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Plans in the works for Exchange Club Island

by Matt
Categories: Places
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Published on: May 10, 2013

From the Jacksonville Daily Record:

The mayor’s office and City have begun reviewing possible projects in and near the St. Johns River, with both expressing interest to make improvements to Exchange Club Island below the Mathews Bridge.

Mayor Alvin Brown has released his prioritized list of projects he would like to seek matching funds for from the Florida Inland Navigational District.

The City’s Waterways Commission district subcommittee discussed the list at a Jan. 7 meeting and the full commission will discuss Jan. 28.

The proposed Exchange Club Island project is to design and permit a small boat dock and shoreline kayak area for the island to improve boater access. The project also calls for a hiking trail and pavilions with tables and grills. (more…)

Dutton Island

by Matt
Categories: Places
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Published on: August 21, 2012

Well, I’ve been out of the country for a couple of weeks, so I there hasn’t been much activity here.  While I sort through some new photos from St. Augustine, here’s another video from JaxParks.com:

A Modern Day Robinson Crusoe

by Matt
Categories: Neat
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Published on: April 27, 2012

 

This is a neat story for anyone who’s ever dreamed of living quietly on a tropical island…

Thanks to one man’s dedication and love, the beauty and wonder of an island in the Seychelles will be around for years to come, the Daily Mail reports. (more…)

So far, no sign of 400-year-old Spanish mission on St. Simon’s Island

by Matt
Categories: History
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Published on: March 15, 2012

ST. SIMONS ISLAND – A team of archaeologists sampling the soil in an island park found plenty of Native American pottery but no signs of a 400-year-old Spanish mission that was once located on the south end of the island.

University of North Florida professor Keith Ashley and Brunswick archaeologist Fred Cook believe the site was at or near what is now Neptune Park and the commercial village on the island’s southernmost tip.

The Spanish built the Santa Cruz y San Buenaventura de Guadalaquini Mission on St. Simons in 1606, and relocated it in 1684 to Black Hammock Island near Jacksonville. (more…)

UNF archaeologists looking for Spanish mission during dig on St. Simons Island

by Matt
Categories: History
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Published on: March 5, 2012

BRUNSWICK – A team of University of North Florida archaeologists will excavate sections of Neptune Park on St. Simons Island this month in search of a lost Spanish mission.

They promise their activities will be only minimally invasive and will last for just three days.

UNF professor Keith Ashley will lead the search, with an assist from local archaeologist Fred Cook. They plan to work March 14-16, looking for signs of the Santa Cruz y San Buenaventura de Guadalaquini Mission.

The mission was located on the island from 1606 until 1684, when it was moved to Black Hammock Island near Jacksonville. (more…)

Nonprofit looks to expand park at Big Talbot Island

by Matt
Categories: Places
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Published on: January 17, 2012

A federal grant and a bequest from an architect’s estate could help a Northeast Florida nonprofit group expand Jacksonville’s Big Talbot Island State Park.

“We’re so excited. This has been a year of waiting and waiting,” said Bonnie Barnes, executive director of the North Florida Land Trust.

This month, her group won a grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service meant to help preserve coastal wetlands. Out of $20 million in grants, the $654,000 payment to the land trust was the only one in Florida. (more…)

Cumberland Island Motor Tours

by Matt
Categories: Places
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Published on: July 14, 2011

CUMBERLAND ISLAND — Visitors to Cumberland Island National Seashore may soon see all the island’s sights in a single day and without so much walking.

The island will start its long-awaited motorized tours in about a month, taking visitors from the Dungeness ruins on the south end to The Settlement on the north end, park Superintendent Fred Boyles said Wednesday.

“All that’s left is the hiring,” Boyles said.

Three of the four tour guides, who will drive tour vehicles, have been hired, said Boyles and Gayle Hazelwood, deputy regional director for the National Park Service. (more…)

Kingsley Plantation

by Matt
Categories: Places
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Published on: January 26, 2011

In 1814, Zephaniah Kingsley purchased a plantation on Fort George Island.  This island had already been the location of a Timucua village and a Spanish mission.  When Kingsley set up shop, he was already a known slave trader, but branched out into the indigo and cotton crops.  Kingsley, although proud of his success as a slave trader, was also dedicated to his multiracial family – he had married Anna Kingsley, a slave whom he had purchased.  He entrusted his belongings to her upon his death, and gave this particular plantation to his nephew, who later sold it and moved to St. Augustine.  Still remaining on the site are the main house and a semi-circle of slave quarters, several hundred yards from the main residence.   (more…)

Castaway Island Review

by Matt
Categories: Hikes, Places
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: January 24, 2011

Located just off of San Pablo Rd, about half a mile north of Beach Blvd is a secluded park – Castaway Island Preserve.  It’s a park that’s been built out into the intracoastal between two quiet neighborhoods.  Surrounded by marsh, it’s an excellent location for walking or jogging.  The main entrance winds next to the bike path and ends at a dock and canoe launch.  To the right of the dock is a raised platform that details the history and construction of the Intracostal Waterway.  To the left of the road is the trailhead for Castaway Island.  Geared primarily towards children, this nature trail contains educational stops along the way detailing the local wildlife.  The path is a loop, with a spur that connects to a boardwalk over the marsh.  It offers a nice perspective of the tidal areas without having to wade through the mud. The park was very quiet considering it was bordered by a boat channel and San Pablo Road.  When the weather warms up, this would be an excellent place for a picnic, or just to relax in a secluded setting. (more…)

Treasure Hunting in Florida – Part 3: Amelia Island

by Matt
Categories: Treasure
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Published on: July 29, 2010

Known as the ‘Isle of Eight Flags’, Amelia Island is the southernmost of the Sea Islands that stretch as far north as South Carolina.  As the nickname suggests, Amelia Island has seen eight different flags fly on its shores, even those which may be rather obscure and short-lived.  Doubtless, its prime location as natural port on the Atlantic led to the conflicts that occurred here.  Where there’s conflict, there’s treasure. (more…)

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