What is the Emerald Trail Project?

Large cities in our country have hallmark areas attracting people to their downtown area. The Emerald Trail is a transformative project for Jacksonville, encouraging participation in our community in the downtown area through 30 miles of trails, greenways, and parks encircling the urban core and linking 14 historic neighborhoods. These constructed trails aren’t simply for those with an active lifestyle but encourage economic development by fostering an environment where businesses along the Trail, e.g., restaurants, are seen as destinations.

 
  • Construction of the Emerald Trail is overseen and administered by Groundwork Jacksonville. The firm has solicited many organizations (companies, charities, etc.) to sponsor portions of the Trail in what typically are quarter and half-mile increments.
     
  • A consortium of Jacksonville Rotary Clubs is currently involved in financial support of a sponsorship of a 0.4-mile segment of the Trail (formally named Segment 3 but informally referred to as “Rotary Way.”) It stretches from Riverside Avenue at Memorial Park to the Fuller Warren Bridge at the Riverside Arts Market. 
When will the project be finished?

Our segment (Segment 3) is scheduled to be completed relatively early in the scheme of the entire project. For the Rotary Way segment, construction is expected to start in mid-2024, with the segment being completed in about 18 months. All segments of the Emerald Trail are expected to be completed by 2029.

When will Rotary Way be completed?

Construction on Rotary Way is expected to begin in mid-to-late 2024 and completion about 18 months later mid-to-late 2025.

How much will the Emerald Trail project cost?

At a macro level, the anticipated total project cost is $192 million, of which the City of Jacksonville has allocated $132 million; therefore, the private donations/sponsorship goal is approximately $60 million. 

The Rotary Club of Jacksonville's responsibility for funding is $250,000 for the sponsorship of the Riverside segment. 

How much money does each participating club need to contribute?

Our suggested contribution is $250 per club member. 

We have until December 2024 to secure all contributions to ensure we reach our goal of $250,000.

What happens to any money my club contributes if the Rotary segment of the ET is not completed?

Money will not be returned to the local clubs or individuals who have contributed. However, our written agreement with Groundwork Jacksonville explicitly states that Groundwork Jacksonville will work with the contributors to redirect the use of funds elsewhere at the direction of the contributor.

How many Rotary clubs are participating?

As of the fall of 2023, nine local clubs have committed funds. Six additional Jacksonville-area clubs have the project under consideration and have shown an active interest in contributing to the ET project as a partner.

 

Will my club be recognized along the Rotary Way?

The financial support for the Rotary Way segment is being organized under the banner of the Rotary Clubs of Jacksonville. The objective of our participation is to promote Rotary as an involved community member. However, there will be recognition of all participating Jacksonville clubs on Rotary Way.