Meeting Minutes 11/14/23

Opening:  Cathy Parks, LPENA president, convened the quarterly general meeting of the Lake Pasadena Estates Neighborhood Association (LPENA) at 6:30 p.m. on November 14, 2023, in the Menorah Life conference room. Cathy introduced Jeff McCarthy, representative from the City’s Community Services Department.

Minutes: Minutes from the previous general meeting, held August 17, 2023, are posted on the website (shortcut: Ctrl+click

Treasurer’s Report:  Carol Gruszka provided the treasurer’s report, as follows:

Operating Account: $2,090.38 (total of $2,900.38, less $810 from prior donations for Pasadena cul-de-sac fence maintenance)
Expenses since prior report: Harvest Fest ’23 signage $213.12
Income since prior report: Dues and donations = $684.85
(Note: Balance does not include either dues and donations received at Harvest Fest nor expenses for that event.)

Officer Lenard Cox, Community Services Officer: Cathy turned the floor over to Officer Lenard Cox, who introduced himself as the Community Services Officer for Lake Pasadena Estates (LPE) and other neighborhoods on the western end of the City. Officer Cox:

  • Provided statistics of recent crimes in LPE, most of which have been for automobile burglaries, noting that virtually all of these burglaries were of unlocked automobiles.
  • In response to an inquiry, noted that the investigation into the fire that destroyed the home at 6562 Pasadena Avenue North last month was still open.
  • Reminded the citizens that most “mischief” committed by youth offenders in neighborhoods such as ours takes place in the “wee hours of the morning,” so please lock your doors and your vehicles.

Officer Cox also announced the upcoming Bicycle Event that will be held at Police Headquarters, 1301 1st Avenue North, on December 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. Registration for the event must be on the form available at Police Headquarters; the deadline is November 17.

Guest Speaker Margaret Zak, Stewards of Our Urban Lakes: Cheri Riley introduced Margaret Zak, environmentalist and member of the Executive Committee for Stewards of Our Urban Lakes (SoUL), who gave an inspirational slide-show talk of the work SoUL has done for lakes within our City over the past 15 years. Starting with Crescent Lake, located on 22nd Avenue North between 5th and 7th Streets North, SoUL is now overseeing the restoration and habitat maintenance for more than a dozen of our City’s lakes, including the nearby Eagle Lake on the St. Petersburg College Gibbs campus. (Details on

Margaret noted that SoUL provides knowledge and guidance, primarily through a designated “Lake Champion” for each lake, but it is the responsibility of those who live nearby and care about the lakes who must do the actual work of restoration and maintenance. SOME of the activities included in restoring a lake are as follows:

  • Lake cleanup
  • Revegetation efforts (removal of invasive grasses and plants, new planting of healthy species)
  • Selective shoreline plantings to prevent erosion and encourage bird nesting areas
  • Guidance in seeking grants to fund planting efforts
  • Establishing floating wetland islands (to provide shade, thereby helping to control algae)
  • Public education of water management, including prohibited plants

[I, personally, was inspired by the changes in urban lake conditions around St. Petersburg and hope that you, too, will visit their website and carefully consider how you/we can be a part of revitalizing our two precious lakes, which have consumed our interest for two years running. -- chg]

Old Business:

  • Harvest Fest: Cathy reported that attendance at the second Harvest Fest, held November 11 at Lake Disston, fell short of expectations, falling even below last year’s attendance. The Board will attempt to analyze the reason for the shortfall because those who attended spoke well of the planning and execution. One suggestion was that the timing be moved forward to coincide with Halloween since our lakes appear to be magnets for turnout at that time. Cathy also thanked the efforts of volunteers, especially Joe and Stacy Vermette and other directors, and the several donors who generously contributed toward this event.
  • Historical Designations: Cheri Riley gave an update on the effort to collect and document the history of the century-old homes in the Lake Pasadena Estates neighborhood. St. Petersburg Museum of History interns provided research for collecting histories of the original 18 parcels developed in the 1920s. Results are posted (or linked) on our website. Prior discussions have suggested that 2024 would be a good year to celebrate our century of history, perhaps with a Century Celebration.
  • Neighborhood Tree Census: Cheri also collected additional names and contact information for neighbors willing to participate in a census of trees along city right-of-way areas in our neighborhood. Completing this census is a prerequisite to obtaining one of the grants awarded to improve the environment of our neighborhood.

Next General Meeting: The next quarterly general meeting will be held at Menorah Life on February 20, 2024, at 6:30 p.m. Please attend, tell your neighbors about our organization, and pay dues ($25 annually via check or cash to any director, or $26.05 online via Square) so we can keep on working for you and for our lovely Lake Pasadena Estates neighborhood, known 100 years ago as the “garden spot of St. Petersburg.”


Upon motion and second, and approved unanimously, the meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Carol H. Gruszka, LPENA secretary