If you’re a student at the downtown campus of Florida State College of Jacksonville, or a resident of the LaVilla neighborhood, you’re likely familiar with the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Park.
If you don’t pass through that area, however, you might not be aware it exists.
The park, located at 101 W. State St., features miniature replicas of several of Jacksonville’s bridges. Guests can walk across a small version of the Main Street, Hart, Dames Point, Mathews, and Acosta Bridges.
Between the bridges lies a small sitting area, and to the opposite side of the replica of the Dames Point Bridge there’s a bronze statue depicting the challenging road to recovery for cancer survivors.
It’s one of 25 such parks built by Richard and Annette Bloch’s cancer research foundation. The organization is steadfast in its belief that cancer is a curable disease and emphasizes the importance of hope. This attitude is reflected on the many plaques surrounding the park that feature motivational words in relation to beating cancer.
The parks all follow a somewhat similar structure, but the bridges are a feature unique to Jacksonville’s park. It’s a great place for tourists to take pictures, and is often listed on travel guides for the city.
The park has a lot of value for locals as well. The miniature versions of the city’s bridges are a cool tribute to something for which Jacksonville is known. The park itself carries significance to the city, as Jacksonville features several cancer centers with Baptist Health currently in the process of building an expanded cancer center in San Marco.
Next time you’re in the area, stop by and take a walk in the Cancer Survivors Park and enjoy the creative representation of Jacksonville it has to offer.