Fred Held Park is a small, quiet city park in South Pasadena FL overlooking Boca Ciega Bay that is an impactful place to refresh your spirt. The formal name is Fred Held South Pasadena Habitat, and is located at 2500 Pasadena Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33707.
This is a great place to visit in the quietness of morning to view natural beauty, give thanks in a tranquil surrounding, and extend prayer time.
Jenny Grayson, a snowbird from Cape Cod MA said, "This little park is a little piece of paradise. It sits right on Boca Ciega Bay and is wonderful for watching the sun come up on these cool winter mornings.
I come here several times a week. When I am not here I am usually walking the Treasure Island Beach Trail for my morning connection with the Universe.
I like it here in Fred Held Park because it is never crowded. There is no parking lot on this side, so most people go right by.
Those of us who like to stare into the water, practice yoga, or participate in Tai Chi park across then street in the eye clinic parking lot. Almost all of us are gone by 9:00am. The most people I have ever seen here is 10.
We were all spread out so I doubt if anyone felt overwhelmed or crowded.
This is such a nice place to come and revitalize. I love the greenery and its proximity to the ocean."
The South Pasadena Habitat has a paved walkway along Boca Ciega Bay. There is hardly any foot traffic, especially in the morning.
John Lynch (68) is retired from the Post Office. He is a snowbird who spends his summers in Providence RI. He said, "This little park will extend my life and provide me more quality health.
I love spending the time before sunrise, out here. I live in those nice condos across the street. I like coming here before I walk the beach because it has some great exercise equipment.
I also enjoy the beautiful view out into Boca Ciega Bay. I have been reading Tribe Of Mentors by Tim Ferris, and I am taking it to heart.
His whole premise is that we have a finite amount of time. It's a resource that is non-renewable. I can refresh my spirit, but I can never get the last 10 seconds back.
It's made me question the way I have been living my life. How much of it have I missed because I have been worrying about something in future, or over-planning? What have I missed by under-planning?
Have I lost sight of my purpose...or did I ever even have one? How couldI be more kind to others, and more kind to myself?
Walking along the bayside walkway here at Fred Held Park has made it much easier to go deeper into myself.
Also, it provides me some bars to do dips and pull-ups, and a nice grassy area to sprint. I follow Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint workouts, and this little South Pasadena city park makes it easy to renew my mind and my physical body."
There are several benches along the seawall at Fred Held Park. This makes it nice for those who enjoy watching the sun come up over the water.
JoLynn Keith (62) and Bethany Edwards (63) are two retired teachers who visit the park a couple of times each week.
Bethany said, "When we retired, we made a vow that we would start the morning off by doing something outdoors that enhanced our health.
We visit different places, mainly parks and beaches, around St Pete Beach and Treasure Island. Some days we run. Some days walk. Some days we do a little of each and relax as we talk.
Here at the Habitat, we mostly sit by the seawall and talk.
Being out in Nature is so vital to good health. It makes it easy to unplug. It gives us a chance to get away from our phones. We both love hearing about our grand children from our kids, but we've got time to talk and text all during the day.
Mornings here at Fred Held Park are how we connect with quiet time. It's been proven that natural environments help you release stressors and center your mind on something pure.
Plus, we get a healthy dose of Vitamin D to improve our blood flow and enhance our autoimmune system."
JoLynn nodded in agreement. "I feels fortunate to have a friend like Bethany who wants to pursue excellent health on a gentle path.
Being out here at a city park, or walking along the beach, has been so therapeutic for our spirits.
Like Bethany said, being out in Nature helps you center. This clean salt air helps lower your blood pressure, and oxygen increases your sense of well-being.
We both taught science at the middle school level, and we know all about the benefits of being out in Nature.
The park is close to our winter homes. It's real easy to get here. We just have become very attached to the quiet beauty of Fred Held Park."
He likes to come to this South Pasadena setting to decompress.
"I read a book called Tools Of Titans a few months ago. It was all about the hacks millionaires and billionaires use to stay at the top of their game.
I make a lot of money with my home Internet business, and it got to the point that the more I made, the more I wanted to make. When I hit $15,000 per week, I wanted to amp it up to $25,000 week. That took a lot more time to create content, and pretty soon, I was out of balance.
Two months of making $100,00+ each just about killed me. I wasn't exercising, I was eating poorly, I stopped reading books, and I even stopped spending time in the beautiful Florida outdoors.
