9911 Seminole Blvd. Seminole, FL 33772       Ph. 727-397-5563   View TBN's FREE e-Edition today!  
Click here to learn more
Belleair Bee Facebook Twitter
Belleair celebrates Winston Park opening
Article published on
  Print E-Mail
Neighbors of Winston Park gather to watch the official ribbon cutting re-opening of the park.
BELLEAIR – It was a moment that Parks and Recreation Director Eric Wahlbeck had been waiting for. The official reopening of Winston Park marked the beginning of a community-wide park enhancement, and for Wahlbeck, it was a dream come true.

The dream came true on May 1 with the official ceremony and ribbon cutting.

“This is the first one under my tenure,” he said. “It is a big step for the town to invest money in the parks; it is something they haven’t done in a very long time.”

There are more than 20 designated parks in Belleair, 14 of which are useable, of a size to be even called a park; the others are just green space where two roads intersect. The long-range plan calls for all 14 parks to be extensively remade. Winston Park, in the Eagle’s Nest neighborhood, was first because it coincided with extensive roadwork in the area. Wahlbeck said the goal of the work was to get more people into the park.

“The budget was $35,000,” he said. “The park was lacking a pathway, we installed that. We added a number of benches, trash cans, a doggie station and a boardwalk along the water so people can fish or do whatever.”

Parks Supervisor Ricky Allison added that a number of palm trees were removed opening the park to more open, green space. Wahlbeck said that was important.

“People told us they wanted more open space,” he said. “Now they can throw a ball or a Frisbee and let their dogs run in the open space. We also re-sodded and added new plants.”

The open space is important for Lisa Veltman, one of many neighbors who came for the official opening of the park.

“It is nice to have the sidewalk through the park for walking my dog,” she said. “It is good for families with children and now we have access to the seawall. I also like the waste station for the dogs and the benches. I call it Easter everyday here now, it was a mess.”

Resident Dave Yoder agreed with Veltman.

“I love it, they did a great job,” he said. “They removed all those old palms and they brought the park back. It is beautiful and I noticed this morning people out walking their dogs here. You can bet people will use it now.”

Maria Castro and her husband Pedro were sitting on one of the new park benches enjoying the event. They, too, were pleased with what they were seeing.

“I walk by here every day,” she said. “A couple of weeks ago it was a mess and this morning it was all done. I said, ‘Wow; I’ll definitely use this park now.’”

Prior to the remake, Winston Park was like many of the other parks in the community. It was overgrown with trees and bush. Residents complained there was nowhere to walk in the park and to add insult to injury, it was used as the staging area for all the heavy equipment and material needed for the road project.

“It was basically destroyed,” said Wahlbeck.

After a time of enjoying wine and cheese and other snacks the neighbors, staff and politicians gathered around for the ribbon cutting.

“It is easy for us to stand here and say we did this,” said Mayor Gary Katica. “But the staff of the city did this. They are the ones who made this happen.”

Wahlbeck agreed as he thanked those who actually did the work on the project. Earlier he thanked Allison whose people made it happen.

“Ricky is a landscape architect and was highly involved in the planning,” he said. “He was actually the construction supervisor. We did the majority of the work in-house to save money.”

He then turned to the neighbors and thanked them for their input.

“You shared your vision with us,” he said. “Much of what you wanted is in this park, not everything but most of it. A lot of what you asked for you got. Now you have your park back.”

Then Katica, members of the commission and employees of the Parks Department, all with scissors, cut the ribbon multiple times to be sure the park was officially open.

Wahlbeck said the park renovations aren’t finished. He said Fountain Square is next, then Pinellas Park. The biggest park, Hunter Park is due for a makeover turning it into Hunter Memorial Park with a new fountain and displays honoring Belleair’s veterans. Work on that park should begin this summer.

Winston Park now includes plenty of open green space for residents to enjoy tossing a ball or Frisbee.
Article published on
Copyright © Tampa Bay Newspapers: All rights reserved.
Printable Version E-mail article
Community Focus Online
Featured Print Advertisers
Florida Center for Back & Neck Pain
Dr. Greg Hollstrom
11444 Seminole Blvd.
(727) 393-6100

Web site        View Ad
Tarpon Springs Merchants Association

Oct. 15 - 18

Web site        View Ad
Omega Gamma Delta Fraternity
Looking for Alumni
Contact Mark Quering
Beta Chi 1972

Web site        View Ad
Law Office of Stephen C. Whalen, P.A.
1968 Bayshore Blvd., Dunedin
(727) 726-0439
(727) 409-7347(Cell)

Web site        View Ad
Bell Hearing Instruments, Inc.
801 West Bay Dr., Suite 405, Largo (727) 585-2675
Factory Location
700 Stevens Ave., Oldsmar (813) 814-2355

Web site        View Ad
Abbey Carpet & Floor of Largo
13120 66th St. N.
(727) 524-1445

Web site        View Ad
Five Fish Boutique
735 Dodecanese Blvd, Suite 1, Tarpon Springs
(727) 485-8660

Web site        View Ad
Oakhurst & East Bay Medical
13020 Park Blvd., Seminole
(727) 393-3404
3800 East Bay Dr., Largo
(727) 539-0505

Web site        View Ad
Custom Couture of Tarpon Springs
208 East Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs
(727) 238-7194

Web site        View Ad
US Ammo Depot
118 E. Tarpon Ave, Suite 208, Tarpon Springs
(727) 940-8636

Web site        View Ad
Flooring America
9012 Seminole Blvd., Seminole
(727) 397-5509
100 Patricia Ave., Dunedin
(727) 733-1356

Web site        View Ad
NuSmile Dental
13611 Park Blvd., Suite G
(727) 475-7866

Web site        View Ad
Tarpon Springs Recreation Division
Zombie Run, 10/17
Coastal Cleanup, 10/7
Trunk or Treat, 10/31

Web site        View Ad
Senior Health Care Solutions

(866) 633-4427

Web site        View Ad
Tampa Bay Newspapers
Online Advertising
For information, e-mail
Online Services Directory
Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
Submit News