Municipal Minutes e-Newsletters

Municipal Minutes is an award-winning, electronic newsletter for the Gainesville community. The monthly e-newsletter provides information about upcoming activities, projects and events in the City of Gainesville. For more information about this e-newsletter, please contact the Communications Office at 334-5017. To subscribe to this monthly e-newsletter, enter your email address in the lower left area of this webpage and click subscribe.

February Featured Information

Registration Deadline for Gainesville City Elections - Feb. 19: The voter registration deadline for the 2019 City of Gainesville Regular Election is Tuesday, Feb. 19! Not registered or need to update your information - visit RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov

City Commission Special Meetings/Workshops: At the time of this publication, the following special City Commission meetings/workshops have been scheduled:

  • Monday, Feb. 11 at 5 p.m.: Joint City/County Commission meeting in the Jack Durrance Auditorium (12 SE First St.)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 5 p.m.: Gainesville Food Systems: A Community Conversation in meeting room A of the Alachua County Library Headquarters Branch (401 E. University Ave.)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m.: Affordable Housing Plan Engagement Plan Workshop at the Thelma Boltin Center (516 NE Second Ave.)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m.: Joint meeting with the City Commission and Utility Advisory Board in the GRU Multipurpose Room (301 SE Fourth Ave.)

Wild Spaces, Public Places (WSPP) Project Updates:
Duval Park Boardwalk Replacement: This WSPP project consists of the replacement of 959 linear feet of boardwalks in Duval Park.  The boardwalks at Duval Park have been closed to the public since Hurricane Irma. Fallen trees coupled with severe wood rot created a safety hazard that was beyond the capacity of staff to repair. Work is anticipated to begin on site in March and complete by fall 2019. For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8187 or waiteed@cityofgainesville.org.
Fred Cone Park Improvements: Shade sails will be installed over the bleachers near the Fred Cone Park track this spring. These shade structures will improve viewer comfort during events at the park. For more information, please contact John Weber, project manager, at 352-393-8186 or weberjf@cityofgainesville.org.
Ironwood Golf Course Improvements: Lighting will be installed at the Ironwood Golf Course driving range. Musco sports lighting will allow golf course patrons to utilize the driving range for extended hours during the winter months. This project is anticipated to complete by the end of April. For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8187 or waiteed@cityofgainesville.org.
Lincoln Park Improvements: Fencing improvements for the baseball field have been awarded and we anticipate completion by the beginning of March. New bleacher pads, dugout pads and sidewalk improvements will be installed in February. A new water cooler is soon to be installed on the restroom building that will provide chilled water as well as a bottle filler. Park Operations will be installing a new automatic irrigation system starting in February. This will improve turf quality and efficiency for water delivery on the field. For more information, please contact John Weber, project manager, at 352-393-8186 or weberjf@cityofgainesville.org
Morningside Nature Center: Morningside Nature Center welcomed Zinnia, a Jersey calf, to the farm this past December. Zinnia has a vibrant personality and she looks forward to meeting you. For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8187 or waiteed@cityofgainesville.org.

Quality

Historic Thomas Center Wins Couples’ Choice Award: The Historic Thomas Center is pleased to announce it was selected as a 2019 winner of WeddingWire.com’s Couples’ Choice Award. This is the sixth consecutive year that the venue has been recognized. The WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards recognize the top five percent of wedding venues nationwide from the WeddingWire network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the organization, winners of the WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards are determined by reviews that are posted by newlyweds. The client reviews that each venue receives are then judged in the areas of quality, quantity, how recent the wedding was and consistency. For more information about the Historic Thomas Center, please visit http://www.historicthomascenter.org/.

Sweetwater Wetlands Nature Park Tours: Tours are free with park admission, and begin from the Welcome Classroom Pavilion. Please wear comfortable shoes and bring water and binoculars. More information is available at www.sweetwaterwetlands.org or by calling 352-393-8437.

