Tampa Bay Times

Sights set on St. Petersburg

A mother, daughter and dog set out to visit every St. Petersburg park — and do.

- BY MAGGIE DUFFY Times Staff Writer Contact Maggie Duffy at mduffy@tampabay.com or 727-893-8572. Follow @maggiedale­xis.

Park hopping has new meaning for a mother, daughter and mini goldendood­le.

ST. PETERSBURG — Rachel Crozier and her mother, Amy George, were taking early morning walks with Wilson, Crozier’s 5-year-old mini goldendood­le. It was a safe way for them to spend time together during quarantine.

But by July, they’d grown bored of walking around the same neighborho­od. So they endeavored to visit all of the parks in St. Petersburg, 150 in total.

That wasn’t such an easy feat. They found inconsiste­ncies on the list and map of parks on the City of St. Petersburg’s website. Crozier and George are both fairly new to the city, so they spent as much time figuring out logical routes as they did on the walks.

George created a spreadshee­t with locations, routes that might encompass 3 to 5 miles and parking informatio­n.

They began with Abercrombi­e Park and were delighted by the boardwalks and water views.

From then on they walked together twice a week, beginning at 5:30 a.m. They completed their mission to walk every park in March, ending with the Treasure Island Beach Trail. They logged 148 miles total.

“It felt like we saw every inch of the city,” Crozier said. They discovered new neighborho­ods, murals, museums and restaurant­s.

One surprising find was the Indian mounds they encountere­d near Pinellas Point.

Some of the parks on the city’s list were tiny, like Harbordale Park on Sixth Street S.

They came to recognize the telltale trash can and bench that are found at most of the parks maintained by the city.

“We enjoyed seeing that you don’t have to go very far in this city to find some kind of park,” George said.

She carries a baton on her walks, mostly for protection in case she has to “bop something on the head,” which hasn’t happened so far. She sometimes twirls it as she walks.

George said that while it was difficult for them to pick a single favorite park, they never would have found “new favorites” Coquina Key, Dell Holmes Park, Clam Bayou, Historic Round Lake and Pinellas Point if they hadn’t set out on their mission.

They also saw fellow walkers who would always smile at Wilson, who Crozier says is in “the best

shape of his life.”

But it was the mother-daughter bonding time that was the most special.

“It’s time to chat,” Crozier said. They had intimate conversati­ons that she said at some point became “what happens on the walk, stays on the walk.”

“I got to spend all this time with my daughter, which was the best,” George said.

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George and Crozier began with Abercrombi­e Park in St. Petersburg and eventually crossed every city park off their list, big and small. Their travels included: 1. Forrest Bluff Park, 2. Edgemoor Park, 3. Roser Park, 4. Straub Park, 5. Clam Bayou, 6. the Fountain of Youth, 7. Pinellas Point, 8. Harbordale Park and 9. Lake Vista Park.
8 George and Crozier began with Abercrombi­e Park in St. Petersburg and eventually crossed every city park off their list, big and small. Their travels included: 1. Forrest Bluff Park, 2. Edgemoor Park, 3. Roser Park, 4. Straub Park, 5. Clam Bayou, 6. the Fountain of Youth, 7. Pinellas Point, 8. Harbordale Park and 9. Lake Vista Park.
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 ?? DIRK SHADD | Times ?? Amy George, 63, and her daughter, Rachel Crozier, 36, along with Wilson, Crozier’s dog, are pictured at Dell Holmes Park in St. Petersburg. “We were determined to hit all 150 parks,” George said. Dell Holmes Park turned out to be one of their favorites. George carries the baton on her walks in case she has to “bop something on the head.”
DIRK SHADD | Times Amy George, 63, and her daughter, Rachel Crozier, 36, along with Wilson, Crozier’s dog, are pictured at Dell Holmes Park in St. Petersburg. “We were determined to hit all 150 parks,” George said. Dell Holmes Park turned out to be one of their favorites. George carries the baton on her walks in case she has to “bop something on the head.”
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 ?? Photos courtesy of Amy George ??
Photos courtesy of Amy George
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