Saturday, August 18, 2018
News Roundup

St. Petersburg likely to buy Tampa family's rare plant collection

ST. PETERSBURG — Brad Young grew up in a garden unlike others.

It was large, lush and filled with plants not usually seen in South Tampa back yards, thanks to his father, who collected rare palms and cycads.

The environment inspired Young, 59, to become a botanist. After his father died eight years ago, he continued to nurture the garden. About a year ago, he and his brothers decided it was time to sell the estate. But what of the plants?

At first the family considered selling the collection, which Young said is worth at least $380,000, to private buyers. Then they agreed to sell the plants — more than 300 in all — to the city of St. Petersburg for $300,000.

"I knew I had to do something to protect them," Young said. "Just the fact that it will stay together and be able to be enjoyed by the public means a lot to me."

City Council members will be asked to approve the deal at their meeting this week. The $300,000 figure includes the purchase price for the collection ($125,000), transplant costs ($75,000), hardscape ($60,000), maintenance ($34,000) and other fees. The money will come from the Weeki Wachee Fund, which was created for parks and beautification.

Council members have signaled they like the proposal.

"I think it's a very intriguing idea to be able to have a world-class collection that kind of fits into the emphasis we put on having world-class parks," council member Jim Kennedy said during a workshop last week about the deal.

Residents and visitors will be able to enjoy the Young cycad collection at the Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum — a little park along the waterfront at North Shore Drive and 11th Avenue NE filled with different types of plants. The rarest cycads would go to Sunken Gardens.

Young and officials hope the collection will give plant enthusiasts another reason to visit the city and boost ecotourism.

"I could make three times as much by transplanting them myself and selling them one at a time," Young said. "To keep it together … that's so much better."

Kameel Stanley can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8643. Follow @cornandpotatoes on Twitter.

Comments
Preseason football: Hillsborough 29, East Lake 23

Preseason football: Hillsborough 29, East Lake 23

TAMPA — When moving on to your third football program in four seasons, it helps to have a familiar face on the scene to help make things click faster.For Hillsborough quarterback Charlie Dean, fresh from playing for Tampa Catholic last fall, that per...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: The stats that matter

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: The stats that matter

Yeah, but …Every Jameis Winston-Marcus Mariota debate is full of them.Winston has completed more passes (939), gained more passing yards (11,636) and thrown more passing touchdowns (69) before his age 24 season than any quarterback in NFL histo...
Updated: 4 hours ago
It’s David Price time, from Rays ‘openers’ to rise of Blake Snell

It’s David Price time, from Rays ‘openers’ to rise of Blake Snell

BOSTON — David Price heard about the recent reunion of the Rays' 2008 American League championship club that he played a big role on as a small part of, and he had a few questions.What players were there? How did it go? Did second baseman Akino...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Rays journal: A 3-0 first-inning lead turns into a loss to powerful Red Sox

BOSTON — Scoring three runs in the top of the first inning is typically a good start toward a victory.But not so much at cozy Fenway Park.And definitely not against these red-hot Red Sox.Facing their AL East rivals for the first time since late...
Updated: 6 hours ago
From Hawaii to the honky-tonk: Nashville’s in love with Marcus Mariota

From Hawaii to the honky-tonk: Nashville’s in love with Marcus Mariota

NASHVILLE — Ten thousand blue leis were distributed to Titans fans for the NFL draft on the day their team picked Marcus Mariota.The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner wasn't even at Nissan Stadium for the party, which drew a crowd of 20,000. But the w...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Preseason football: Clearwater Central Catholic 24, Wiregrass Ranch 14

Preseason football: Clearwater Central Catholic 24, Wiregrass Ranch 14

WESLEY CHAPEL — Clearwater Central Catholic, held to 11 yards rushing in the first half, turned on the power game behind senior Casey Levy, whose 120-yard performance helped carry the visiting Marauders to a 24-14 win at Wiregrass Ranch.Levy’s lone t...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Preseason football: Tampa Bay Tech 54, Brandon 6

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Tech earned all the momentum it needed heading into next week’s sizable test at Armwood.The Titans powered by visiting Brandon 54-6 in a preseason classic on Friday night. The game was cruising along until a 20-minute lightning dela...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Preseason football: Tampa Catholic 36, Robinson 15

TAMPA — First-year Tampa Catholic coach Jeris McIntyre hasn’t named a starting quarterback yet, but Dylan McCain shined in his job interview Friday, running a Crusader offense that scored 22 points in the second half on the way to a 36-15 preseason v...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Preseason football: Jefferson 53, Newsome 0

LITHIA — Jefferson’s Tyler Thomas needed less than a quarter to throw down a challenge to the area teams: Catch him if you can.Unsuspecting Newsome, playing host to the preseason classic, never had a chance in the 53-0 loss on Friday.Thomas, a senior...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Preseason football: Sunlake 22, Lakewood 20 (one half)

ST. PETERSBURG — Following two lengthy lightning delays, Sunlake used two blocked punts and several key defensive stops to knock off Lakewood in an abbreviated preseason game, 22-20.Matt Paduani led the way for the Seahawks, notching two touchdown ca...
Updated: 7 hours ago