City to buy land for new park, kayak launch
A proposal for a new public city park and kayak launch is one step closer to reality. City commissioners unanimously approved the purchase of more than 2 acres of open waterfront grassland for the project at a meeting last week. The land known as the Bleakley property, on Bayshore Boulevard near the Pinellas Trail overpass at the city's northern edge, was bought using $1 million from the city's nontax land dedication fund and a private donation by local landowner Sallie Guthrie. To open and develop the land — considered the city's last large patch of undeveloped coast — with parking and landscaping will cost about $25,000, officials said. Maintenance, mostly mowing and mangrove trimming, will cost about $5,000 a year. The city also approved the vacation of Spring Street, a dead-end road in the middle of Guthrie's property that she had requested in exchange for her $250,000 donation.
Get the lowdown on Florida bats
Learn about bats at the Clearwater Main Library next week. The World of Bats program will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, and feature a slide presentation illustrating their unusual diversity, interesting behaviors and benefits to humans. Florida bats also will be on display at the free program. The library is at 100 N. Osceola Ave. For information, call (727) 562-4970.
Humane shelter seeks volunteers
The Humane Society of Pinellas, 3040 State Road 590, Clearwater, is looking for adults who love pets to volunteer at the facility. There are openings for weekday shifts and limited weekend shifts. The society is also looking for kitten fosters and help in the adoption center and with special events. A volunteer information session will be held Jan. 8. For more information and to register, call (727) 797-7722, ext. 237 or send an e-mail to bobbieb@humane societyofpinellas.org.
Workshop teaches financial practices
Pinellas County Extension, 12520 Ulmerton Road, has designed a workshop to give people the knowledge and skills to enhance confidence in establishing and meeting financial goals for 2011 and beyond. Karen Saley, an extension specialist, will lead a three-part seminar, Focus on Finances, beginning Jan. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. Two more sessions will be held Jan. 18 and Jan. 25. Participants who attend all three sessions will be eligible to receive free, one-on-one financial counseling from a member of the Financial Planners Association of Tampa Bay. To register for the workshop, call (727) 582-2100 or visit pinellascountyextension.org and click the Online Class Registration. From there, click on the Families & Consumers tab.