Westside park for Jacksonville youth reopens after $200,000 renovation

Ribbon-cutting ceremony for newly renovated Wesconnett Park (LISC-NFL Grassroots Program)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The newly refurbished Wesconnett Park was revealed Saturday morning at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Multiple national and local partners such as the Jacksonville Jaguars, HabiJax, the Local Initiative Support Corporation of Jacksonville (LISC), City of Jacksonville representatives, and over 100 youth attendees and their families celebrated the grand re-opening of the newly refurbished grass field.

Westconnectt Park is home to the Westside Wildcats and serves hundreds of local youth through its football and cheer teams. The $200,000 renovations to the park included the grass field, updated lighting, scoreboard improvements, a new playground and renovations to the concessions building.

Wesconnnett Park renovations (LISC-NFL Grassroots Program)

“The Westside Wildcats league, like others who serve our community, is about so much more than sports – it’s about shaping young people’s character and future interests, instilling discipline, and helping position them for lifelong success, no matter their chosen path,” said Dr. Irvin “PeDro” Cohen, executive director of LISC Jacksonville. “These grants are a dual investment in both our youth and our city’s recreational assets, helping improve and preserve them for future generations of kids.

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the youth got to leave the first imprint on the green when they participated in a youth football camp hosted by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Youth football camp (LISC-NFL Grassroots Program)

This project was made possible when HabiJax was granted $100,000 by the Jaguars through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program, a partnership between the NFL Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a news release stated. The City of Jacksonville provided over $100,000 in matching funds to conduct the work. The grant is part of $6 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year.

“HabiJax has been thrilled to be a part of this effort to refurbish the playing surface at Wesconnett Park,” HabiJax Chief Community Partnerships Officer Chris Folds said. “As an affiliate that is committed to neighborhood revitalization, it has been a pleasure to work with some of our most long-running partners and supporters to get this done. We believe everyone deserves a decent place to live AND play, and we’re happy to see that dream realized for the Westside Wildcats.”


About the Author:

Kendra is a digital content producer for News4JAX, since May 2022. She graduated from Bethune Cookman University in 2015 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Kendra got her Master's Degree in English from Georgia Southern University in 2017.