Curious about what’s going on in the incredible parks of the St. Pete waterfront? Below is an archive of news regarding events that have gone on in the parks. If you’d like up-to-date news from the Waterfront Parks Foundation, sign up for our newsletter!

Picnic Land Sets US Record for Longest Picnic Blanket

Last Saturday was an excellent day for the Waterfront Parks Foundation (WPF)! The weather was perfect, and the crowd was in a great mood at our inaugural Picnic Land event, as St. Petersburg friends and families joined in creating a new record for the Longest Picnic Blanket in the U.S. on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at Flora Wylie Park.

“Our original lofty goal was to break the World Record for the Longest Picnic Blanket. While we missed that goal, we set the new U.S. record instead!” exclaimed WPF President Logan DeVicente. Nearly 2,000 picnic lovers filled the winding, continuous rows of colorful picnic blankets for almost the entire length of Flora Wylie Park.”

“Picnic Land is a co-sponsored City event,” added Mr. DeVicente. “Guests enjoyed great weather and the terrific waterfront park setting that provided family-friendly games and children’s activities, food trucks, live music, professional storytellers, a magician, and an early visit by Santa.”

Over 400 Blankets!

“Picnic Land is a wonderful reminder that our waterfront parks are meant to bring people together to relax and enjoy this magnificent asset that makes St. Petersburg so special,” remarked Gina Driscoll, St. Petersburg City Council Member, District 6. “We are fortunate to have the Waterfront Parks Foundation as a partner working tirelessly to protect, beautify, and celebrate our parks.” 

“It was amazing to see the 416 registered blankets filled with families and friends stretch over three-quarters of a mile for 4,160 feet of fun,” added Mr. DeVicente. “Every registration included a large souvenir blanket for family enjoyment year-round.”  

Although the record-breaking attempt adds a fun element, Picnic Land is about more than breaking records. It’s the perfect community builder, where each year, we can invite all the residents of St. Petersburg to gather and appreciate our access to the many features of our 12 continuous downtown waterfront parks.  

Donation Matching

Another crucial aspect of the event is to encourage financial support for the works of the WPF. This year, we have a uniquely significant opportunity to double our financial support: thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the Majeed Foundation, we have been offered the Majeed Match: all donations made will be matched dollar-for-dollar until donations reach $1 million! WPF aims to use these gifts to create an endowment to fund future parkland beautification projects. Please consider becoming part of this legacy–visit Majeed Match to support the WPF mission.
 


WPF Mission

For over a decade, the Waterfront Parks Foundation has worked to preserve, protect, and promote St. Petersburg’s award-winning waterfront parks system in partnership with our City’s Parks and Recreation Department. Our Foundation, together with the unwavering support of the Majeed Foundation, continues to beautify the parks with rotating flower beds, add new “dark sky” lighting, hold numerous park clean-ups, and develop and install multiple park swings and benches for the enjoyment of all. If you joined us at Picnic Land 2023, we thank you for your participation, and we welcome your attendance next year, as well as your financial support, your volunteer assistance, and your feedback throughout the year, all of which are vital to preserving our magnificent waterfront parks.


October 2023 Newsletter

Join Us at Picnic Land and Let’s Set a World Record!

The best weather has arrived in beautiful St. Petersburg, and there’s nothing like a picnic in the park to celebrate! We invite you to gather your family, friends and neighbors and join us at Flora Wylie Park as we attempt to break the  World Record for the World’s Longest Picnic Blanket!

World Record Attempt

An image of the Picnic Land Event with a text box reading www.PicnicLand.org

Flora Wylie Park, nestled along the shores of Tampa Bay on North Shore Drive NE, will be the scene of Picnic Land, where a winding row of colorful picnic blankets will be laid end-to-end. Our goal (while we support the Waterfront Parks Foundation) is to have enough blankets to create the world’s longest continuous ribbon of picnic blankets in one place! The entrance fee for four is only $40 and includes a souvenir blanket in the color of your choice. The event, which is co-sponsored by the City of St. Petersburg, will offer lots of fun for all ages, including food trucks, professional story tellers, a magician and live music. Best of all for the kids and grandkids, Santa will be a featured guest, complete with his own tent so they can get their Christmas wish list to him at Picnic Land!

