My View, June 2014 – by Whitman Parker, Publisher

It’s now “summer in the city” as the pace of our small town life picks-up and town bustles with events and activities galore! From the Taste of Summer Celebration, incredible Britt concerts on the Hill, the Historic Home and Garden Tour, to our charming Farmers Market and so much more, this is high season and our time in the sun. If you are visiting, welcome to one of the best places on the planet! I hope you’re spending several days here, soaking-up life in our interesting and eclectic melting pot of a town.

Whether you’re taking a break from shopping and resting on a bench, hiking a woodland trail, touring the Britt Gardens or Beekman Arboretum, attending a Britt show, viewing an art exhibit at Art Presence Center, attending a History Saturday event or something else, please know that a volunteer most likely had a hand in what you’re enjoying. For those of you considering moving here, know that Jacksonville runs on volunteer energy—the “V” in Jacksonville stands for “volunteer!”

My job as publisher entails a great deal of hands-on work with citizens, business owners and visitors alike. Hardly a day passes without someone asking me how so much happens in such a small town?

My answer is always the same and goes like this: “That bench was built and maintained by volunteers…the Woodland and Forest Park trails you hiked are built, groomed and maintained by volunteers…Britt shows are possible due to a slew of volunteers…our parks and gardens are attended-to by volunteers… the event docents are all volunteers…members of our civic committees, commissions, city council and our mayor…they’re all volunteers and the ones who make town tick!

I hope you have a great summer. And, whether you’re visiting or fortunate to call Jacksonville home, please join me in saying THANK YOU to the army of VOLUNTEERS in our Small Town with Big Atmosphere!