08-16-19 | Department

The Bloch Gardens Cancer Survivors Park

Jacksonville's Florida State College

by Gary R. Crumley, ASLA

The Bloch Gardens Cancer Survivors Park

Volunteers worked together to restore the Richard Bloch Cancer Survivors Park on Jacksonville's Florida State College campus. Completed in 2017, the renovated area is 0.9 acres in size. Services included repairing the irrigation system, and choosing Florida-friendly plants to replace water-dependent species.

The Bloch Gardens for Cancer Survivors group had built a park for cancer survivors to celebrate the survivor's journey and provide hope during the battle, at Jacksonville's Florida State College. After twenty years, however, the park appeared neglected and desolate of plant life. The renovation began with an idea that the facility could be improved with volunteers, staff from the college and ASLA Jacksonville members coming together as a community team. Plant materials had lost their look years ago with an irrigation system failure and the pump to the running river no longer in service. Since then, the results of volunteerism can now be shown flourishing in the urban core of Jacksonville, Florida.


After a restoration plan was designed, the team agreed to build in two phases. Phase 1 was completed in the winter of 2015 and the second phase finished in the spring of 2016. Gary R. Crumley, ASLA, donated the landscape and irrigation plans to his alma mater. The services included research and code compliance, site inventory and analysis, concept drawings and construction documentation with specifications.

Plant renovations played a heavy role in phase two of the stewardship project. Native plants such as Cabbage palms, Yaupon Holly, Pindo Palms, Coontie Ferns, Aloes, Beach Dune Flowers, Muhly Grass and Acacia Trees offer colorful blooms to attract pollinators and butterflies, fruit for attracting birds and squirrels, and a relaxing place for students as well as cancer survivors.

The Bloch Gardens Cancer Survivors Park

A gazebo is located at the west end of the garden. Yaupon Hollies are adjacent to the pathway leading to the structure. The yellow flowering groundcovers are Beach Dune flowers, a Florida native plant.

"As these plants continue to grow we wish to provide hope to the people for whom this park was built. Now as I move into retirement from 30 years of teaching landscape design for Duval Schools I look back proudly on a worthwhile career," Crumley stated.

[The original story about this park ran three years ago in LASN's 2016 magazine].

As seen in LASN magazine, August 2019.


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