Grass is mowed Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, at A. Philip Randolph Park.Grass is mowed Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, at A. Philip Randolph Park.
Grass is mowed Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, at A. Philip Randolph Park. | Steven Ponson, WJCT News 89.9

Jacksonville promises to tame those overgrown lots

Published on August 16, 2023 at 5:05 pm

More money soon could be used to mow overgrown grasses and pick up litter around Jacksonville.

On Wednesday, Mayor Donna Deegan highlighted efforts her administration is making in the city budget to help neighborhoods look more beautiful. While speaking in A. Philip Randolph Park in the Eastside community, Deegan said $21.7 million is proposed for the city’s Mowing and Landscaping Division, which she says is a 95% increase over last year’s city budget.

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“We’re going to be mowing a whole lot more often. That means we’re going to be picking up trash a whole lot more. In every single one of these community conversations that I’ve gone to, people have talked about that. They don’t like the blight. They don’t like the fact that the grass is tall.” Deegan says.

Currently, urban, suburban, and rural roads are mowed between nine and 21 times a year. With the funding increase, all roads would be mowed 21 times a year. Grass edging would be included. In addition, parks would be mowed 36 times per year along with fertilizer put down four times in parks.

The proposed investments are a welcome change for residents in Jacksonville’s Eastside community. Elsie Williams lives in the area and says she has seen children have to walk in the road to avoid overgrown grass and shrubs.

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“Through the years, I have called the city. ‘Okay, we’ll be out,’ Williams said. “Weeks pass and no action. So, you know, I’m just concerned about everybody.”

She said she is excited to see the proposed changes in her neighborhood, but she is going to wait and see what ultimately happens.

The city’s Mowing and Landscaping Division maintains grass, trees, other vegetation and irrigation systems on various public lands that include rights of way, medians, cemeteries and city-owned property. The division also coordinates landscape and mowing activities with other government agencies like the Florida Department of Transportation.

If you have an issue with overgrown grasses or litter, you can request service or report a problem by calling 630-CITY (2489) or by going to myjax.custhelp.com

Deegan said the division has been underfunded for years. Hearing the community’s frustrations with high grass and other eyesores during the campaign spurred this effort.

“It was so sparse that they were seeing all this high grass, they were concerned about safety, they were concerned about public safety. And they were concerned about their kids marching through this stuff. So I heard it over and over and over again.” Deegan said.

The mayor warned that proposed charges would not be immediate. The new city budget needs to be approved by the Jacksonville City Council first and once approved it will be implemented Oct. 1.


author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Steven Ponson has six years of experience covering news in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. Prior to arriving on the First Coast, Steven also worked in radio in Orlando. He attended the University of Central Florida where he earned a degree in radio and television. Steven has been a reporter, producer, anchor and board operator. Outside of work, Steven loves to watch sports, cook delicious cajun food (as any good Louisiana native does) and spend time outdoors.
author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Steven Ponson has six years of experience covering news in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. Prior to arriving on the First Coast, Steven also worked in radio in Orlando. He attended the University of Central Florida where he earned a degree in radio and television. Steven has been a reporter, producer, anchor and board operator. Outside of work, Steven loves to watch sports, cook delicious cajun food (as any good Louisiana native does) and spend time outdoors.

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