To preserve, protect, maintain and enhance the city's parklands and recreational facilities and engage people in leisure activities that contribute to their quality of life.
Currently there are more than 500 palms and cycads representing some 150 species from around the world. Development of the palm arboretum is a continuing, never-ending project. The collection will grow as new species become available. Park development is supervised by the City Beautiful Commission in cooperation with the St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Department.
To schedule a guided tour please call 727-893-7441.
Located on North Shore Dr. at the foot of 10th Ave. NE, just north of North Shore Swimming Pool and the Vinoy Resort. Adjacent parking is free of charge.
Gift information may be obtained by contacting the city's Parks and Recreation Department, 1400 19th St. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33713. Or call 727-893-7441. All donations are tax deductible.
The palm arboretum allows visitors to study and enjoy many exotic and native Florida palms and cycads in one convenient setting.
It contains some large palms which are too big for most private yards and introduces some new and exotic palms which may be grown in small yards. The park offers a unique educational experience while at the same time providing a peaceful setting to relax and enjoy nature.
It is easier to refer to a palm by its nickname or common name if one exists. But it is helpful to become familiar with the scientific name, since some common names can be confusing. Palm scientific names are in two parts. The first name is the genus name or a group of palms within the palm family. The second part of a palm name is its species.
Development of the Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum began in 1976.
The two-acre park was once a city miniature golf course which was closed due to escalating maintenance costs. A concerned resident and park volunteer, Mrs. Elva Rouse, proposed the area as ideal for a palm arboretum. The proposal was adopted by City Council and subsequently the palm arboretum was created through a generous gift of stock from Miss Gizella Kopsick, a long-time palm admirer.
Initially, 60 palms representing 10 species were planted in the park. Drinking fountains, a gazebo, conversation corners with wooden benches and red brick paving were installed in a graceful circle winding through the palms. All facilities were designed to meet the needs of the handicapped, which included Miss Kopsick, who was confined to a wheelchair. The arboretum was dedicated on May 16, 1977, Miss Kopsick's 100th birthday. Since the park opened many additional gifts have been received from interested individuals and organizations.
Participate in this program by having a tree planted to honor a person or organization, or as a memorial. All trees are planted on city-owned properties. Contributions in any amount are accepted and accumulate toward the price of a tree. Names of persons being honored or remembered and names of donors are inscribed in a leather-bound register located in the Mayor's office at St. Petersburg City Hall.
Set your name in stone by purchasing a commemorative brick in the Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum and help preserve this beautiful space for the enjoyment of generations to come. The bricks will be custom engraved and placed around the planting beds in the beautiful palm garden. Your contribution is tax deductible and all proceeds will fund the expansion of the Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum.
For more information on either program call the St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Department at 727- 893-7441.