  • Ranger Tours are held the first Saturday of each month at 8:30 a.m. and the second Sunday at 2 p.m.
  • Alachua Audubon Society's "Wednesday Bird Walks at the Wetlands" are held every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. (Sept.-May). Discover the rich diversity of birds (and maybe some rarities!) at north central Florida’s birding hotspot on a 2-3-hour walking tour. Birders of all levels are welcome. Bring binoculars. Birding field trips are led by volunteers from Alachua Audubon Society.

Teamwork

Register for the 2019 GAP Charity Golf Scramble: Get on the links with the third annual Charity Golf Scramble to benefit Gainesville’s youth Friday, March 8 at Ironwood Golf Course, with a 1 p.m. shotgun start. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy the best Audubon Society certified golf course in north central Florida. Player registration is $75 for an individual and $275 for a foursome. Registration fees include greens fee, cart fee, range balls, golfer lunch and the awards dinner following the tournament. For more information about the GAP Foundation or to register for the Golf Scramble, visit www.GAPgainesville.org or contact tournament co-chair former Commissioner Craig Carter (352-339-4038 or craigezgo@gmail.com) or co-chair Commissioner Gigi Simmons (352-792-3958 or gigisimmons2000@yahoo.com). All proceeds from the scramble go to youth summer camp scholarships. The 2016 and 2017 proceeds from the Golf Tournament allowed Gainesville youth to receive 748 weeks of free summer camp scholarships!

Great Invader Raider Rally Success: The 5th Annual Great Invader Raider Rally was a great success. Over 550 volunteers helped clean up non-native invasive plants from 26 nature parks and natural areas throughout the city. Overall, participants removed over 7,600 pounds of invasive plants and nearly 450 pounds of trash. If you want to help keep Gainesville’s natural areas healthy, you don’t have to wait a year until next year’s GIRR - join the Gainesville Greenway Challenge for workdays on the first Saturday of each month and weekly on Thursdays!

Gainesville Greenway Challenge Volunteer Workday on Feb. 2: The Gainesville Greenway Challenge is a year-round effort whose aim is to restore natural habitat in Gainesville by removing invasive non-native plant species that threaten an ecosystem’s health. Join the challenge and help us to eradicate the region’s most aggressive invasive plants in Gainesville’s nature parks! The Gainesville Greenway Challenge volunteer workdays take place on the first Saturday of every month from 9-11:30 a.m. Participants will work in local nature parks, removing non-native invasive plants to restore native habitat for the plants and animals that live there, and for people to enjoy. Groups can also arrange for special dates. Volunteers will work outdoors and should bring sunscreen, insect repellent, protective gloves and closed-toe footwear appropriate for wet conditions. The next volunteer workday is Saturday, Feb. 2. Pre-registration is required; you may fill out the form online. For more information, email gnvgreenwaychallenge@gmail.com or call 352-393-8428.

Giveback Thursdays: Take advantage of the warmer weather and enjoy an opportunity to be out in nature every Thursday at a local nature park. Staff provides gloves, buckets, water and bug spray to attendees, and help with removal of invasive plants and trash. For more updates, please visit www.facebook.com/gnvgreenwaychallenge. For more information, email gnvgreenwaychallenge@gmail.com or call 352-393-8428. Check out the Challenge on Instagram @gnvgreenwaychallenge!

Sustainability

Seasonal Energy Tips from GRU: Be sure to check out the seasonal and year-round energy saving tips from GRU. Did you know that for each degree you increase the temperature from the recommended setting (68 in the winter and 78 in the summer), you can increase your energy bill by up to 4%? For more tips for this summer, please read more.

