Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Safety Harbor park features art, Florida landscaping

SAFETY HARBOR — Madison Lincon flashed an ear-to-ear grin Friday afternoon as her parents rocked her on the dragonfly teeter-totter.

The 11-month-old has become a regular at the newly opened Mullet Creek Park, a five-year project that cost nearly $423,000.

"We make it here probably four times a week, usually after trips to the library," said Madison's mother, Judy Lincon, 38. "It's the thing to do for moms who stay at home."

The 2.6-acre park features public artwork, a nature-themed playground and 10 garden plots with Florida-friendly landscaping.

"This whole patch used to be a wasteland, just completely overgrown, but now it's a major asset to the community," said Madison's dad, Michael Lincon, 41.

The park, at the corner of Church Street and Philippe Parkway north of the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, had been vacant for more than 25 years, according to Matt McLachlan, the city's community development director.

"We're really pleased with the outcome, considering our budget limitations. Creating a neighborhood park is a challenge, especially one with so many amenities," he said.

The Safety Harbor Community Redevelopment Agency covered 66 percent of the cost of the project, while a county block grant paid for the remaining $150,000.

Community planner Ana Mena led the design team. She created a plan that emphasized both landscaping and artwork.

"We have a strong arts community and I wanted to find a way to capture that," said Mena, who graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in landscape architecture.

The city's Public Art Committee last year accepted submissions for art to display in the park. Selected art will stay in the park for a year until the committee replaces it with new submissions. The park currently has paintings, sculptures and several mosaics.

The town dedicated the park to former Commissioner Nadine Nickeson, who retired in 2009 after 12 years.

"I was speechless, absolutely speechless," she said.

City Manager Matt Spoor said he couldn't think of a Safety Harbor resident more worthy.

"There isn't a volunteer opportunity in this city she's not a part of . . . Garden Club, the library, you name it. And that made the decision easy," he said.

In May, Safety Harbor submitted information about the new park for a competition by the Florida chapter of the American Planning Association. Winners will be announced in September.

"Ultimately, this place is perfect for kids and old folks alike. It's what we've been waiting for," Michael Lincon said.

Matt McKinney can be reached at or (727) 445-4156.

New Safety Harbor park features art, Florida landscaping 06/07/13 [Last modified: Friday, June 7, 2013 6:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas receives two charter school applications


    Following a two-year dry spell, the Pinellas County school district has received two new applications to open charter schools in St. Petersburg.

    Windsor Preparatory Academy in St. Petersburg could be home to Pinellas Academy of Math and Science's St. Petersburg campus. The Pinellas County school district received a charter school application from that school's leadership this fall to open in 2018.
  2. Southern Heritage group draws fire for posting personal information of Confederate statue opponents


    TAMPA — Curtiss Wilson is an 89-year-old Tampa resident who fought in the civil rights movement.

    A report by Save Southern Heritage Florida includes the "affiliation" of more than 100 people who spoke at the July 19 commission meeting in favor of removing  the Confederate monument from in front of the old county courthouse in Tampa. People on the list say the report was meant to intimidate and harrass opponents of the monument. Save Southern Heritage director Doug Guetzloe said the report is "opposition research" meant to to inform elected officials about who was speaking on the issue.
[Save Southern Heritage Florida]
  3. Gen. Votel interview: 'A bit of a stalemate' in Afghanistan, but a chance to optimize gains there


    In developing the plan for the war in Afghanistan that he announced Monday night, President Donald Trump consulted with advisers including his military leaders through their chain of command.

  4. Water Street Tampa unveils video showing downtown's transformation (w/video)


    TAMPA — Water Street Tampa, the sweeping, 50-plus acre redevelopment project in Tampa's urban core, has unveiled new images and video of what the downtown district will look like upon completion.

    Strategic Property Partners released a conceptual image of what the Tampa skyline will look like once its redevelopment of 50-plus acres of downtown will look like. [Photo courtesy of  of SPP]
  5. Bill Nelson shares Rick Scott's cautious stance on Confederate monuments


    On the issue of Confederate monuments, Sen. Bill Nelson is taking the cautious route of Gov. Rick Scott.