Sunken Gardens receives $25K preservation grant

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St. Petersburg has been selected to receive a $25,000 grant from the Department of Interior, National Park Service (NPS) through the Preserve America (PA) grant program, for the development of a master plan for Historic Sunken Gardens.

Thirty-one of these grants, totaling $3 million, were awarded for projects in 17 states and one Tribe. With these funds, communities and agencies support preservation efforts through heritage tourism, education, and historic preservation planning. Through these grant projects, the U.S. gains a greater shared knowledge about the nation’s past, strengthened regional identities and local pride, increased local participation in preserving the country’s cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of our communities.

Seven consultant groups, featuring experience in Cultural Landscape Reports and garden Master Plans, applied and competed for this coveted project.  Le-Huu Partners, of Orlando, has been selected by the City of St. Petersburg; and approved by the National Park Services, to develop the Master Plan for Historic Sunken Gardens.  Le-Huu Partners pride themselves in seeing things in nature as interconnected, and thus treat each project as a living system.  Through a holistic, interdisciplinary approach, they work to bring people, communities, and nature into mutually nurturing relationships and sustainability.

Le-Huu Partners brings to this project, a multi-disciplinary team whose members have extensive experience preparing Cultural Landscape Reports, Master Plans and preliminary concept plans for a wide variety of historic and/or botanical gardens.  A short list of these gardens includes Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, McKee Botanical Gardens (formerly Jungle Gardens), the Miami Botanical Garden,  the Naples Botanical Garden and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

In addition to these botanical gardens, Le-Huu Partners developed the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity, a LEED-certified, award-winning, state-of-the-art facility whose signature component is its Vivarium.  This natural butterfly rainforest habitat contains plants, trees, water features, and exhibits creating an environment for visitors to interact with exotic living butterflies within an elegant structure that soars to over 50 feet high.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.