Free Blanket with Purchase

You can choose from four blanket colors: blue, pink, green, or orange, which will be placed in individual color sections along the meandering ribbon of blankets, so if your group of friends/family choose blankets of the same color, you will easily be able to find one another and picnic together. 

An image of a plastic container containing an assortment of fruits, deli meats, veggies, and cheese.

Optional Food Choices

When you reserve your blanket, you also have the option of preordering a charcuterie platter from Lolita’s Wine Market (with meat, vegetarian or gluten-free). So, you can bring your own picnic baskets, pick up your pre-ordered charcuterie boards or purchase food from your choice of food trucks at the event. All entrance proceeds will benefit the work of the Waterfront Parks Foundation. 

An image of 4 children playin on a picnic blanket.

Gather Your Friends

Get your group together and reserve your blankets today at picnicland.org. After all, you don’t find a public waterfront treasure like ours in many cities, and we all should take part in celebrating and supporting it. Hopefully, we’ll break a world record in the process! 

Saturday, November 18, 2023
3:00 – 6:00 pm
Flora Wylie Park
St. Petersburg, FL

Purchase Picnic Land Ticket

Download Picnic Land Flyer


Kids: Santa Wants to See YOU at Picnic Land!

Hi, kids! 
Here at the North Pole, we’re busy gearing up for Christmas, and this year, I want to hear from as many of you IN PERSON as I can. So, I’m happy to tell you that the Waterfront Parks Foundation has graciously invited me to spend the afternoon on my throne at Flora Wylie Park on Saturday, November 18th from 3:00 to 6:00 pm at Picnic Land! 

Be sure to tell your parents to go to picnicland.org and reserve a blanket or two for your family. I’ll be waiting to hear all about how you’ve been this past year, and what you hope I can pack in my bag for you! 

Now, start getting your lists ready, and be on your best behavior until then!

I look forward to seeing all of you at Picnic Land. 


WPF: Celebrating 11 Years in Support of the Parks

Since October 31, 2012, the Waterfront Parks Foundation (WPF) has worked with St. Petersburg’s Parks & Recreation Department to protect, preserve and promote our spectacular, award-winning, waterfront parks in downtown St. Petersburg, which run along Tampa Bay from the north at Coffee Pot Park (1st Street and 30th Ave. NE) to Lassing Park (Beach Drive and 22nd Ave. SE), just south of downtown. We also coordinate with other local groups in this effort. These groups include the Petersburg City Council, Preserve the ‘Burg, Tampa Bay Watch, Byrne Ocean Conservation/Water Warrior Alliance and the neighborhood associations in which our waterfront parks are located.  

WPF Projects

Current Foundation projects—assisted by the generous support of the Majeed Foundation—include continuously updated flower beds; improved, environmentally-conscious park lighting and the development and installation of numerous park benches and swings throughout the waterfront parks system. 

Support WPF 

Our work depends upon the support of donors, volunteers and sponsors like you! In addition to supporting Picnic Land, we invite you to volunteer, sponsor your own fundraiser, or become a donor. See our website for more information: waterfrontparksfoundation.org


Downtown Waterfront Parks Finalist for Great Places in Florida Award

St. Petersburg’s Downtown Waterfront Parks System is one of Four Finalists for the 2022 Great Places in Florida People’s Choice Award

 Read more …


Park Swing Dedication

An image of a green bench swing in Flora Wylie Park overlooking Tampa Bay

All are invited to join City of Saint Petersburg Parks & Recreation Department and the Waterfront Parks Foundation (WPF) for a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new waterfront parks bench swing prototype on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022 at 10:00 am in Flora Wylie Park, located at the intersection Coffee Pot Blvd. and Northshore Dr. NE.

