Updated: Jul 15
Located in the middle of the St. Johns River, Exchange Island was once a pristine area. However, vandals, looters, and other destruction led to the island's closure. It is now a city park.
Several plans were made to develop the island, but no one managed to complete them. Locals began dreaming of restoring the island. They would clean it once or twice a year, but vandals routinely leave trash and deface the island's only monument.
Exchange Club Island was closed to the public in 1972. Since then, it has been largely uninhabited. It is home to two picnic shelters, a boat dock, and a nature trail. The island is only accessible by boat.
Exchange Club Island is a 34-acre island in the middle of the St. Johns River, near Arlington Road. It was once a rabbit island but has been transformed into a city park.
An island trail loops around the island. In the past, it was visited by fishermen and adventurous boaters. In 1941, an old salt named Captain Augustus Swan tied a houseboat up at the southern end of the island. He would regularly visit the island to watch greyhound races.
In the past, the island was also home to a hippie commune. It was also used for fishing and camping. However, after years of vandalism, the island's only monument was defaced, and trash accumulated. The island is a popular place for dolphins to hang out.
The city of Jacksonville has made plans to build a floating dock at the south end of the island. The project is expected to cost more than $180,000, but the city will provide more than $100,000 in matching funds.