So proud of this nurturing town, ever-changing campus

Ed Poppell, University of Florida vice president emeritus and currently director of Innovation Square Economic Development, has lived in Gainesville for 42 years. He's married to Sharron, has a son Adam (recently married to Stacey) and a dog Allie, short for Alligator.

Photo by Erica Brough
Published: Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 3:37 p.m.

When I describe Gainesville I mention first:

What a great community this is to live, work and nurture a family. It's friendly, diverse and offers all the great qualities of a large city but with the small-town community comfort and feel.

My favorite place to take a walk:

An evening walk in the neighborhood with my wife's dog, Allie, a 7-pound “Chiweenie.”

When I have visitors I like to show them:

The University of Florida campus ... it's beautiful, always changing , expanding and has so many success stories to proudly share with a visitor.

A perfect Saturday morning includes:

Coffee, breakfast and The Gainesville Sun before a bike ride with the Gainesville Cycle Club-Gliders group.

A perfect weekend includes:

A Friday night progressive dinner downtown, beginning with a great beer from Stubbies and Steins, a Free Friday night concert on the town plaza and ice cream at Mochi's; a bike ride on Saturday morning, followed by gardening or golf and, in the evening, pizza at the Blue Highway in Micanopy; Sunday begins with church at Trinity Methodist, a bike ride at San Felasco trails and relaxing in the late afternoon.

What I like most about my neighborhood:

It's small, quiet, secluded with plenty of trees ... we have great neighbors.

A great Gainesville resource is:

Gainesville has so many caring and supportive nonprofit groups, such as the Interfaith network, churches, United Way, and so many more volunteer groups.

A fun date night includes:

My loving wife loves to take me shopping at Lowes and Home Depot so she can help me purchase the latest woodworking and shop tools. She is the greatest.

A hidden gem in Gainesville is:

Gainesville the community is the hidden gem in and of itself. Living here and enjoying its many attributes always reminds me how lucky I am to call Gainesville home.

What I've last read that I would recommend:

“Happy, Happy, Happy,” an autobiography by Phil Robertson, the original Duck Commander and "Duck Dynasty" star.

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