‘Twas just weeks before the holidays and all through St. Pete,

We pledged to shop local when buying our treats.

The lights were hung in Straub Park with care,

In hopes that cool weather soon would be there…


With the close of Thanksgiving comes one of the most heartening times of year, when many of us in the city of St. Petersburg pledge to shop local for our loved ones’ holiday goodies. With an endless list of incredible options, from locally-roasted coffees to handmade soaps, downtown St. Pete-themed shirts and even artisan popcorn, we’re spoiled for choice.

For many of us, however, the choices usually end there.

But in addition to those fine local goods, why not add a little environmental advocacy to your shopping list this year and further support our city by caring for its land as a Friend of Weedon Island Preserve?

Who are the Friends of Weedon Island?

The Friends of Weedon Island have been providing the Preserve with volunteer and financial support since 1992. Through environmental and cultural education programs, preservation projects, and conservation initiatives, the Friends have been the primary advocates for Weedon Island’s habitat, ecology, and history for almost three decades.

When you join the ranks in advocating for Weedon Island, your membership funds go directly toward supporting and caring for 3,600 acres of Tampa Bay, the largest open-water estuary in the state, and all of its inhabitants. What a way to shop local!

But, you ask, how on earth do I…wrap that?

How to gift a membership

If you’re considering gifting a Friends’ membership to a loved one this year, you may be wondering how you’d actually give it to them in the first place. Never fear! With Weedon’s fully-stocked (and Friends-operated) gift shop, you’ll have no trouble finding the best note card or ornament to go with your gift, as well as reference books on Florida’s wildlife and Weedon Island’s history.

Tell your loved one to read up, because the Preserve is open the day after Christmas with five miles of hiking trails just waiting t