 Read more …


Lassing Park Living Shoreline Restoration Project

Living Shoreline Construction at Lassing Park

Amazing work continues at the southernmost park under WPF’s protection. Lassing Park, where Tampa Bay Watch, in partnership with the City of St. Petersburg, works to stabilize one of the last remaining undeveloped shorelines in St. Petersburg with the Living Shoreline Project. 

 Read more …


Waterfront Parks Foundation Updates City Council

An image of President Logan DeVicente of Waterfront Parks Foundation giving a speech to the City Council regarding the Foundation.

On April 7, 2022, WPF gave a presentation at the St. Petersburg City Council meeting on the most recent ways the Foundation has assisted the City in preserving, protecting and promoting the St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront parks. President Logan DeVicente gave the presentation, with numerous members of the Board in attendance. 

 Read more …

A professional photo of Tami Simms.

Meet WPF Executive Board Member—Tami Simms

One of the founding members of the Waterfront Parks Foundation, Tami Simms is a woman whose name is known throughout St. Petersburg for her many civic contributions. 


Charlie Osterholt Retirement

Charlie Osterholt Retirement

WPF Celebrates One of Our Own

After the April WPF board meeting adjourned, board members remained to propose a toast to founding Executive Board Member Charlie Osterholt, who recently retired from his career after 30 years as a Wealth Management Adviser with Merrill Lynch. Charlie was presented some fun gag gifts and an extra- special framed tribute illustrated by WPF Founder Phil Graham, Jr. who is known for creating caricatures for friends on special occasions. 


St. Pete Ranks No. 1 for Preserving Parks

The Catalyst  June 2, 2021 – St. Pete’s emphasis on maintaining and preserving parklands and related recreational activities has landed it the top spot in a state ranking.

Swing

An image of a couple sitting on a green bench swing in Flora Wylie Park overlooking Tampa Bay

One of the goals of the Downtown Waterfront Parks Foundation is to make our beautiful parks in St. Petersburg, FL more enjoyable and comfortable. With funding provided by the Majeed Foundation, we have created this swing for visitors to relax in and enjoy the waterfront views from the north end of Flora Wylie Park.  Once you’ve had a chance to give the prototype swing a try, please share your thoughts so we can make the next swing even better.


Making the Waterfront Parks a More Beautiful Place for All

There are a number of supporters in our community who help our organization with their time, talent and treasure.  One life-long St. Petersburg resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, loves and enjoys our unique waterfront very much and has supported it quite generously over the years.  To this donor and all our terrific supporters, we say Thank You!  You make our waterfront parks a special destination in St Pete!

Tampa Bay Times: St Petersburg foundation aims to adorn downtown waterfront parks

A new project to plant annuals is ‘like adding jewels to the necklace,’ an advocate says.

Waterfront Parks Protection is Critical To Downtown St Petersburg

St Petersburg has “curb appeal.” The City’s 23 acres of Waterfront Parks that line Bay is what attracts attention.

 Read more …

Tampa Bay Times: Parks foundation inches closer to waterfront bloom

A new project to plant annuals is ‘like adding jewels to the necklace,’ an advocate says.

By Waveney Ann Moore  |  Published Oct. 1, 2013  |  Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay Times Article: Parks foundation inches closer to waterfront blooms

ST. PETERSBURG — Almost two years ago, the man who designed a landscape to complement the Dalí Museum’s uncommon architecture sought the blessing of a City Council committee to bring dazzle to downtown waterfront parks.

What Phil Graham Jr. proposed was a foundation whose funds would augment a dwindling parks budget that could no longer can afford such luxuries as frequent planting of showy annuals.

Money from the recently formed Downtown Waterfront Parks Foundation — already in receipt of inaugural donations — will benefit much of the parkland stretching from Flora Wylie Park at North Shore Drive at 13th Avenue NE to Poynter Park at 1000 Third St. S.

Read the Entire Article on TampaBay.com

Tampa Bay Times: Pioneer descendant forming foundation to help maintain St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront parks

A new project to plant annuals is ‘like adding jewels to the necklace,’ an advocate says.