Florida Watershed Revitalized Thanks to Hard Work of Local Community
By Keep Pinellas Beautiful
Our 2021 Restore America Estuaries grant proposal sought to revitalize the watershed along the Martin Luther King (MLK) corridor in South St. Petersburg, Florida.
This urbanized area along the MLK Corridor is uniquely positioned between St. Petersburg’s largest freshwater water body, Lake Maggiore, and Tampa Bay.
Because the MLK corridor is a part of the Salt Creek watershed connecting these two waterbodies, keeping the roadways litter-free and the parks healthy is essential for bay well-being.
To accomplish our objectives, we engaged community members in targeted marine litter abatement, public green space beautification, and experiential educational programming.
By incorporating educational messaging in our programming, we address these issues at the source and reinforce the community’s role with the health of Tampa Bay’s natural habitat.
While we were still under some restrictions with COVID we were able to host a total of 15 programs from February – July 2021 in addition to our regular programming throughout Pinellas County.
This grant funding offered the opportunity to engage a community that in the past we have had limited interaction with. We established the stakeholders of the area working in collaboration with the City of St. Petersburg, MLK Corridor Neighborhood Associations, and community groups invested in the south side community.
Specific areas of focus included including cleanups along Salt Creek and the Campbell Park community, plantings along public easements, and the restoration of stormwater ponds in Bartlett Park and habitat in Boy Hill Nature Preserve.
So many wonderful projects were completed during this grant cycle. Below we have highlighted the most noteworthy.
Keep Pinellas Beautiful partnered with the Friends of Salt Creek to host three projects including one large planting event on May 3rd in celebration of Arbor Day. In total these efforts engaged 81 community members removing 443 of debris and planting a total of 124 native plants.
On April 8th KPB and our partners from Shorecrest High School participated in a service week project at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. 23 high school students and chaperones helped to restore preserve land creating an area for moretrails. In total students planted 1,036 native plants.
We established a new partnership with the Campbell Park Neighborhood Association and sponsored monthly Alley Cleanups to help address the litter and illegal dumping that are plaguing this community. In total 64 Volunteers worked to remove 11,800 of debris from this community.
The Roser Park Community came together twice during this grant period to beautify a pedestrian easement connecting the Roser Park and Bartlett Park Communities. Together18 participants from these neighborhoods worked to cleanup over 100 of debris along the easement, plant 110 native plants, and lay 120 lbs. of pine straw mulch
Moving forward KPB will continue to support the efforts of the Friends of Salt Creek, Campbell Park Neighborhood Association, and the Roser Park Community.
“Thank you to all the warriors that braved the rain for our cleanup. We really do make a difference.” – Merribeth Farnha
The mission of Keep Pinellas Beautiful is to conserve and beautify our natural environment by means of community engagement and education. Through our Education, Engagement and Empowerment efforts our vision is to create a culture of environmentally responsible citizens within our communities throughout Pinellas County, FL.