I was a mess.
Fortunately, in Ferriss' book, I read a chapter about "deloading" where you mix in extending periods revitalizing your spirit instead of going at an insanely intense work pace.
I didn't really need all the extra money, it was just a fun way of keeping score.But...it stopped being fun...except when I read my checking account statement.
I made it a point to start my mornings over here in Fred Held Park with a stroll along the seawall, and sat in a different bench each day to view the calming waters of Boca Ciega Bay.
I also made it point to walk over here a little before sundown and just unplug. Somedays, I do not even bring my phone.
Taking these uninterrpted blocks of time renewed my spirit. I throttled back on reactive living and just let my mind wander as I stared into the waves of the bay.
After a couple of weeks, I started adding in a few pull-ups and push-ups on the gym equipment they have here at the park.
Now, I have a nice routine of integrating fitness, meditation and just general relaxation on these benches. Nobody is ever around. I have Fred Held Park all to myself, and it has revitalized me tremendously."
There are also several benches tucked back in the shade trees. They provide a welcome relief from the clutches of compulsive reactivity.
Janet Hess (71) is retired 3rd grade teacher, and an aspiring author of children's books.
She said, "I just love this little city park. It is so restorative for me to either start, or end my day over here. I can sit by the bay, or come over here and feel like I am intimately connected to nature.
These benches, in this beautiful landscape, allow me to clear my mind. Like Jeremiah just said, it's about deloading.
I can get overwhelmed with stress when I spiral into writer's block. Coming over here, taking some time to pray or meditate, and just sink into the oneness of being with the morning sounds of birds, and waves is reinvigorating.
Fred Held Park has been like an emotional sanctuary for me."
Fred Held South Pasadena Habitat has a large grassy area in the center. Several times each week, you will find small groups...say three or four people...participating in Yoga or Tai Chi.
Joanne Soule, a snowbird from Binghampton NY, is one of the morning devotees to Yoga. She said, "This little out-of-the-way city park is the perfect place for our small yoga group. We meet every Monday,Wednesday, and Friday at 8:00am from just after Thanksgiving to the end of April.
Most of the time there are only three of us, and Lettie, our guide, but sometimes, we have up to seven people out here.
We all live in nearby condos, and can either walk here or park in the eye doctor's parking lot.
We look like little Easter eggs out on the lawn with our different colored Yoga mats and our workout tops. It sets a fun tone right off the bat. Plus, we have all become good friends from the gentle flow positive vibes throughout our 45 minute session.
I like this place so much more than the beach. We are not bothered by wind, or morning walkers staring at us, getting sandy.
Also, I have been reading that there is a connection between our mental all-being and the closeness of green plants. They both liven up your spirit, as well as relax you.
Afterward, we all take a stroll along the seawall and drink in the clean salt air coming off Boca Ciega Bay. Fred Held Park is just a nice place to refresh your spirit."
There are also a number of bars and exercise equipment in Fred Held Park. You can get a great body-weight workout and include some sprints on the grassy area.
Fred James (60) a retired History professor is one such athlete. He said, "I come here about 9:00am a couple of times a week. I really like doing interval work on St Pete Beach, it's good to change-up the surfaces you run on.
Plus, I can add in sets of chin-ups, push-ups, and air squats.
I ran track at a small college in Kentucky, and I loved feeling fast. I wasn't real good, but I liked the training and the way it made me look. I've kept that up by following the Anabolic Running program.
It only takes a few minutes per workout. I sprint on the grassy area, do some strength exercises, and I'm done in 35 minutes.
I'm more lean and muscular than I was in college because of the interval training. My doctor said my Testosterone level is about 700, which makes me like a 22-year old.
I put in about 8 sprints of 40-50 meters on this soft stretch of ground.
Being out here in this beautiful little Florida park has a lot to do with it. The greenery is restorative, the Bay is calming, and the ground is very soft for training.
I love it. Fred Held Park has been extremely conducive to my overall mental and physical health. I'm even thinking of asking those women in the Yoga group if my wife and I can stretch with them a few days each week."
In the middle the South Pasadena Habitat by the flagpole is a large rock with a bronze plaque embedded to honor all of the residents who helped make Fred Held Park a reality.
When you visit St Petersburg FL, make it a point to take in these little out-of-the-way venues, like Fred Held Park. They will provide you solid way to renew and refresh your spirit.