- About Us
- What We Do
- Where We Work
- Why LISC
All of the urban core neighborhoods served by LISC Jacksonville share a concern for environemtnal issues and challenges. Though established specifically to address the environmental concerns of Jackosnville's hisoric Eastside and Springfield neighborhoods, Groundwork Jackosnville works in all of the urban core neighborhoods served by LISC Jacksonville. In addition to the revitalization of Hogan's Creek and its tributaries, Groundwork Trust is actively engaged in the Rails to Trals program which winds its way through most urban core neighgorhoods and the many greensaces and waterways that comprise Jackosnville's Emerald Necklace.
Quality Education is one of the five pillars of the EPIC Communities Initiative. The KIPP School (Knowledge is Power Program) is a nationally recognized charter school program that emerged from the Teach for America Initiative. LISC Jacksonville played a critical rolein establishing Florida's first KIPP school in Jacksonville. Though the school is not located in one of LISC Jacksonville's EPIC neighboroods, the charter school serves students from those neighborhoods and plays an essential role providing quality education opportunites to the children who live in LISC's EPIC Communities.
For many years, families living in Eastside and Springfield thought of the streams winding gracefully through their neighborhoods as a valued natural amenity. By the early twentieth century, two large, connected parks surrounded Hogans Creek -- creating a continuous greenway all the way to the Stl Johns River. By 1929, it was one of the most beautiful promneades in Jacksonville. But as the area aged and its population shifted to the suburbs, the creek's glory days began to fade over time, retention lakes were filled in, bulkheads crumbled, polutants were introduced and the clogged creak system bloomed with algea.
One of the major goals of the Historic Eastside/Springfield Quality of Life Plan was "Make it Grant Again." Cleaning up the poluted waterways and envirnomental contamination was critical to restoring these historic neighborhoods neighborhoods. To lead this effort LISC Jacksonville played a critical role in persuading the Groundwork Trust (a national collaboration between the National Park System and the Environmental Proection Agency) to establish a local affilliate --Groundwork Jacksonville.
LISC supports Groundwork by investing in the Green Team (an environmental education program for high school students living in Springfield/Eastside) and establishing a funding partnership that invests in Groundwork’s operations and capacity building through LISCs Federal and local government funding opportunities.
In March 2019, City Council adopted Groundwork’s plan for The Emerald Trail. The Trail links 14 historic, predominately African American, neighborhoods with a 30-mile greenway trail system. Also, the trail links to 16 schools, two colleges and 21 parks among other destinations like restaurants, retail and businesses, with 13 additional schools and 17 parks located within three blocks. The Emerald Trail has the potential to be a catalyst for social and economic development in Jacksonville, from encouraging healthy lifestyles and promoting public safety, to spurring economic growth and neighborhood revitalization. Groundwork Jacksonville is connecting expertise, resources and passion to bring this potential to life.
In 2007, LISC Jacksonville provided a New Markets Tax Credit Allocation of $12.4 million in New Markets Tax Credits to Florida's first KIPP School, an $26.2 million facility located in Jacksonville. If not for LISC and its commitment of New Markets Tax Credits, KIPP would have struggled to meet financial goals.
KIPP is a non-profit network of college-preparatory, public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students. KIPP schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. There are 200 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia educating nearly 80,000 students on their path to and through college, careers, and life. KIPP believes that great teachers and school leaders, a supportive learning environment, and an emphasis on both academics and character are the foundation for student success. KIPP students complete college at a rate that is above the national average for all students and four times higher than that of students from similar economic backgrounds.