Parks, Trails, and Nature Preserves
St. Petersburg offers more than 2,900 acres of parkland (more than 6,000 acres including county parkland within St. Pete). Trees and greenspace are an important part of St. Petersburg's built and natural environment. They promote social, economic, and environmental health by capturing and slowing rain, filtering air pollution, providing shade and healthier environments, providing food and habitat, and contributing to the character and aesthetic beauty of our neighborhoods and business districts. Preserves also provide refuges for native flora and fauna that are threatened by continuing urban development.
The city’s park system includes active recreational parks, pedestrian/bike facilities (City Trails), and canoe/kayak trail systems (BlueWays). The city’s nature preserves include Boyd Hill Nature Preserve and Clam Bayou Preserve. The Weedon Island Preserve also in the City of St. Petersburg; it is owned by the state and operated by Pinellas County Parks Department.
In 2016, Mayor Kriseman and City Council approved an allocation of BP Settlement funds to reinvigorate tree planting efforts. The first phase of work included several public events in 2016 related to urban forestry and tree diversity. Another first key step was for a certified arborist to conduct site evaluations on corridors identified by the Tree Czar, David Fischer, and the community.
A public meeting was held in May 2017 for public input on site evaluation results. The resulting conditions matrix and initial tree selection matrix for corridors enables the city to begin the foundational work for a more holistic urban forest program that may be developed as additional resources become available.
Residents and businesses in the identified corridors will be receiving notification of plantings by Fall 2017. Tree plantings will begin ASAP in 2017 and 2018 to maximize the number of trees that can be planted with the current funding available.
DRAFT 2017 Tree Planting Corridors Map
FINAL Tree Selection Matrix (based on identified corridors)
Schematic Plans for Site Evaluation Work Completed to date (July 2017):
Pages 1-5 Tree Schematics
Pages 6-10 Tree Schematics
Tree Removal and Planting Requirements
The Planning and Zoning Division also plays a primary role in protecting the city’s trees and setting landscape requirements. The Division employs an Urban Forester who implements the tree protection regulations, as well as tree maintenance crews who trim and remove trees as needed.
For additional information about the City’s Urban Forestry Regulations, see the Urban Forestry webpage.
Did You Know?
- Property owners and occupants are responsible for maintenance and care of trees and vegetation in the abutting rights-of-way as listed in City Ordinance 16.40.060.3 - Maintenance of Trees and Vegetation for All Properties Within the City.
- Currently, several city departments and the county have varying responsibilities related to trees and mangroves. View the draft list of City Operations and Tree Responsibilities