In 1999, St. Pete Beach Mayor Ron McKenney developed a plan that would beautify the two block beach area at Upham Beach and honor the City’s citizen and community contributions over the past 100 years, to celebrate the Millennium. The Honor Walk at Upham Beach was dedicated in April, 2000 and is a tribute to this plan.
The Land: The two blocks of beach frontage was given to the people of St. Pete Beach in 1939 by Nathaniel J. Upham and sons, Neil W. and William W. The Upham family were developers of the northern section of the island.
The Landscape: A professional landscaper working with the City Parks Department, designed a retaining wall shaped to reflect the Gulf of Mexico blue waters beyond the sand dunes, widened walkways with new trees and beach friendly vegetation.
The Names: The City Commission appointed a volunteer committee of long time involved citizens. They held 21 meetings over 8 months to select names.
The Nodes: Four nodes were established and within each node area are two benches and a flag pole, sponsored by island families. Once a criteria for name selection was established, names were submitted and reviewed thoroughly, resulting in 397 names that are set in brass plaques, placed on tiled pedestals in each of the nodes
- Distinguished Veterans (northern node) - Commemorates any person who was a resident at the time of their enlistment. There are 127 names on the plaques along with 3 Medal of Honor winners, a Gold Star honoree and a MIA -POW remembrance. This nodes inscription states: “To those men and women who resided in St. Pete Beach and who served their country. We honor them and thank them as we enjoy our lives in peace.”
- Distinguished Citizens - whose community service is honored with 78 names and 6 honorees. This node’s inscription states: “St. Pete Beach is not a city, it is a family and we honor some of our members listed below.”
- Also Distinguished Citizens - lists 77 names of volunteer citizens. This node’s inscription is the same as node #2.
- City Officials - 80 names. Commemorates the Police and Fire Departments original volunteers, before and after the 1957 consolidation of the four small towns. Also original City officials of the towns and officials since 1957. This node’s inscription states: “To all past and present City employees, elected and appointed officials, and to those who gave above and beyond their responsibilities, we express our appreciation in making St. Pete Beach a better place in which to live.”
Paver Bricks: Donation paver bricks form the sidewalk in front of each node. These bricks tell of the love the community has for family, the sun, the beach and Gulf waters.
To help maintain the Honor Walk, The City of St. Pete Beach accepts donations for bricks each year from November 1, through mid-February; in exchange the donor will receive a brick on the walk. This is one way to assure its volunteers and citizens are remembered in ensuing years. It is the only change allowed on the Honor Walk itself. Anyone who is interested in making a donation can do so by contacting St. Pete Beach City Hall - 727-367-2735.