Connecting With Our Past

Over a century ago, Rotarian and architect Henry John Klutho envisioned the same basic design concepts of the Emerald Trail Greenway in his Hogan's Creek design as it travels northward from the St. Johns River to what is now called Springfield Park (formerly named Confederate Park) on Main Street.


In 1918, Rotarian George Hardee proposed a memorial to honor Floridians who died in service during The Great War, known today as World War I. The memorial was to be paid for by the citizens of Greater Jacksonville and situated on City-owned property. 

The club managed the city-wide public contributions campaign.


Memorial Park will anchor the Rotary Way segment of the Emerald Trail.

About Us

Rotary Club Roles

Jacksonville Rotary Clubs are playing a significant role in the Emerald Trail project. A relationship was formed in 2022 between the clubs and Groundwork Jacksonville, Inc., the non-profit organization leading the Emerald Trail project.


Rotary partners committed $250,000 to support the design of the planned Emerald Trail Riverside Link, a segment of the trail connecting Memorial Park to the Riverside Arts Market.


In the project's formative stages, Rotarians traveled the paths, trails, and waterways encompassing the Emerald neckless, interconnecting neighborhoods and institutions for walkers, runners, cyclers, skaters, and the disabled. 


The Emerald Trail is a major undertaking, but Rotary clubs in Jacksonville are committed to helping make it a reality. They believe that the trail will be a valuable asset to the community, providing residents with a safe and enjoyable way to get exercise, explore their city, and connect with nature.

Rotarian architect Jeff Lane (right) and his staff work on preliminary concept recommendations for the Rotary-sponsored segment of the Emerald Trail link.

Rotarians from a dozen Jacksonville area clubs have toured the Emerald Trail. They visited sites scheduled for development as well those currently under construction.


Our Path to the Trail...

Rotary Way is the unofficial name we have given to our designated segment of the Emerald Trail. It stretches from the Riverside Arts Market to Memorial Park on Riverside Avenue.


It's .4 miles long and along the way it includes residences, restaurants, offices, a bank, the Garden Club of Jacksonville, and the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. We view it as a stage to represent the story of Rotary and its more than century-long place in history in our community.


What will Rotary Way look like? How will we deliver our message? We have ideas and concepts to bring to the table. What is important is that we have a seat at the Groundwork Jacksonville design table that allows us to participate in the creation of Rotary Way and the message we want to deliver to our neighbors about what it means to be a Rotarian and what Rotary means to our community.

The Rotary Way is one leg of four primary links that intersect at this northern terminus below the Fuller Warren Bridge on Riverside Avenue. Walkers or bikers can cross the St. Johns River between the Riverside and San Marco neighborhoods by using a ramp up to the new Fuller Warren Bridge Shared-Use Path (The SUP).

Rotary Way is a working title, but this Riverside Avenue segment has been designated for Rotary. Stretching from Memorial Park, which has special significance to Rotary, this .4-mile link meets under the Fuller Warren Bridge at a four-way junction that serves as a gateway to the Emerald Trail. 


(TOP) The highly successful Riverside Arts Market beneath the Fuller Warren Bridge on Riverside Ave is the northern terminus of Rotary Way. 

(BOTTOM) This view from the East Entrance to Memorial Park looks northward along Riverside Avenue or we like to refer to it as...Rotary Way.

More than 600 men and women Rotarians in 15 different clubs reside in Jacksonville and Duval County. The first club was founded in 1912 and thus became the first Rotary Club in Florida and the 41st in the world.


For more details and information