Riverside Avondale Preservation Welcomes New Executive Director,

Shannon Blankinship


A message from Shannon...



Let me introduce myself. My name is Shannon Blankinship and I am absolutely thrilled to be the new Executive Director of Riverside Avondale Preservation. I have lived in Riverside, Avondale, Springfield, and Murray Hill over the last 15 years, and I believe that our urban core neighborhoods are the identity of Jacksonville. I couldn't be more proud to protect that identity and celebrate what makes Riverside Avondale special. 


My background with St. Johns Riverkeeper over the last 10 years, and more recently in leading Resilient Jax, has led me to look at our neighborhood's infrastructure, flooding, and drainage issues with an innovative lens. I believe that to protect the structures of significance built over one hundred years ago, we need to adapt our parks, waterways, roads, and sidewalks to accommodate storms of the future. Trees and landscaping are a part of that solution. I want to see our neighborhood become truly resilient. 


I also want to see resilience in our merchant areas too, and we all need to do our part. Yes, we must shop local, but we need to do more. We need to be understanding and respectful of shortages and longer waits and give our merchants our full support while they work hard to provide you with the exceptional service you expect. Tip well. Be patient. Be kind. For our neighborhood to thrive, our small businesses must thrive too. 


ICYMI, the Riverside Arts Market is thriving! RAM is a staple in our neighborhood. Wayne Wood envisioned a vibrant market underneath the Fuller Warren Bridge and worked for years to develop the space as a public market. Today, John Silveira and Marisa Whittemore work hard each week to create a storefront for more than 100 small businesses, makers, producers, farmers, and nonprofits and we ask for your continued support.  As RAM expands and we offer evening and weekend events, our members are needed to ensure lasting success. 


Preservation is the heart of what RAP provides to our neighborhood. Protecting the architecturally significant buildings and facades that make Riverside and Avondale distinct is a difficult but vital part of our work. Communicating our positions and the rationale behind those positions is key. We take a committee approach to all our work and Zoning and Preservation are no different. 


Our members are our community. I rely on the help of members to form the committees that look deeply into Transportation and Infrastructure, Zoning and Preservation, Parks, and event planning. I cannot do this alone and I am looking to our current membership to expand the reach of what I can do. 


The mission of Riverside Avondale Preservation is to advocate for our historic neighborhoods, vibrant local commercial districts, and public spaces. Help me work to further that mission by renewing your membership today and getting involved with us soon. I look forward to meeting you! 


Shannon Blankinship

Executive Director