Over the past eight weeks, I spoke with friends and colleagues, read articles and tuned-in to podcasts regarding the experience of social distancing. What I learned is that everyone has an opinion on how best to deal with it based on their work status, family situation and finances. My first reaction to the “shelter at home” mandate was to create a bucket list of projects that I wanted to tackle, both personally and professionally. While I’ve accomplished most of what I set out to do, I realized that I also needed time to play – to recharge and re-examine my life. Playtime took me to the beautiful downtown waterfront parks. I don’t have to drive to get to them and once there the fresh air and room to roam brings an immediate sense wellness to my mind, body and spirit. I stroll through Vinoy Park and spy dolphins, North Straub Park bursting with new flower plantings, the Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum that’s also an educational experience, Northshore Park with its awesome walking paths, and South Straub Park with its views of the bay.
Our waterfront parks are one the most important physical assets of our community. I believe they are the primary driver of St. Petersburg’s downtown economy, reflective of our lifestyle, and an important reason that people love St. Pete. So put on your walking shoes, follow established health and safety recommendations and enjoy the amazing outdoors right here, right now!