Latest News from the City of Gainesville

The 39th Annual Downtown Festival & Art Show is proud to present this year’s poster image, featuring the work of Sandra Matasick. Matasick’s career began by taking one simple class in jewelry making where she was immediately hooked. Her passion for jewelry making is further exemplified by the time she crawled into the window of her school’s locked studio to work on her craft all through the night. Matasick went on to earn her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing from the University of Kansas and her Master of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing from the State University of New York, New Paltz. After obtaining her degrees, she worked in jewelry stores creating custom pieces for clients before starting her own business.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura

Beginning Monday, Oct. 19, the City of Gainesville is opening Porters Community Center (512 SW Second Ter.) and the Eastside Recreation Center (2841 E. University Ave.) for remote learning support Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura

Out of an abundance of caution for the health and well-being of our neighbors, the City of Gainesville kept its playgrounds closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. A phase III reopening plan for city playgrounds has been thoughtfully prepared by staff, and is ready for implementation by Friday, Oct. 16.

Posted by: Rawson, Laura

The City of Gainesville 352walls Community Artist Program is seeking 12 regional artists or artist crews to create a total of 12 temporary 8 feet x 8 feet murals with social justice as the theme. The murals will be located in City of Gainesville parks and public spaces. The murals will be painted on prepared plywood panels affixed to wooden posts, enabling them to be relocated during the two- to three-year lifespan of the project.

The City of Gainesville’s department of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs has scheduled a phased reopening of the city’s pools beginning Monday, June 8. City staff members have installed Plexiglas shields at front desks and implemented strict social distancing and sanitation protocols to maintain public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of Gainesville invites the public to participate in a neighborhood workshop to discuss improvements for the Clarence R. Kelly Community Center on Monday, July 8 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Clarence R. Kelly Community Center (1701 NE Eighth Ave.). Design options will be on display for the public to view and discuss. Light refreshments will be provided. 

Click here to view a map of event parking. This project is funded with the Wild Spaces & Public Places half-cent sales tax. The WSPP sales tax, collected from January 2017 to December 2024, will continue to create, improve and maintain parks and recreational facilities, and acquire and improve environmentally-sensitive lands.
RSVPs are appreciated to allow us to arrange for seating and refreshments. To RSVP or for questions, please contact Sarit Sela at 352-393-8649 or
Posted by: Weaver, Ludovica
The City of Gainesville’s Public Works Department is working with Wharton-Smith Inc. and Nature Bridges to repair the bridge between Cell 1 and Cell 2 at Sweetwater Wetlands Park. The original pine decking, which has started to decay, will be replaced with decking made of Ipê (Brazilian Walnut). The Ipê is naturally rot resistant and expected to last many years.
Posted by: Rawson, Laura

The Public Works Department will begin sediment removal from Sweetwater Wetlands Park’s sediment basin on Monday, Oct. 1. This annual maintenance project is expected to be complete in about a month.

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) is pleased to announce a recreation opportunity for a Gainesville family to enjoy a year’s worth of events, programs, tours and more - at no cost! Now in its fourth year, the Michelle Park Family Recreation Scholarship provides a low- to moderate-income family from Gainesville the opportunity to participate in nature, recreation and cultural activities which are offered by PRCA and other providers in the community, such as the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Arts and the Florida Museum of Natural History. This scholarship was made possible through the generous gift of an anonymous donor.

The award consists of one scholarship valued at $1,500, including a $250 gas gift card, that can be used to enjoy activities such as:

  1. After-school activities and day camps for school breaks and teacher holidays, for children age six–12
  2. Access to the Wellness Center at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multipurpose Center
  3. Tickets to cultural events, such as the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire
  4. An annual pass to Sweetwater Wetlands Park
  5. Adult and youth recreation and sports activities such as golf lessons, swimming lessons and tennis lessons; free registration to participate in city-sponsored youth baseball, basketball, flag football, Pop Warner football or cheerleading


  1. Family must be live within City of Gainesville city limits;
  2. Family must meet the criteria of the Alachua County School Board Free or Reduced Lunch Program and
  3. Family must be able to complete 20 volunteer hours during the award year or the following year.

Application packets are available at the Albert “Ray” Massey Westside Recreation Center, Clarence R. Kelly Community Center, Eastside Community Center, MLK Multipurpose Center, T. B. McPherson Center, Porters Community Center and the PRCA Administrative Office, which is located on the third floor of the Thomas Center, Building B. The packets are also available online at

The deadline for scholarship applications is Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. Final scholarship award selection will be made by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (PRCA) Department’s evaluation team. Applications may be dropped off in person at the Administrative Office, Thomas Center, Building B, Third Floor, Reception Desk, 306 NE Sixth Ave., Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Please email Jennifer Harrington, program assistant, at or mail the application to:
City of Gainesville
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department
PO Box 490, Station 24
Gainesville, FL 32627-0490

Posted by: Rawson, Laura

Participants will be able to provide additional feedback and comments on designs for the park. The designs were developed from the results of community focus groups and a survey conducted in May 2018. Free hot dogs and shaved ice will be available for guests.

In November 2016, Alachua County voters approved Wild Spaces and Public Places, a one-half percent sales tax to be collected in the county from Jan. 1, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2024, to acquire and improve environmentally-sensitive lands and to create, improve and maintain parks and recreational facilities. Improvements to the Northeast 31st Avenue Park is a Wild Spaces and Public Places project.

For questions about improvements to the park, please contact Betsy Waite, director of Wild Spaces and Public Places for the City of Gainesville, at 352-393-8187 or
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