Upcoming Events

33rd Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire Continues: The Alachua County Fairgrounds is transformed into a bustling medieval marketplace for the 33rd Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. Come be swept away by medieval magic as troupes of actors, street performers and musicians journey back to the days of yore on Feb. 1-3. Join the crowd and cheer for your favorite contender as mounted knight’s joust in full plate armor on the tournament field. Applaud street performers who dance, juggle and jest for your amusement. Listen to minstrels playing period music and enjoy continuous live entertainment on eight stages. Browse through the bustling medieval marketplace for that perfect gift or trinket. Come early to enjoy a day packed with excitement and medieval merriment. Faire hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1. Admission is $18 for adults, $8 for children age 5-17 and free for children under 5. Tickets on Friday are $9 for adults and $4 for children age 5-17. For more information, call 352-334-ARTS or visit http://www.hoggetownefaire.com/.

ACTFOR Youth Flag Football Registration Open: ACTFOR is a fun flag football league for all skill levels, designed to educate participants about football, while emphasizing participation and sportsmanship. There are no tryouts, and practices and games are during the week between 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Fred Cone Park (2801 E. University Ave.). Registration is limited, and the registration deadline is March 1. Practices begin the week of Feb. 25. A parent meeting will be held at the MLK center Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. Fees are $95 for city residents and $142.50 for non-city residents. Register in person at the Thomas Center, 3rd floor, 306 NE Sixth Ave., Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Click here for registration and scholarship information.

Depot Park parkrun 5K on Saturdays: Depot Park Parkrun is a free, weekly 5k for people of all abilities (whether you walk, jog, run or volunteer). We invite you to join us and experience the parkrun community for yourself. Register one time at https://www.parkrun.us/register/ and bring the printed barcode with you to any of the thousands of parkrun events worldwide.

Register Now for Out of School Days: Need a place for your kids to go on teacher work days or school holidays? Out of School Days camp hours are from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Fees are $6 per day/per child for city residents (proof of residency required) and $9.25 per day/per child for non-city residents. Lunch is not provided. For more information, please visit the When School is Out webpage. During the day camp kids will enjoy games, activities and crafts that encourage achievement, a sense of community, good health and strong character! Full day camps at Eastside Recreation Center and Albert "Ray" Massey Recreation Center for 1st-8th graders on the following dates:

  • Monday, Feb. 18

Plan for Spring Break Camps (April 1-5): Plan ahead for spring break (April 1-5) and check out the options offered by PRCA to make it a great week for kids, and convenient for busy parents. During camps, kids will enjoy games, activities and crafts that encourage achievement, a sense of community, good health and strong character!
Creative Expressions Art Camp at Albert “Ray” Massey Recreation Center (1001 NW 34th St.): Campers will work on a variety of art projects throughout the week. Campers will be kept busy while having fun with hands-on activities!
Hours: Mon. - Fri., 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Cost: City Residents: $52.50, Non-City Residents: $78.50
Ages: 1st-8th grade

SCORE! Sports Galore Camp at Eastside Community Center (2841 E. University Ave.): It's all about teams this week. Campers come up with a team name, mascot, colors, cheer or chant. .
Hours: Mon. - Fri., 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Cost: City Residents: $52.50, Non-City Residents: $78.50
Ages: 1st-8th grade

