Dr. Robert B. Hayling Freedom Park
Named in honor of a leader of the Civil Rights Movement in St. Augustine in the early 1960s, the nearly nine acre park with its panoramic view of the San Sebastian and Matanzas Rivers will undoubtedly become a favorite place for reflection, recreation and relaxation for the St. Augustine community.
Dr. Hayling’s leadership in the cause of civil rights in St. Augustine has been recognized in many ways including his being a recipient of Florida A & M University’s Distinguished Alumni Award, Florida Memorial University’s Nathan W. Collier Meritorious Service Award, and being the namesake of the Dr. Robert B. Hayling Award of Valor, created by former Florida State Senator Tony Hill. The city has also recognized Hayling by naming the street where he once lived Dr. Robert B. Hayling Place, and by awarding him the city’s two highest honors, the de Avilés Award in 2011 and the Order of La Florida in 2013. Hayling is the only person to receive both awards. Dr. Hayling died in 2015.
Zora Neale Hurston Memorial Park Zora Neale Hurston, best known for her masterpiece, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), lived in St. Augustine on several occasions during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Yet while she was one of the most prominent writers to come out of the Harlem Renaissance, she died in near obscurity in 1960, in Ft. Pierce, Florida.
A rediscovery of her works during the 1980s and 1990s led to a wide and new appreciation of her works, many which are now standard reading in the curriculum of high school and college literature classes.
The St. Augustine City Commission chose Zora Neale Hurston to be the most recent local historic figure to be memorialized with the naming of this park. Appropriate signage will be placed at the park to identify's its name and document the history of Zora Neale Hurston’s association with St. Augustine.
Located at the corner of San Carlos and San Marco Ave., the park has a restored antique carousel which operates seven days a week. The playground area, Kourtney's Korner, is fully handicap accessible with both open and closed slides, monkey bars and other exercise and fun equipment. The entire park is fully enclosed and picnic tables are available.
Hamilton Upchurch Neighborhood Park
Located on Red Cox Dr. and Anastasia Blvd., this park has a picnic area, fitness trail, playground equipment, nature overlook and a beginner inline and skateboarding area. Parents of children under the age of 17 must sign a consent waiver. You can download the consent form here, visit the City's Financial Services Center at 50 Bridge St. during business hours, or stop by the Surf Station, 1020 Anastasia Blvd., just south of the entrance to Anastasia State Park.
The Eddie Vickers Park and the Willie Galimore Recreation Center
Located at 399 S. Riberia St, the Eddie Vickers Park has a basketball court, baseball diamond and picnic area. Meeting rooms are available at the center by calling 904.209.4325. The park also has a fully equipped playground area with swings, a slide and monkey bars.
Lighthouse Park and the J. Edward "Red" Cox Recreation Facility
Lighthouse Park is located adjacent to Salt Run with the St. Augustine Lighthouse standing as the landmark for the area. The park has picnic tables under shaded scrub oaks. The J. Edward "Red" Cox Recreational Facility area has an eagle's nest dome, swings, monkey bars, and tennis courts. A boat ramp and public parking is located in the park area. The ramp is located on Salt Run. Public restrooms are available.
Nelmar Terrace Park
Thanks in part to many individuals and groups in the neighborhood, a previous city right-of-way which ends at Hospital Creek is now a pocket park with a scenic vista for the Nelmar Terrace neighborhood. The pocket park was a vision of the Nelmar Terrace Neighborhood Association in 2007 when the association applied for and received a neighborhood grant in the amount of $2,000 from the City of St. Augustine. Individuals from the association and Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind contributed time and further funding for the walkway which leads to the Hospital Creek scenic vista and flower beds located on the south side of the passive park.
Joe Pomar, Jr. Park
Located at 1600 Masters Drive, Pomar Park has a baseball diamond, football field, soccer field, dog park and kayak launch. This is the only park in the city limits with a dog park and a kayak launch. The launch is located at a small creek which enters into the San Sebastian River, just south of the State Road 16 bridge. A pavilion is located at the entrance to the launching site. Improvements added in 2009 include restrooms, a concession stand for the baseball and football field, a picnic area and a road which winds close to the river and ends in a cul-de-sac.
Located at Francis Field, immediately across from the Historic Downtown Parking Facility, SWING is an acronym for St. Augustine's Wish for Its Next Generation and was a community project built in 1997. The 23,000 square foot playground area has slides, swings, parallel bar, wooden forts and towers, tire swings and various interactive play/exercise equipment. A pavilion is located at SWING within the enclosed area.