City to close T.B. McPherson Park on Sundays

Starting this week, the city of Gainesville will close T.B. McPherson Park on Sundays for public safety concerns.
Courtesy city of Gainesville

The city of Gainesville will start closing T.B. McPherson Park on Sundays starting this week in response to improper park usage during Peaceful Sunday events.

In a press release sent Thursday, the city said that the park closure is in the interest of public safety. The Sunday closure will remain in place until further notice. The park is located at 1717 SE 15th St.

Cynthia Curry
Courtesy city of Gainesville Cynthia Curry

“It is unfortunate that closing the park is the only remaining option following the breakdown of discussions with the Peaceful Sundays event organizer,” said Gainesville City Manager Cynthia Curry in the press release.

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According to the release, “Peaceful Sundays, a gathering which at times draws as many as 2,000 attendees, was operating with a city permit that expired on April 30, 2023. In recent weeks, the security firm hired to support Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) staff by managing park capacity has reported an increase in confrontational behavior during these events. To protect the safety of its security team, the company is now considering withdrawing its services.”

The Sunday closures will allow the city to successfully respond to the following concerns:

  • Unsafe roadside parking that limits accessibility for neighbors and emergency vehicles.
  • Noise and trash complaints.
  • Unregulated activity occurring within and around the park at each event.
  • Unbudgeted additional staffing costs for PRCA to clean the park following each event.
  • Unbudgeted cost of outside security services at each event.
  • Unbudgeted officer assistance from the Gainesville Police Department.
  • Total City costs of approximately $90,000 annually to support this event, which has traditionally extended from February-August.

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Shakira bradley

It’s good that they close it down because people in Gainesville don’t know how to act and I’m happy Sunday is a day of peace and happiness