Free Environmental Education Fall Programs Continue: The free, educational and fun-filled programs at Morningside Nature Center continue through May at Morningside Nature Center. There are many chances to explore our local heritage and environment. These fun, interactive programs provide a great chance for children (accompanied by an adult) to travel back in time to the 1870s at the Living History Days on the Living History Farm, or make new animal friends at Barnyard Buddies or Frogs and Friends Friday! The farm is open to the public from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, all year long, except holidays.
Living History Days: C’mon home to the Living History Farm and experience a time when the rooster’s crow and the rising sun, not an alarm clock, welcomed a new day! During Living History Days, interpreters portray day-to-day life on an 1870 Florida farm. Living History Days take place the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Saturday dates are Feb. 2, March 2, April 6 and May 4. Step back in time, enjoy nature, and experience Florida as it was!
Barnyard Buddies Program:
Morningside Nature Center has a farm, e-i-e-i-o! On this farm, youngsters, with an adult, can meet and greet farm animals by helping staff with afternoon feeding on the Living History Farm. This program is free, but the animals love donations of carrots, squash, apples, sweet potatoes and melons (please give these items to a staff member and not directly to the animals). With a sheep here, and a cow there, learning about heritage breeds is fun! This program takes place Wednesdays at 3 p.m. at the Living History Farm.
Frogs and Friends Friday:
At the Frogs and Friends Friday program, children, with an adult, can join a Morningside Nature Center animal caretaker for an exciting and educational program featuring live amphibians and reptiles. Youngsters, with an adult, can join an animal caretaker for an exciting and educational program featuring live amphibians and reptiles. This free program begins at 2 p.m. the first Friday of the month in the Education Building. Frogs and Friends Friday dates are Feb. 1, March 1, April 5 and May 3.

Depot Park Activities for Everyone: There’s something for everyone at Depot Park! The first Saturday of each month features a free family drum circle two hours before sunset. Kids can start their Sunday mornings with kids’ yoga ($5/child) or go on a free family-friendly bike ride the third Saturday of each month. For a full lineup of events, visit http://www.depotpark.org/events or follow us on https://www.facebook.com/depotpark/.

Bo Diddley Plaza Activities: Head to Bo Diddley Plaza to decompress after work, listen to great music or find an amazing variety of seasonal produce! There’s Yoga on Mondays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. and the Union Street Farmers Market on Wednesdays (4-7 p.m.). There are also many community events taking place at the plaza. Check out a full listing of events at https://www.facebook.com/pg/BoDiddleyPlazaGNV or www.bodiddleyplaza.com

Art and Cultural Exhibitions:
-intimate states | works on paper by Eduardo Sarmiento at the Thomas Center Galleries: The exhibition is Jan. 25-May 4, 2019.Curated by Anne E. Gilroy, iNTIMATE STATES brings this contemporary artist’s work to Gainesville for the first time. In over two dozen powerful drawings, Sarmiento allows us to witness his potent connections to family and friends. Neither idealized nor forgiving, the portraits deliver tenderness without sentimentality. Wry self-portraits function as a glimpse into both the artist’s character and his self-awareness as the observer. Sarmiento unabashedly offers himself up to the viewer in this raw visual consideration of intimate relationships. iNTIMATE STATES, will be held in concert with Bulla Cubana. Bulla Cubana is a citywide celebration of arts and culture, promoting the exchange of ideas and inspiration between Cuba and the North Central Florida region. Eduardo Sarmiento was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba in 1980.
-Blueprints at the Rosa B Williams Center/352Artspace: Brett Taylor, an emerging Florida artist, is presenting his premier solo exhibition, Blueprints, this winter. The exhibit showcases recent works on paper juxtaposing the body, manufactured structures and identity. The exhibition continues through April 26.
-Black Educators Exhibition at the A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center: The “Black Educators: Florida’s Secret Social Justice Advocates 1920-1960” exhibition continues. Despite the perception of dilapidated schoolhouses and underprepared teachers, in reality, Florida’s black educators not only had a distinct pedagogy, highly organized system and a vibrant school culture, they were early pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement in the later Jim Crow period (1920-1960), carrying out social justice organizing and winning Civil Rights victories.  This exhibition shatters the perceptions and explores the realities of black schooling during Jim Crow in Florida. In collaboration with Dr. Deidre Houchen and the University of Florida, this exhibition features multiple exhibits at three locations - A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center, Smathers Library Gallery (UF), and Lawton Chile’s Legal Information Center (UF)

Gainesville Police Department Community Calendar: Did you know that GPD has a community calendar? The calendar shows meetings like neighborhood crime watch meetings, the Black-on-Black Task Force meetings and the Homeless Coalition meetings. Click here to find out the dates of these meetings and more!

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