Active, Historic, Convenient and Beautiful
Exciting things are happening in Jonesville and the City of Newberry in western Alachua County. Once the site of intensive phosphate mining and still important hubs of agriculture, these areas are building a new reputation as family-friendly centers for sports and recreation.
There’s the brand-new Nations Park in Newberry, an open invitational tournament baseball and softball park with 16 playing fields where young people and their families enjoy the excitement of America’s pastime. The Easton Newberry Sports Complex offers an Olympic-level archery facility with indoor and outdoor ranges as well as youth sports, after school programs and summer activity camps.
Gatorback Cycle Park is the place to go for natural terrain, off-road motocross races. At Jonesville Park, the Jonesville Tennis Center has 14 lighted clay courts, one tournament standard show court, two large pavilions, a pro shop, and restrooms with shower facilities. The park has fields for baseball and soccer, playgrounds, a picnic shelter and fitness trails.
Canterbury Equestrian Showplace hosts year-round events in a covered arena that seats 2000 and on the adjacent grounds. Horses and riders compete in dressage, breed shows. 4-H shows, driving shows, and grand prix, the highest level of show jumping.
Watermelon Pond County Park offers a boat ramp, fishing, and nature study. The park is adjacent to Watermelon Pond Wildlife and Environmental Area that is administered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and managed to benefit protected species such as the gopher tortoise, fox squirrel and other upland wildlife.
Newberry was settled in the 1860s and officially incorporated in 1895. The downtown district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built from local limestone, Newberry City Hall is a classic example of one style of the area’s vernacular architecture. The Newberry Watermelon Festival, founded in 1946, celebrates the area’s most famous crop and is one of the oldest watermelon festivals in the country.
Dudley Farm Historic State Park, also listed on the National Register, has been described as the best-documented pioneer family farm in the nation. Dressed in period clothing, park staff members perform daily chores, raise crops and tend to livestock in traditional ways. Visitors can enjoy seasonal events such as cane grindings and learn about heritage varieties of livestock and plants.
Part of the Alachua County School District, Newberry’s elementary, middle, and high schools are true neighborhood schools; they’re all located within one mile of downtown. Newberry runs its own fire department, water plant, wastewater plant, and sanitation department, and is proud to levy the lowest tax rate in Alachua County.
Perhaps best of all, Newberry and Jonesville residents don’t have to travel to Gainesville to shop or attend church; we can find everything from grocery stores to spas, drug stores to coffee shops, restaurants to art galleries, cosmetics to guns, all within a short drive from home. And that short drive takes us along some of the prettiest rural roads in all of North Florida, where wildflowers carpet the ground in spring and trees shimmer red and gold in the fall.