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Dawn Emerick
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Mar. 3, 201512:00 PM EST

Dawn Emerick to lead Groundwork Jacksonville

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Less than a year after stepping down from the Health Planning Council, Dawn Emerick has a new job leading Groundwork Jacksonville.

“I never envisioned throwing my hat back into the nonprofit world for another leadership role,” said Emerick in a news release. “However, this opportunity was too important to our city not to.”

That opportunity means being the first leader of the organization seeking to clean up the Springfield and Eastside neighborhoods.

Groundwork Jacksonville is a partnership among the city, U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Groundwork USA.

According to the release, Groundwork Jacksonville will help restore Deer and Hogans creeks, converting the area’s Brownfields to green space and supporting projects that promote active lifestyles.

The organization received $105,000 from the National Park Service — $80,000 for start-up funding and $25,000 for a youth program.

The city provided a $50,000 match and Wells Fargo is donating $10,000.

Groundwork Jacksonville board chair James Richardson praised Emerick’s track record for improving the health and environment. Mayor Alvin Brown said she has the “vision, passion and commitment” to lead the group.

According to the release, Emerick’s first year as CEO will focus on building the infrastructure and operations.

It also will entail developing a strategy for her, the organization’s program coordinator and board to stay focused.

“The residents in our first targeted neighborhood want (to) see, feel and smell action, not another set of ideas, plans and pretty renderings,” Emerick said in the release.

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