Friday, December 18, 2009

Scenic Bay Bluffs Park

Mayor Wiggins awarded his Beautification Award for December 2009 to the Scenic Bay Bluffs Park. The following teams were a part of the amazing transformation our 52 acres of paradise has seen over the last year.
United States Navy Flight Students
Pensacola Police Department
Pensacola Fire Department
Scenic Highway Foundation
Edmisten & Associates
City of Pensacola Parks & Recreation
District 3 residents

What an honor to have worked so hard with all of you to take back our Scenic Bay Bluffs Park. The Mayor’s Beautification Award simply ties a big bow on all of our efforts over the past year.

2009 brought the following projects to Scenic Highway’s Bay Bluffs Park.
1.CPTED planning for crime prevention through environmental design
2.Health and Fitness Trails for boot camp training and hiking
3.Environmental Survey identifying invasive plants throughout the park

Officer Donohoe surveyed the entire park area for clean up efforts that would create a safe and accessible environment. The concept of CPTED opens up visual spaces and creates a sense of safety along with assisting Pensacola Police Department in their enforcement efforts. The PPD has instituted regular patrols with both uniformed and plain clothes officers, along with string operations to end the deviant behavior. We have also added additional lighting and cameras in both parking areas and PPD has enforced the closure of the park from dusk until dawn each day.

In May for the first clean up Captain Rick Simmons rallied our Firefighters from Engine One and we completed the clean up of 8 areas within the park for safety. Our parks and recreation department, along with neighbors from District 3 came out and worked along side the firefighters all day in May 2009. Volunteers completed 90 man hours and 4 truckloads of plant material was removed.

The Second clean up is a result of efforts by Parks & Recreation director Dave Flaherty in creating a boot camp training class at the Bluffs. He commissioned Lisa Nicholas to create Boot Camp training effort. I met with Lisa and her son Alex and she became equally as passionate about cleaning up the park as I am. The Navy then sent 17 volunteers and our Parks and Recreation Department again participated and sent 3 teams of chainsaw operators. We cleared our new running trails making a complete loop from the north boardwalk all the way down to the lookout at the South end. There are now 3 different trails with beginner, intermediate and advanced challenges covering over a mile combined distance.

Our Third Clean up is the result of our Environmental Survey for invasive plants that was commissioned by our Scenic Highway Foundation with Edmisten and Associates. Mr. Sean O’Toole identified the Russian olive bushes, popcorn trees and numerous other invasives for removal. Once again the Navy and our Parks & Rec. department sent teams to further clean up and renew the Bay Bluffs Park. Ensign Bond has prepared a report the show “By the Numbers”the massive amount of plant material and the man hours spent cleaning up the park. (550 gallons of trash was collected from the surrounding area and removed 30,000 cubic feet of invasive species vegetation was cut down and removed).
I am in awe of your commitment to this effort and honored to be a part of such a wonderful group of people. You are All my heroes because the best you can hope for in life is to First be listened to by others, and Secondly to have others endeavor to take your passions as their own…You have made such a difference in Pensacola; the team work, strength and commitment you have all shown shines bright as an example for all citizens.

2010 brings the following plans for Scenic Bay Bluffs Park.

1.Continued clean up of areas around the park and along Scenic Highway.
2.Further improvements to the fitness trails
3.Plant identification signs that are graffiti and vandalism resistant
4.GeoCache tours connected to the internet for self guided tours, this is already in the works with the Scenic Highway Foundation.
5.Picnic areas at the North parking area along with benches to view the bay
6.Connecting the North and South parking areas along the roadway.
7.Replanting of native plants including blueberry bushes and other plants attract more birds wildlife.
8.Bike Trails looping from the Northern parking area to Brookshire Drive.
9.Advertising to tourists that visit the area through the Visitor’s bureau and our Parks & Rec. website.
Please continue to focus your efforts with me on our 52 acres of paradise and give me your input and ideas for future events or clean up efforts. I have instituted a new citywide clean up day for any Saturday you would like, just let me know where and I can get the signs put out on any Monday for the workday on that weekend. I will also have this information posted on our city website, with Clean and Green and ask the PNJ to publish the information so we can make our way up Scenic Highway. I wish you all a Happy Holiday Season and look forward to a prosperous 2010.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A New Era Dawns at the Port of Pensacola

The Port of Pensacola welcomes the BOA Rover!

On Dec. 14, 2009, Pensacola City Council received a briefing detailing a strategy for increasing maritime business at the Port of Pensacola while, at the same time, working to attract the private sector investment necessary to incorporate public use and access into the port's long-range plan. To view the presentation in PDF format, please click this link.