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. The The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit with a mission to "create parks and protect land for people," ranked St. Petersburg No. 1 in Florida and No. 14 nationally in this year's ParkScore index. The 2021 ParkScore index evaluates 100 of the largest U.S. cities using mapping technology and demographic date to determine how well each city is meeting the needs for parks. Each city was scored in five categories: access, acreage, amenities, equity and investment, according to the index. St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Department earned a 78 out of 100 in investment and 78 out of 100 in equity. According to the ParkScore index, "75% of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park" in St. Petersburg.

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North Straub Park Flower Bed PlantingThere 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!

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.

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

By Jon Reynolds, Neighbor | Apr 3, 2019 11:21 pm ET | Updated Apr 4, 2019 5:33 pm ET

Waterfront Parks Protection As Critical To Downtown St Petersburg.

St Petersburg has "curb appeal." Realtors love to show properties with "curb appeal" The City's 23 acres of Waterfront Parks that line Bay is what attracts attention. "The View and the Bay are what makes the Day." The Parks are in reality the front yard of the City.

This beautiful green asset is in constant threat of encroachment by developers. Those wanting to invade the Parks with every conceivable and wonderous project, are continually bombarding city fathers with reasons to build on the dedicated land.

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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.

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

By Waveney Ann Moore  |  Published May 1, 2012  |  Tampa Bay Times

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

ST. PETERSBURG — The city's downtown waterfront parks are a gem. Actually, says Phil Graham Jr. with conviction, they're St. Petersburg's most important asset.

The descendant of one of the city's earliest settlers and landscape architect of the new Dalí Museum has come up with an idea to burnish the parklands in the city's downtown that edge Tampa Bay.

His proposal, to create a Downtown Waterfront Park Foundation that would provide supplemental funding for maintenance and improvements for the city's "cherished jewel," was presented a few months ago to the City Council's public services and infrastructure committee.

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