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.

January Featured Information

Holiday Closings:
January 1 - City offices will observe the new year Tuesday, Jan. 1. Residential curbside collection of garbage, recycling and yard trash will not be picked up Tuesday, and will be delayed one day for the rest of the week. RTS will run its holiday service Jan. 1 between 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on routes 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 20, 26, 35, 43, 75 and 711. Please visit for up-to-date route information.
January 21
- City offices will be closed to observe the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday Monday, Jan. 21. There will be a one day delay all week in curbside waste collection this week. RTS will run its holiday service Jan. 15 between 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on routes 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 20, 26, 35, 43, 75 and 711. Please visit for up-to-date route information.

Jan. 21 CRA Meeting Canceled: Please note that the regularly scheduled Jan. 21 CRA meeting has been canceled.

Third Annual Longest Table - Jan. 26: On Saturday, Jan. 26, join the conversation and your community at Gainesville's Longest Table! The Longest Table is about engaging with your community - your neighbors, your peers and new friends - to build and strengthen relationships in our community. Pre-registration is required ( Enjoy dinner at Depot Park and dialogue designed to strengthen relationships and unite our community as we all work together to enhance the quality of life in Gainesville and Alachua County. We will be featuring the movie "Paddington 2" in the park at 6 p.m., so enjoy the movie and make a day of it!

Construction and Capital Projects:
Lincoln Park Improvements: Fencing improvements for the baseball field have been awarded and a contract for installation is pending. Completion is anticipated between January and February. A new water cooler will be installed soon in 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 January. 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

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. For more information, please contact Betsy Waite, project manager, at 352-393-8187 or


Career Recruitment Event - Jan. 8: We're hosting a “New Year, New Career” recruitment event. The city offers in-house training and a full benefits package. Interviews will be conducted on site and conditional job offers extended. For more information, please visit RTSJobs  or contact Kimberly Sweigard at 352-393-7852.
When: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 12-7 p.m.
Where: RTS Administration Building, 34 SE 13th Rd.
Positions: We are currently searching for fleet mechanics, transit operator trainees and vehicle service attendants.

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 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.


Great Invader Raider Rally Registration Open: Be a part of this annual tradition to remove invasive plant species from our natural areas! Online registration is open. This year the Great Invader Raider Rally will take place Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. Under trained leadership, volunteers will work to restore preassigned natural areas from 9-11 a.m. and then are invited to head to Morningside Nature Center from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. for a celebration which includes music, t-shirts, prizes, environmental booths and games and food.

Gainesville Greenway Challenge Volunteer Workday on Jan. 3: 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, Jan. 3. Pre-registration is required; you may fill out the form online. For more information, email 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 For more information, email or call 352-393-8428. Check out the Challenge on Instagram @gnvgreenwaychallenge!


Recycle Your Christmas Tree and Gift Wrap: Wrapping paper and gift boxes can be recycled in your curbside orange bin. Christmas trees can be placed at curbside for pick up on your regular trash day. The trees need to be stripped of all decorations, including ornaments, bows, tinsel and lights. If curbside service is not available to you, Christmas trees can be taken to Wood Resource Recycling at 10606 N SR 121 at no charge.

Recycle Your Holiday Lights: Holiday and other ornamental lights can be recycled at the Public Works Center, which is located at 405 NW 39th Ave.  There is a green cart by the front door of the main lobby that is available 24 hours a day for your convenience.

Garbage Overflow Bags Available: Yellow bags for holiday garbage overflow can be purchased at any of the Publix Super Markets.  Ask for the yellow bags at the service counter.

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

Celebrate New Year's Eve Downtown with Fireworks and Live Music: Come out and celebrate New Year’s Eve downtown! We’ve expanded your downtown New Year’s Eve experience with a grand celebration in various locations. All are free and open to the public, so there is something for everyone this year!  Sparks in the Park begins at Depot Park at 5 p.m., with the musically-choreographed fireworks show beginning at 6:30 p.m. After, follow a path of glowing rainbow lights throughout downtown to enjoy dinner, drinks and other festivities. At 9 p.m. in Bo Diddley Plaza, the Downtown Countdown begins, and continues until the clock strikes 12! The Downtown Countdown features two bands and a countdown to midnight to ring in 2019 with the sounds of noisemakers provided free to the audience. Headlining this experience are The Impostors (The Beatles tribute band) and The Shakedown (contemporary blues). Revelers are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets for seating.

Winter Break Camp Available: A jolly time awaits those days kids are out of school, and it’s a convenient option for busy parents! During camp, kids will enjoy games, activities and crafts that encourage achievement, a sense of community, good health and strong character! Winter Break Camp is available Jan. 2-4 from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Camps are located at Albert “Ray” Massey Recreation Center (1001 NW 34th St.) and Eastside Community Center (2841 E. University Ave.). For more information, please call 352-334-5067 or visit the PRCA website.

Florida Arbor Day Celebration Jan. 18: The City Beautification Board and the Urban Forestry Program invite the community to celebrate Florida Arbor Day Friday, Jan. 18 from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. The Florida Arbor Day celebration is at the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center, which is located at 837 SE Seventh Ave. Please RSVP at 352-393-8171

Spring Adult Coed Softball Registration Open Until Jan. 25: Registration for the Adult Softball League is open until Friday, Jan. 25. Teams may play on a Monday Men’s League or Tuesday and Friday Coed Leagues. Joining a softball league is a great opportunity for offices, church groups and other organizations to network, have fun and meet new friends. The Monday Night Men’s League begins Feb. 5, the Tuesday Night Coed League begins Feb. 6 and the Friday Night Coed League begins Feb. 9. The season for each league is estimated to last 12-13 weeks, including playoffs. A mandatory team manager meeting will take place will take place Thursday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Martin Luther King gymnasium’s meeting room, located at 1028 NE 14th St. All team managers are expected to attend, as well as individuals still looking to join a team. The cost for each team is $203.50 for city residents and $304.75 for non-city residents. Teams will not be registered until payment, the roster form and player contracts are submitted. All forms and information are available on the Adult Athletics webpage at

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 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

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 Jan. 5, 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 Jan. 4, Feb. 1, March 1, April 5 and May 3.

Depot Park Activities for Everyone: Kick off 2019 with Events on the Promenade, featuring music and activities all month long! Each Friday evening features a DJ at 8–10 p.m., Saturday evenings feature live music at 7–9 p.m. and Sundays feature family-friendly, hands-on activities at 2–4 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets to sit and relax. For a full lineup of events, visit and follow us on

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 or

Art and Cultural Exhibitions:
-RockPaperScissors | Playing with Material Change at the Thomas Center Galleries: RockPaperScissors | Playing with Material Change is what happens when artists are inspired by the very materials they hold, stitch, carve, fold, print, cut, weave or shape. Each piece in the RockPaperScissors exhibit telegraphs a bit of creative obsession with tactile satisfaction -  from the way pigment integrates with the fiber of cotton rag paper, to the touch of silk threads intertwining, to the cold smooth feel of alabaster as it is endlessly polished by the artist’s hand. Materiality itself acts as muse in RockPaperScissors, giving viewers a glimpse into how artists both command and yield to their materials in the creative process. The exhibition continues through Friday, Jan. 4, 2019.
-intimate states | works on paper by Eduardo Sarmiento at the Thomas Center Galleries: The exhibition is Jan. 25-May 4, 2019. More information about this new exhibit is coming soon.
-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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