JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A local park is providing much more than a place to play for kids on the Northside. People living near Edward Waters College say Success Park is a safe haven for children.
In a neighborhood littered with vacant homes, boarded up and sometimes broken glass, the park means much more than just a slide and swings.
"I think it represents hope, it represents a sign of things to come."
Irvin Cohen believes New Town, a Northside neighborhood two blocks south of Edward Waters College, is on the rise.
"For a very long time, when you grow up or when you are part of a neighborhood like this, you come to accept that we don't have a park and that's OK. Or our streets are going to be flooded and that's just something we're going to deal with," said Cohen.
It's a neighborhood no longer defined by a crime rate or low-income housing but as a safe place for kids, thanks to Jacksonville's Success Park. Edward Waters College donated 2 acres of land for the project while the city of Jacksonville paid for the equipment. Jacksonville paid $175,000 for the park, while the college will maintain it and the playground equipment.
The park was inspired by New York City's Harlem Children's Zone.
"This park represents not only an opportunity for kids to have somewhere productive to play but it also represents an opportunity for kids to be kids and have a safe place to play," said Cohen.
The park is not done growing. Construction will soon begin on a picnic table and canopy.