JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville’s newest park is now open.
There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning for Freedom Park, located at the intersection of McCormick and Fort Caroline roads in Arlington. Those in attendance included city officials and those who worked hard over the past several years to make the small park a reality.
The park honors members of the Gullah Geechee community, slaves who eventually settled on the land after being freed, and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“If you know the history of the Gullah Geechee community, losing land, not being able to hold on to land, not really being respected within their community, this is monumental to have a physical land space dedicated to them and also to the soldiers of PTSD,” said Wendy Truitt Smith, with the Cosmo Historical Preservation Association.
Those behind the park say recognizing both groups together works well because of members the Gullah Geechee community also used the military to further careers and seek higher education.
All along the park are plaques describing what took place and honoring those involved.
Our newest park is officially open! Freedom Park, located at Ft. Caroline & McCormick, recognizes two important groups of our community in one place: The Gullah Geechee and Vets that suffer from PTSD. This park is the 1st marker commemorating a Gullah Geechee Community in Jax. pic.twitter.com/jYvgWTCXh6— City of Jacksonville (COJ) (@CityofJax) March 18, 2022