bit east of this area, but I have no doubt that I played at this park a time or two as a child. It is at the intersection of Rogero and Ft. Caroline Roads. It's very near to a doctor's office where I worked for a few years, and it's right in the middle of many of my childhood friends' homes. When I looked up the park on the City of Jacksonville website, I knew immediately where it was but could not for the life of me, remember the name "Gerrie's Park." I now know why. This park was once called "Ft. Caroline Playground."

Gerrie's Park has lots of shade, and PLENTY of swings! 

There was an area devoted to little ones, which Ephraim and Aspen both enjoyed.

There are covered and uncovered picnic tables around the park, a water fountain, and a field that is kickball ready!

There was also plenty of bigger playground equipment, including slides, a rock-climbing wall, towers, and a weird pipe-slide thing? I don't exactly know how to explain it. See below. (Hopefully it's not just a broken slide! hahah)

(This is Ephraim at the top of the weird slide thing. He said, "Mom, what do I do with this?" hahah)


This park also has some old school playground equipment, which you either will love or hate. I loved it. It made my heart skip a beat because I realized I probably climbed on this very equipment 20 years ago.

(This is just before he yelled, "I don't want to drop! Get me! Get me!")

The park also has a marker for police detective Larry Burrell Sanders, and a tree in his honor. I tried finding out about him but have had no luck so far. I'll let you know what I can dig up!

It is difficult to compare this park with last week's Southside Park, because the amenities are so vastly different; however, the history of this park is much more rich. Quincy and I were talking theories of a fair grading system, including location, amenities, equipment, cleanliness, safety, etc. Look for that in the future!

For now, the only negatives about the park included a dirt parking lot (which isn't always fun with a stroller), and there was a bit of litter. It wasn't much, maybe 2 or 3 things, so it was not much of a deterrent to me. 

Here's the best thing about Gerrie's Park - GERRIE! After some research, I found out that the park was recently renamed Gerrie's Park after a local woman/mom/activist. Read this article from the Florida Times Union. It will make you smile. I hope to be like Gerrie when I grow up, fighting for the park or parks where my little ones played!

Gerrie Atkinson, at the park renaming celebration in November 2008.

How can I possibly give a fair grade to this park!?!? :) My heart gives it an A++!!! In light of that, I'll postpone the official grading until Quincy and I come up with a fair system.

Here is the park's website, and its amenities are listed below.

1Bike racks
1Picnic shelters
6Picnic Tables
8Playground Equipment
7Trash Barrels
YesDrinking Fountain
YesPerimeter Site Fencing

I apologize for not letting you know where I'll be in advance, but I'm trying to exercise reasonable caution since I know that sometimes it will just be me and two little people. :) This Friday, I think I will be visiting a westside park! Let me know if you'd like to join in the fun!

1 comment:

  1. Awww, what a sweet story. And her husband is still alive. Cute!