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St. Augustine opens Coquina Park just in time for July 4th weekend

The new green space includes an irrigation system, fresh landscaping, a retaining wall and privacy fence, and benches facing the water.
The new green space includes an irrigation system, fresh landscaping, a retaining wall and privacy fence, and benches facing the water. (Copyright 2020 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The City of St. Augustine will open Coquina Park on Thursday to the public. The city purchased the land to create the park and make improvements to flooding in the Davis Shores community.

The land was originally the site of a historic cottage from the 1940s.

“I love our little park,” said Gary Whittaker, who passes the park almost every day on his bike ride. “This area of South Davis Shores has very little community space and what open space we had before has been developed, so there really weren’t that many places for our children or us to play and now we have this beautiful little park here with a fantastic view.”

The new green space includes an irrigation system, fresh landscaping, a retaining wall and privacy fence, and benches facing the water. It is designed to protect the neighborhood from flooding.

The area has been previously impacted by nuisance flooding and hurricanes Matthew, Irma, and Dorian.

“As we raised the elevation of the park with in-fill dirt we immediately saw the improvement during recent storms and high tides,” commented Public Works Director Reuben Franklin in a recent press release. “In addition to the work clearing out Coquina Ditch and the installation of the headwall where the water comes in from the river, the project is a fine example of mitigation strategies and solutions at work.”

According to the city, the elevation of the park is 7 feet. Whittaker has lived in the South Davis Shores area for more than 15 years. He said the improvements to prevent flooding are a step in the right direction.

“It should keep out some of the water, it’s definitely a good start,” said Whittaker.

In the future, the city will finish some trimming work and also install a dog station with a trash can and bags. The park is open from sunrise to sunset.


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