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

By Waveney Ann Moore  |  Published Apr. 19, 2020  |  Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay Times Article: St. Petersburg foundation aims to adorn downtown waterfront parks

ST. PETERSBURG — The city’s miles of downtown waterfront parks are about to be augmented with a 26-acre, $92 million Pier District. But landscape architect Phil Graham Jr. is most pleased with the rows of red and white begonias and yellow shrub daisies beginning to take root at two focal points along St. Petersburg’s cherished downtown waterfront. “The idea behind this was to get a large enough area that had some visual interest and some impact,” said Graham, president of the Waterfront Parks Foundation, the organization of prominent residents responsible for the recent plantings.

The foundation was created in 2013, after budget cuts caused by the Great Recession left little for showy extras in the parks that owe their origin to residents such as St. Petersburg Times editor William Straub and developer C. Perry Snell. Their dogged efforts to protect the waterfront from encroaching commercial development led to the dedication of the first park in 1910.