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Waterfront Parks Foundation
Proudly supporting St. Petersburg, Florida's waterfront parks!
MAY 2021

Message from our President

Our waterfront parks are being enjoyed more and more now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing up. It is wonderful to see people of all ages enjoying the many features our downtown waterfront parks provide to our community. We have also been “discovered” as a destination city with new residents arriving daily, making the preservation of waterfront open space even more important as our user numbers increase. 

The Spring floral planting has been installed in the waterfront parks through the generosity of the Majeed Family ( The installation of seasonal flowers has been expanded and now adds vibrant floral color to 3rd Ave. N.E. and Beach Dr.; 4th Ave N.E. and Beach Drive; Coffee Pot Blvd. and North Shore Dr. N.E.; four large flower beds along Tampa Bay near the volleyball courts; and a soon-to-be-installed location at 5th Ave. and Bayshore Dr. N.E.  The Majeed Foundation has made it possible, through their ongoing funding of these floral displays and their maintenance, to provide the City with a number of bright focal points to highlight our waterfront park system. 

The Majeed Foundation will also provide funding for the installation of the first bench swing in our downtown waterfront parks. The bench swing was designed by the Waterfront Parks Foundation and engineered by Bill Reidy of Advanced Engineering & Design, Inc. This prototype swing will be installed along Tampa Bay in Flora Wylie Park near the intersection of Coffee Pot Blvd. and Northshore Dr. N.E.  It will be installed this summer and we will be asking the public for their impressions and comments. If we receive positive input, we will be installing more bench swings within the parks. 

The Waterfront Parks Foundation joined forces with the St. Petersburg Downtown Rotary Club this year for the refurbishment of the William Straub monument in South Straub Park. A dedication ceremony was held on May 7th. Stop by and visit the monument. Use your cell phone to receive information on Mr. Straub, who was the editor of the St. Petersburg Times, a founder of the St. Petersburg Rotary Club and the man who was instrumental in giving St. Petersburg the wonderful waterfront parks we enjoy today!

The Foundation’s Committees, in coordination with the City Parks Department, have been busy with various important aspects of the waterfront parks including utilities, benches, park zoning, site lighting, signage, and special events. One of the upcoming events will be “Hunt the Waterfront,” a fun-filled scavenger hunt to discover interesting facts about St. Pete and the waterfront parks. The Foundation also continues to provide advocacy for our waterfront parks and, most recently, formed a committee to mitigate negative impacts on Demens Landing Park found in the proposed Safe Harbor Development conceptual marina plan. 

We continue to work together to Preserve, Protect and Promote the waterfront park system and we are grateful to all who feel as we do about this beautiful and irreplaceable community asset. We’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts about our parks at  

Phil Graham, Jr., President
Waterfront Parks Foundation

Setting the Record Straight

Phil Graham talks Demens Landing, importance of advocacy for waterfront parks with St Pete Catalyst  The proposed St Petersburg Marina privatization and redevelopment plan by Safe Harbor Development (SHD) is one of the most controversial issues affecting our waterfront today and has a potentially profound generational impact.
Faced with this challenge, President Phil Graham Jr. led a Waterfront Parks Foundation (WPF) committee in reviewing the Demens Landing parkland and green space portion of the proposal. "Waterfront parkland use is core to WPF's mission," according to Phil. "However, since our WPF charter does not cover the overall Marina or operations, we limited our review to only the Demens Landing parkland portion." 

WPF was briefly swept up in the surrounding Marina controversy when Mayor Rick Kriseman misinterpreted the Foundation's position and subsequent news stories, and social media posts repeated the incorrect information...


Rotary Club Rededicates Monument Honoring William Straub on 100th Anniversary

Rotary Club Rededicates Monument Honoring William Straub on 100th AnniversaryThe Rotary Club of St. Petersburg held a ceremony rededicating the William L. Straub monument on May 7, 2021, located on the northeast corner of South Straub Park. The monument serves the purpose of educating the public about the important role William Straub played in preserving our waterfront parks. Straub was the first president of the Rotary Club of St. Petersburg in 1920.

The Rotary Club graciously funded the needed restoration of this beautiful monument, as part of their centennial celebration this past year. The monument now includes an additional plaque with a new interactive feature for smart phones to provide more information about William Straub's impact...


Fun Events Return to the Waterfront Parks

Fun Fitness Boot Camp

Fun Fitness Boot Camp by St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Saturday, May 15
—Healthy St. Pete | Fun Fitness Boot Camp by St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation takes place on the third Saturday of each month, 9:00–10:00 am on the Family Lawn at the St. Pete Pier. Free! Details here

French Fry Festival

St. Petersburg French Fry Festival Saturday, May 15
—St. Petersburg French Fry Festival returns to Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg on Saturday, May 15 from 3:00 to 10:00 pm. The event will feature 20 food trucks, in addition to a craft beer and wine booth for adults to enjoy. Details can be found on

Movies in the Park!

Preserve the Burg’s Movies in the Park! Thursday, May 20
—Join us for Preserve the Burg’s Movies in the Park! Once again this year, the Waterfront Parks Foundation is a Platinum Sponsor for Preserve the Burg’s semi-annual Movies in the Parks, which is held in North Straub Park. Due to COVID-19, the event is back with limited seating so tickets are required this year. The May 20th featured movie is Two Weeks Notice starring Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant. Gates open at 6:15 pm with food and drinks available (you may also bring your own picnic) and live music starts at 7:00. The film begins on the big screen at sunset. Get your tickets and more info from Preserve the ‘Burg, and we’ll see you there!

Scavenger Hunt

HUNT THE WATERFRONT Scavenger HuntComing Soon—
Watch for the release of WPF’s HUNT THE WATERFRONT Scavenger Hunt. This safe and fun activity will use your smartphone to guide you through our beautiful downtown waterfront parks in a challenging way! The WPF is providing this free event as an engaging and safe way to get to better know and appreciate our beautiful jewels on Tampa Bay. We’ll send a link to our subscribers and post on our Events tab as soon as it’s ready. So, if you aren’t already on our mailing list, be sure to sign up on our Events page.

We look forward to seeing you in the Parks!

The Majeed Foundation has made it possible, through their ongoing funding of these floral displays and their maintenance, to provide the City with a number of bright focal points to highlight our waterfront park system. This video was created before the latest planting; visit the parks to see ALL the beautiful flowers!

Help spread the word!

Share this email with anyone and everyone that you think would love to know more about St. Petersburg’s Waterfront Parks[UNIQID]

Board of Directors


President—Phil Graham, Jr.
Vice President—Logan DeVicente
Secretary—Charles Osterholt
Treasurer—Tami Simms

Board Members
Peter Betzer
Robert J. Carter
Colleen Crutchfield
Bill Dahl
JP Fatseas
Doug Fisher
David Fischer
Harvey Ford
Philip Graham, IV
Dr. Patti Helton
Mack Hicks
Don Howe
Joan Jaicks
W. Richard (Dick) Johnston
Will Michaels
Sally Poynter
Ross Preville
Robert Ulrich
Therese P. Johnson - Executive Administrator
Downtown Waterfront Parks Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation. Tax ID# 46-1298072.

Copyright © 2021 Downtown Waterfront Parks Foundation, All rights reserved.

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