A couple of miles west of Commercial Way on Osowaw Boulevard, one comes upon Triangle Park, a lavishly landscaped little oasis at a fork veering north onto Shoal Line Boulevard — the entrance to the Gulf coast community of Hernando Beach.
Some might think it the handiwork of the county’s public works department, but the beautiful little park is a labor of love courtesy of the Hernando Beach Property Owners Association.
Those who’ve journeyed by the park will know it for its towering stone obelisk with a leaping tarpon carved on its face, along with the community’s name and the words, “Tarpon Country.”
The reference is to the world-famous tarpon fishing just off the shores of Hernando Beach, where every summer anglers from around the world come in search of trophy silver kings that school on the shallow flats from Hernando north to Homosassa.
The park, named for the shape of the median on which it sits, is maintained by community volunteers on a rotating basis. The volunteers also maintain the Dolphin Park at Commercial Way an Osowaw, well known for its leaping metal dolphin sculptures and fountain.
For volunteers Bill and Patty Roberts, maintaining Triangle Park is a pleasure they enjoy frequently. They are part of a small army of residents and community business owners who work together to keep up appearances.
Landscape architect and business owner Gunter Woog heads up the landscaping efforts of the community and is a big reason the little park is what it is, said Patty Roberts, who along with husband Bill moved to Hernando Beach five years ago. The couple was busy preparing the ground for some new crepe myrtle plants on a recent sunny day. Now that spring is here, they and other volunteers are in planting mode.
An avid home gardener, Patty said the small amount of gardening she does at home doesn’t fill all her time, nor does it satisfy her passion for growing things.
“That’s why I work at the park; I just love doing it and this is a way to help the community,” she said.
Bill was all too willing to help.
“It’s a very worthwhile thing; we’re glad to do it,” he said.
The couple noted that residents say the triangle, which originally was county right-of-way and a retention area, was nothing to look at — weedy and nothing there but the stone tarpon monument, which was donated by the Brewer family in 1994, according to an inscription carved at the bottom of it.
The property owners association website states that Triangle Park, also known as Butterfly Park, was designed for pollinators and took several years to become what it is today. The HBPOA donated labor and money to get the project off the ground. Local business owners contributed and Hernando County provided a grant in 2015. Local businessmen Gordon and Ron Wolf are credited with the original design. A GoFundMe campaign raised money for a micro-drip irrigation system. A statue of a Florida black bear (known to still roam the area) was added, along with benches so folks could sit a spell and watch the butterflies.
The HBPOA last year recognized Woog, Kathy Watson, Gordon Wolf, and Scott Herring from the Hernando County Planning Department for the addition of edging stones, topsoil and other improvements to Triangle and Dolphin Park.
Maintaining the parks is an ongoing affair and anyone interested in helping with the work or donating to the upkeep can find a link at http://www.hernandobeachpoa.com.