Our Community

Uplifting and inspiring stories from around the community.

Residents find creative ways to connect after closures

Residents find creative ways to connect after closures

There’s the old cliché: “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb,” but in 2020, the reverse was true.  Thanks to the spread of COVID-19, an unknown form of a known family of viruses that has sickened people throughout the world, Jacksonville residents have been advised by Mayor Lenny Curry to […]

Camera trapping the coolest animal you’ve never heard of

Camera trapping the coolest animal you’ve never heard of

Lakewood resident seeks to save endangered okapi in Africa Okapi. That’s “the coolest animal you never heard of,” according to Lucas Meers, a Lakewood man who hunts the mammal in the Congo. He longs to trap and shoot them—with a camera, that is. The okapi is the cultural symbol of the Democratic Republic of the […]

Horticulturist saves rare orchid from extinction

Horticulturist saves rare orchid from extinction

Thanks to Houston Snead, a Riverside resident and horticulturist at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens (JZG), together with Lisa Hassell, an environmental specialist from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, a rare flowering plant, may be saved from extinction. Snead and Hassell did a comprehensive survey in the state of Florida of the […]

Choosing to be healthy through veganism and body building

Choosing to be healthy through veganism and body building

Rebecca Gourley of Ortega carefully weighed, measured and tracked every morsel of food in the five “clean” mini-meals she ate each day for carbs, protein and fat, a time-consuming process that became routine by the second month of her 365-day journey. Almost as routine is the two- to three-hour cardio and weight-training routines she also […]

Shop like it matters

Shop like  it matters

Shopping for gifts this holiday season? There is a way purchase presents without heading to the mall that greatly helps underserved individuals and families in the community. Social enterprises, organizations that redirect most or all of their earnings to help social or environmental causes, offer many lovely gifts made by folks that local nonprofits are […]

St. Nicholas resident views life from different perspective

St. Nicholas resident views life from different perspective

Because she can’t see, Emily Michael has a different view of life growing up in St. Nicholas, where she lives and went to high school. She views the world from the perspective of someone who is considered “different,” a label that she said doesn’t define her, but instead, allows her to embrace opportunities as a […]

One Man’s War

One Man’s War

When Hurricane Irma slammed into Jacksonville in September 2017, flooding caused severe property damage to many homes along the St. Johns River, but for one Lakewood family, Irma turned up a treasure-trove of priceless memorabilia. While attempting to salvage items from the water-soaked storage area of his in-law’s condo, William Harrell discovered the weathered, leather-bound […]

MOCA curator showcases contemporary art, lives in historic neighborhood

MOCA curator showcases contemporary art, lives in historic neighborhood

As the new senior curator at MOCA Jacksonville, Ylva Rouse seeks to bring contemporary art from local and international artists to the museum. But at the end of the workday, she transitions from the contemporary to the historical as she makes her way to her Avondale home.  Rouse moved to Jacksonville from New Orleans, where […]