Latest News from the City of Gainesville
Posted by: Rawson, Laura

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (PRCA) Department’s Volunteer Services happily participated in Active Streets in late February. Active Streets produces vibrant community events that encourages, facilitate ongoing dialogue, and create a sense of ownership over the streets. The event itself stretched throughout Depot Park, from South Main Street to the beginning of the Hawthorne Connector Trail.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura
Keeping with the tradition of a little springtime tidying, the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) continues a productive partnership with Institute For Workforce Innovation’s Project YouthBuild Americorps (PYB) YouthBuilders to help beautify existing facilities for the enjoyment of the community.

On Tuesday, March 7, a team of eight YouthBuilders helped at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multipurpose (MLK) Center (1028 NE14th St.). The young men and women power-washed the sidewalks and parking lots; removed trash from the exterior of the MLK Center, pool and open fields; and cleared debris with backpack blowers to beautify the landscape, while others raked tirelessly. The group also made needed equipment repairs.

On Monday, March 13, La’Caryla Peoples and Deontea’ Hensley will travel to Washington D.C. to represent PYB and greater Gainesville in the National Conference of Young Leaders along with 100 youth from more than 30 states.

“The AmeriCorps-funded Conference of Young Leaders features workshops on public speaking, post-secondary education, handling change, and positive impacts on their community, among others,” says Peoples.

Images of the work at MLK can be viewed at

In 2009, Institute For Workforce Innovation (IWI) launched Alachua YouthBuild AmeriCorps in Gainesville through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The project’s objective is to improve the lives of young people within the local community. PRCA is proud to foster this partnership with PYB to help share the talents of young citizens through exhibiting the impact YouthBuild has on each student and the community. The volunteer service project was coordinated by LaShundra Coley’Hale, interim volunteer program coordinator and Jonathan Leslie, executive director for IWI. 
Municipal Minutes is an electronic newsletter for the 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.
Posted by: Rawson, Laura

On Thursday, March 2, the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, in cooperation with the Gainesville-Alachua County Cultural Affairs Board, the Gainesville-Alachua County Art in Public Places Trust, the Nature Centers Commission and the Public Recreation and Parks Board, will present the Arts Awards, the Public Art Award, the Star Awards and the Albert “Ray” Massey Citizen Volunteer Award. They will be presented at the Citizen Awards Reception for citizens who made outstanding efforts to promote cultural and arts activities, environmental awareness and recreational activities in 2016.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura

Calling all golfers! The Gainesville Arts & Parks Foundation (GAP) is looking for people who love the links and want to help local youth. GAP is holding its second annual Charity Golf Scramble Friday, March 10 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. All proceeds from the scramble go to youth summer camp scholarships.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura
A landscape beautification project at the Thelma Boltin Center (516 NE Second Ave.) was completed in late January by Project YouthBuild AmeriCorps YouthBuilders. The 37 youth worked tirelessly trimming back and removing trees, disposing of old mulch and debris from existing foliage and power-washing outdoor areas, giving the center a fresh, clean look.

In 2009, Institute For Workforce Innovation (IWI) launched Alachua YouthBuild AmeriCorps in Gainesville through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The project’s objective is to improve the lives of young people within the local community.

"Project YouthBuild's goal is to make a continuous positive impact within our community; we are delighted to partner with the city. Our students learn so much about their neighborhood as we work alongside residents and staff," said Carrie Tam, chief operating officer for IWI.

The students ranged in age from 16- to 24-years-old. Coming from low-income households and not having a high school diploma, the IWI youth are looking for opportunities to learn, engage, and transform their lives. The transformation is accomplished through an intensive, nine-month program where students study for their high school diploma, build and rehabilitate low-income housing, earn a nationally-recognized construction certification and develop leadership, life and employability skills.

This volunteer project is a part of a new partnership between the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) and IWI. Jonathan Leslie, executive director for IWI and LaShundra Coley’Hale, interim volunteer coordinator for PRCA, brokered the partnership to send a group of students to provide volunteer services to PRCA once a week for the duration of the program. These service activities help participants apply skills learned in the Project YouthBuild curriculum to a real life experience.

Images from the workday at the Thelma Boltin Center may be viewed online at

Residents or students interested in a crash course on local government and city planning and management need look no further than the City of Gainesville itself. Gainesville 101: the 2017 Citizens' Academy is a seven-week program organized by the City of Gainesville Communications Office, and is designed to teach city residents about the inner workings of local government and city management.

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department announces its schedule of events honoring this year’s Black History month. The programming celebrates the remarkable contributions African-Americans have made both to the history of the nation and to Gainesville itself. Ranging from performances by nationally-recognized artists to the opening of an important new cultural facility and community center, all events are free and open to the public. The event schedule may also be viewed at
Posted by: Rawson, Laura

The City of Gainesville is pleased to announce that Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) Assistant Director Michelle Park, C.P.R.P. has been elected as president of the Florida Recreation and Park Association (FRPA) Foundation to serve on the Foundation Board through 2018.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura
The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) is pleased to announce that National Flag Football, the largest youth flag football organization in the country, is coming to Gainesville this spring. The program provides girls and boys, age four to 14, a safe and fun football league for all skill levels, and is designed to educate young people about football while emphasizing participation and sportsmanship.
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