Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Improvements at Hernando Beach welcome sites will include raffle of dolphin statuary

The Hernando Beach Property Owners Association is auctioning off this bronze statue of five dolphins on Thursday.

Courtesy of Ron Wolf

The Hernando Beach Property Owners Association is auctioning off this bronze statue of five dolphins on Thursday.

HERNANDO BEACH — After a lapse of years, the Hernando Beach Property Owners Association has returned to two beautification projects that aim to entice and welcome visitors to the off-the-beaten-path waterfront community.

And as part of the improvements, some dolphins will be on the move.

Not the three-dolphin sculpture at Osowaw Boulevard and U.S. 19. But a pod of five dolphins once intended to welcome folks at Osowaw and Shoal Line boulevards is being raffled and will get a new home.

The smaller of the two improvement projects involves landscaping and repairs at the more visible of the two locations — along well-traveled U.S. 19, across from the waterfall entrance to Spring Hill.

Gracing the site is an original hand-hammered copper sculpture featuring three dolphins, backed by a mangrove cluster supporting two herons, created by the late artist Lewis Watkins, who had lived in Brooksville. It will stay in place, assures project chairwoman Gladys Moore.

Volunteers are removing old plantings there and relandscaping.

"We're resetting tiles and planting lower plants that will remain attractive," said Moore.

The larger project, on a 1-acre tract known as Triangle Park at Osowaw and Shoal Line, entails grubbing, sculpting terrain, landscaping, installing sidewalks and redoing signage, said Jude Simpson, the chairwoman of that effort.

The park includes a retention pond, big rocks, a tall marble sign that reads "Welcome to Tarpon Country" and a bear replica, Simpson noted.

"All of that is incorporated into a new design," she said.

The Hernando County Tourism Bureau helped to provide a new sign that reads "Welcome to Nature Coast." It will be erected nearby, along with a sign directing traffic to lodging, marinas and restaurants in the community.

And Simpson and her hardy volunteers are carrying the work even further.

"The vision is that the park is a walkers', a bikers' park, a place to sit and watch butterflies," she said.

Flowering plants will surround the bear statue. Simpson, an avid supporter of using native plants, is selecting the appropriate varieties.

The association at one time had planned to add a dolphin statue at the site. It purchased a 4-foot-tall, $3,000 commercially made bronze conglomerate of five dolphins. But it was never installed and has been in storage gathering dust for several years, Simpson said. It's too large to fit in with the new park design, she explained. Plus, the site lacks electricity to operate a fountain that spouts water from each dolphin's mouth.

Therefore, the statue is being raffled — 400 tickets at $25 each, to raise money to finish both projects.

"The statue is gorgeous," Moore said, "and would be beautiful on your seawall or as a fountain by your swimming pool."

She noted that a similar statue she located on the Internet carries a price tag of $8,500.

The raffle drawing is set for Thursday. Tickets are available at Blue Pelican Marina, where the statue is on display, and at Contempo Hair Salon and Leslie's Bistro, all in Hernando Beach. The association will transport the statue to the raffle winner's destination.

"But you'll have to get some big guys to help unload it," Simpson said. "It's heavy."

Beth Gray can be reached at

Improvements at Hernando Beach welcome sites will include raffle of dolphin statuary 04/25/14 [Last modified: Friday, April 25, 2014 6:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Cal Foote said he was so young when his father, Adam, played in the NHL, he didn't remember their hug in the Avalanche's dressing room during the 2001 Stanley Cup celebration.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary celebration

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    John Tortorella, in Tampa in 2014 for the 10-year Stanley Cup win party, will return next season for the team’s anniversary event.
  3. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote


    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  4. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to


    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  5. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter


    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.