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

With the summer heating up, the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) has cool, free teen programs to keep the fun going all season long - Summer Heatwave is back with Coed Basketball and Pool Parties!

Since 2008, Summer Heatwave has been a partnership between PRCA, the Gainesville Police Department (GPD),  the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and State Attorney’s Office 8th Judicial Court Circuit, and has helped thousands of local youth have a safe and enjoyable summer experience.

Coed Basketball: The Coed Basketball program starts Monday, June 4, and is available for kids age nine–18 (18, if still in school). Coed Basketball is open to all players, regardless of skill. Participants learn valuable skills for on and off the court. Coaches conduct a 15-minute lesson prior to every game using the Pursuing Victory with Honor curriculum from Character Counts. All athletes participating in Heatwave must attend, or they will not be allowed to participate in the games. Due to program growth, games will be held at the Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Multipurpose Center, Eastside High School and Lincoln Middle School, after 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Each age group has a single-elimination tournament during the last week of play. The league champions play against a team from GPD and other City of Gainesville staff Friday, Aug. 2.

Heatwave Pool Parties: This summer’s activities kick off Friday, June 1 with a pool party to celebrate the last day of school at Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast)  Pool, located at 1100 NE 14th St. At Heatwave Pool Parties, youth can swim, dance, listen to music and enjoy some food hot off the grill. Participants must sign in at the front entrance to the pool to receive a wristband. The dates, times and locations for Heatwave Pool Parties are:

  • Friday, June 1, 3–7 p.m. at the Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) Pool (1100 NE 14th St.)
  • Saturday, July 14, 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m. at the H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool (1001 NW 31st Dr.)
  • Friday, August 3, 2–6 p.m. at the Andrew R. Mickle, Sr. Pool (1717 SE 15th St.)
  • Register for Summer Heatwave in person at the MLK Center or the PRCA Administrative Office. The office is on the third floor of the Thomas Center, building B, which is located at 306 NE Sixth Ave., and is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Participants are required to present proof of age at time of registration. Accepted forms are a birth certificate, a State of Florida identification card or a 2017-2018 school year identification card.

    Posted by: Rawson, Laura

    As part of the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department Nature Operation Division’s routine land management practices, a prescribed burn is scheduled for today, weather and site conditions permitting, at Boulware Springs Nature Park, 3400 SE 15th St., beginning at 10 a.m. and ending before 5 p.m. This is an ecological fuel reduction burn, which will be conducted with support from the Florida Forest Service. The burn will be conducted in the restoration area of the property, and all public access to the northern portion of the park will be prohibited.

    Posted by: Rawson, Laura

    The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) invites residents to give feedback on conceptual designs for the Clarence R. Kelly Community Center (Blue Center), located at 1701 NE Eighth Ave., and Duval Park, located at 520 NE 21st St. Please join us to share your feedback Wednesday, Feb. 28 from 4-6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at Duval Early Learning Academy, which is located at 2106 NE Eighth Ave. Light refreshments will be served.

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