2009: Exciting year for City of St. Augustine

Every year there are changes throughout St. Augustine — this past year is no different; so, Historic City News reviewed with the City of St. Augustine some of the many public areas that were established or improved during 2009.

In early 2009 the Lighthouse Park was renovated to provide boaters with a new and safer way to dock their boats and dinghies.

Work on Maria Sanchez Lake continued and the work received national recognition with an article published in the American Public Works Association.

With St. Augustine’s 450th Birthday Commemoration looming, the United State Senate passed the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration Commission.

St. Augustine’s latest public park, Hamilton Upchurch Neighborhood Park, officially opened in April, providing activities for children and adults.

Soon after the opening of the Hamilton Upchurch Park, Nelmar Terrace Neighborhood opened a pocket park which began with the funds provided to the Nelmar Terrace Neighborhood Association by the City of St. Augustine.

Continuing improvements to public spaces, the city added a walkway and gazebo to the adjoining San Sebastian Creek and a kayak launch at Joe Pomar Park.

Partly in preparation of the 450th birthday, benefactors of the city began the restoration of Flagler era public fountains beginning with the fountain located in the west plaza area of the Government House. Others to follow were the St. Augustine Fire Department fountain and the fountain behind the Alcazar Hotel, home of the Lightner Museum and City Hall.

Some improvements are not quite as visible. The city drilled three new wells for continued production of safe, clean and great tasting water for generations to come.

Both residents and visitors alike can now enjoy the new but old historic pews from Mount Moriah Baptist Church located in Hastings.

The historic public market in the Plaza de la Constitucion is a centuries old site for commerce. With new ordinances, the activity there now includes commerce once again. Along with that, the market was showcased by opening the area for more public use.

The year has been one of many past years where the City of St. Augustine is making St. Augustine a more livable and hospitable city for its residents and visitors alike. And after almost 450 years, St. Augustine’s future is brighter than ever.