Eleven urban parks in Jacksonville will have adult supervision this summer with the help of a $50,000 donation from attorney Steve Pajcic.
Mayor Alvin Brown announced the donation and pilot program, called “Rec ‘N Roll Jax,” on Monday at Woodstock Park. The Westside facility is one of those that will benefit from the program.
The city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department will hire nine temporary outdoor recreation leaders for the eight-week program that starts June 23 and ends Aug. 15. Those supervisors will referee games, mentor youth seeking advice and supervise teens assigned to the parks for summer job assignment.
Woodstock and two other, Johnnie W. Walker and Scott parks, fall within the boundary recently identified by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for its Operation Ceasefire program meant to curb gun-related crimes.
The park program, Brown said, will be a way to help prevent crimes as it will provide safe opportunities for children to visit the parks and stay active over the summer.
For Pajcic, the initiative was a way to give back and help parks like Woodstock — the one he spent many a day frequenting in his youth — get back to the ways of his childhood, when the parks were supervised.