The Downtown Waterfront Parks Newsletter is full of updates for friends of the Waterfront Parks Foundation. It includes information on special events that will be hosted at or by the Downtown Waterfront Parks Foundation, as well as our latest efforts taken to care for the parks.
Our annual event, the “Champagne Shuffle” at the Historic St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club was a tremendous success with 179 in attendance and over 200 tickets sold. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time just “shuffling“ or competing for prizes. Good food and drink; friends met and friends made. We are grateful to all who supported this event and especially to our major sponsors: Republic Bank, JMC Communities, Hampton Inn, and the Vinoy Renaissance Resort. This will become an annual event for us and we hope you will shuffle on down with us next year. See more highlights and pictures at https://waterfrontparksfoundation.org/2019-champagne-shuffle
Our website, www.waterfrontparksfoundation.org , has just been completely reworked by Communicasting, Inc., with a panoramic videos and interesting photos of our amazing downtown waterfront park system. The website also includes information on our organization, its purpose and activities and showcases each of the downtown waterfront parks, including the location of each and its unique characteristics, as well as information on upcoming activities and news items. We invite you to take a look at our site and hope you enjoy what you see.
I wanted to share with you some terrific news regarding our funding initiative for crafting and implementing land use and zoning changes to protect and preserve our waterfront parks. We have received a generous matching grant from an anonymous donor. These funds will be used to assist us in our effort to provide to the City language that would clean up the land use and zoning codes regarding our Downtown Waterfront Parks. Recently, the law firm of Carlton Fields extended very generous pro bono offer to provide legal representation for this initiative. Of course, there will still be additional legal filing fees, public awareness / marketing communications and other related expenses. Our matching fund donor was thrilled to learn that his donation—and yours—will now further enhance our ability to succeed in our land use and zoning initiatives as well as our overall ability to meet our Mission to Preserve, Protect and Promote our Waterfront Parks. We will be working with Carlton Fields and the City’s Legal and Planning Departments to better clarify the land use categories and zoning regulations regarding what can be developed within the Downtown Waterfront Parks. There are currently four different Land Use categories in the Comprehensive Plan as they relate to the Downtown Waterfront Parks. It also appears there are four different zoning categories, some of which allow for inappropriate development within our Downtown Waterfront Parks. We will be working to provide better protections for the preservation of our amazing Waterfront Parks through this process.
The New St Pete Pier™ and Pier Approach vertical construction is well underway and will be progressing at a rapid pace until its completion in the Spring of 2020. Continued construction updates and images can be found at www.newstpetepier.com.
Our city is becoming increasingly dense each day as buildings rise and more people discover our wonderful city. All this popularity has added pressures on our waterfront parkland. Our Downtown Waterfront Parks have become a place to “exhale” for all of our citizens, away from the bustle of city life. More and more people are discovering the pastoral views of Tampa Bay, shaded walks and venues for a plethora of events for all ages. Our park’s founders could only imagine how popular and important their contribution to our community would become. With your help, we can preserve the precious open views to the Bay and provide appropriate amenities throughout our parks for all our citizens to enjoy.
Meet Our Board Members - Joan Jaicks
For Waterfront Parks Foundation Board Member Joan Jaicks, volunteering for a cause in which she believes is as natural as breathing. Joan was attending a St. Petersburg Women’s Chamber of Commerce meeting back in the 1990s when she heard WPF founder Phil Graham speak on the need for support and beautification of the parks, and she instantly appreciated the importance of preserving the parks. She did whatever she could for the city to help with beautification. Then in 2013, she saw an article in the Tampa Bay Times in which Phil announced the creation of the Downtown Waterfront Parks Foundation. Joan gave her old friend, Phil, a call and offered her support. She has served on the board since its inception.
Joan moved to St. Petersburg as a child and other than her time at Florida State University, she has lived here ever since. Throughout her life, she’s never lived more than a few blocks from Tampa Bay. After college, Joan met her late husband, Don, while working in retail at the former Maas Brothers Department Store. She took time off work to raise their two children, and then returned to work for the Pinellas County Tax Collector where she spent the bulk of her career. She then took a part-time position as Information Specialist for the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce where she spent 20 years on “the front lines,” dealing with the public at the Chamber’s main office and at the St. Petersburg Pier. She officially retired from “paid work” in 2010.
But she certainly didn’t stop working to improve her beloved city. In addition to her involvement with WPF, Joan has contributed countless volunteer hours as an active member of many local service organizations, including the St. Petersburg Woman’s Club, the Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and the Florida Orchestra Guild. She has also volunteered for many years at St. Anthony’s Hospital and she assists annually at the City of St. Petersburg Green Thumb Festival. “If I can do something to help people or keep this city as beautiful as it is, why not?” says Joan. Of her work for the Waterfront Parks Foundation, Joan says, “I think we have the most beautiful waterfront in the country, and I think more people should take advantage of it.”
Her commitment to service has not gone unnoticed. In the mid-2000s, Joan was appointed to the City Beautiful Commission, a group that works for the City of St. Petersburg to enhance and safeguard the beauty of our natural resources and city landscape. She served on the Commission for six years. In 2007, she was inducted into the St. Petersburg Senior Hall of Fame and she also was awarded the Keys to the City. in 2010, Joan was chosen as the 2010 Queen of Hearts. In 2015, Joan was given the Elva Rouse City Beautification Award. In 2017, the St. Anthony’s Hospital Foundation presented Joan with the Helen D. Roberts Philanthropy Award.
When describing the past year’s work with the Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Joan remarks, “I’m so proud that the Women’s Chamber chose the Waterfront Parks Foundation was one of the recipients of our annual fundraiser, which then helped contribute to the recent WPF Matching Funds Campaign.”
Certainly, this board is proud to have Joan Jaicks serve as a board member of the Waterfront Parks Foundation.
See you in the park!
Phil Graham, Jr., President
Waterfront Parks Foundation