Chartered in 1992, the Friends provide Weedon Island Preserve with financial and volunteer support for multiple programs and projects. These include environmental and cultural education and preservation, conservation initiatives, and advocacy for the Preserve, its habitat, ecology, and cultural history.
Pinellas County, where Weedon Island is located, is Florida’s most densely populated county. Despite this density, it hosts three Preserves: Weedon Island at 3,700 acres, Brooker Creek at 8,600 acres, and Shell Island in Boca Ciega Bay. It also includes numerous parks, including Fort DeSoto http://www.pinellascounty.org/park/05_ft_desoto.htm, one of the most visited parks in the state.
St. Peterburg, the city where Weedon Island is located, has 150 parks http://www.stpeteparksrec.org/. The city’s Parks and Recreation department is one of only 90 agencies in the country currently holding national accreditation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).
In the 1950’s the area’s residents were a driving force behind Florida’s purchase of the Weedon Island property. The management of the Preserve fell to Pinellas County. In 2002, with the Friends leadership and support, the County committed $5M of Pennies for Pinellas sales tax funding to build the Preserve’s Cultural and Natural History Center.
On-going, the Friends fund and support numerous projects and programs that increase awareness of the Weedon Island Preserve, its natural habitat and cultural history, and enrich and inform visitors’ experiences.
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