Pinellas County is full of rejuvenating places (natural garden spots) awaiting discovery. A crisp clear Valentine’s Day was a perfect setting for a walk in nature. The original plan was to go to Moccasin Lake Park, a 51-acre nature preserve with trails under a canopy of mature oaks and wetland boardwalks. That plan was put aside when we discovered the park is closed on Mondays.
In its place, a jewel that I didn’t know existed was discovered- Abercrombie Park. Located in the Jungle Terrace neighborhood, it is one of the City of St. Petersburg’s four archaeological sites. Abercrombie Park consists of 2.4 acres of uplands and 1.2 acres of submerged land. Within the archaeological park is “a Native American midden (shell mound). The mound is part of the larger Bayshore Home Site Complex, a pre-Columbian village occupied by Native Americans between AD 140 and 565, during the early Weeden Island period.”
John Abercrombie, M.D. and his wife donated the first tract of land for the park for the “rest and refreshment of those who may be weary in body or spirit and to preserve for future generations an unspoiled bit of the native beauty of Florida…” They came to the area from Memphis, Tennessee in 1884. Check out the below plaque for more information.
The small park is full of interesting little historical and visual tidbits. I was curious about Pánfilo de Narváez, for whom the Florida Society Colonial Dames of the XVII Century erected a plaque. Interesting history, click on the Pánfilo hyperlink – if you are curious.
So, what did I enjoy the most about the park! The old Florida trees, the entrance framing of the park. As you enter the park, you see old growth trees that create a tunnel walk leading straight to the Boca Ciega Bay. You look to the right and see trees with limbs dragging toward the ground, begging children to climb. You walk inward and find a boardwalk that weaves through old growth. You look down and see pools of water teeming with tadpoles, minnows, or ?? and find Florida plants of medicinal value. As you continue and leave the boardwalk, you angle uphill to the midden (shell mound referenced earlier).
Returning you see people coming and going and walking their dogs. And realize this is their oasis for neighborhood gathering where they walk or sit on benches, chatting away catching up on the latest news. A homey feeling. A delightful day!