Dr. Robert B. Hayling Freedom Park
Naming of the Park
Named in honor of a leader of the Civil Rights Movement in St. Augustine in the early 1960s, the nearly nine acre park with its panoramic view of the San Sebastian and Matanzas Rivers will undoubtedly become a favorite place for reflection, recreation and relaxation for the St. Augustine community. Dr. Hayling’s leadership in the cause of civil rights in St. Augustine has been recognized in many ways including his being a recipient of Florida A & M University’s Distinguished Alumni Award, Florida Memorial University’s Nathan W. Collier Meritorious Service Award, and being the namesake of the Dr. Robert B. Hayling Award of Valor, created by former Florida State Senator Tony Hill. The city has also recognized Hayling by naming the street where he once lived Dr. Robert B. Hayling Place, and by awarding him the city’s two highest honors, the de Avilés Award in 2011 and the Order of La Florida in 2013. Hayling is the only person to receive both awards. Dr. Hayling died in 2015.