by Ryan Walsh
It is said that the whole of something is greater than the sum of its parts. Nowhere is that truer than the communities and neighborhoods that make up the City of Clearwater.
Unique in their culture and geography, Clearwater’s neighborhoods define the area like few other cities. Its beautiful beaches are known across the country, but its real asset is the large, diverse resident population.
“When it comes to Clearwater, tourists think of the beach,” said Clearwater Neighborhood Services Division Manager Samantha Moullet. “We have an entire city outside of that that people call home.”
Moullet manages relationships and supports the city’s more than 100 neighborhoods. As the division manager, she helps to provide resources to empower and strengthen the community bonds within them.
“There’s a lot of history in Clearwater, and in Clearwater’s neighborhoods,” Moullet said. “We just helped one neighborhood celebrate its 100th anniversary, for example, and we have another neighborhood celebrating its 100th anniversary next year.”
Over 38 of the area’s communities held block parties to celebrate Neighborhood’s Day, an annual tradition among the city’s residents. Each year, new neighborhoods in Clearwater apply to take part; this year’s celebration alone saw five first-time participants. Everyone gets involved in these family-oriented festivities. Fire trucks and police K9 units entertain and educate children while city council members visit each of the local celebrations.
Historic Clearwater Neighborhoods
Lake Belleview – An Environmental Revitalization
Historically known as South Greenwood, the Lake Belleview neighborhood is a living testament to Clearwater’s earliest roots. The community is centered around the neighborhood’s eponymous lake, and many of its roughly 3,000 residents can trace their families to the area by several generations.
“People who were raised here remind us about the history,” said Community Services Foundation Executive Director Ed Thiebe. He cited historical buildings like the Plum House, built in 1896, and organizations like the Clearwater Horseshoe Club, founded in 1916.
Thiebe and the CSF are currently working on the Restore Lake Belleview project, a collaborative effort with local businesses and organizations to revitalize the lake. This long-awaited major cleanup project and infrastructure overhaul will ensure the lake’s usability while bringing a source of pride to the community.
“There’s a sense of pride and history in Lake Belleview,” said Thiebe. “Residents take a lot of pride in preserving their neighborhood.”
North Greenwood – Getting Down to Business
Also called ‘The Grove,’ North Greenwood is a historic, tightknit community located just north of the Memorial Causeway. North Greenwood touches the shores of the Intercoastal, and is home to libraries, schools, recreation centers and parts of the Pinellas Trail.
North Greenwood is home to a historically Black population, and the generations of culture and community are felt to this day. Home to a formerly thriving Black business community, the neighborhood has worked tirelessly to reinvigorate this underserved area.
Since 2019, North Greenwood was deemed a Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) by the Clearwater Urban Leadership Coalition (CULC). Under the CRA, the neighborhood’s 6,600 residents will see efforts aimed at creating affordable housing, preserving cultural resources and improving overall quality of life.
Plaza Park – A Flair for the Artistic
One project at a time, the Plaza Park neighborhood is beautifying their surroundings. From implementing pollinator gardens in the park to decorating the storm drains with paint,[LY1] residents are coming together to make a name for their humble neighborhood.
The Plaza Park Neighborhood Association, established in 2020, is helping to lead this charge for change. Founder and President Chelsea Gird is raising three children in Plaza Park, aiming to create a safe and sustainable neighborhood for families.
The Sound at Coachman Park
This summer, downtown Clearwater opened an exciting new live music venue in The Sound. Located in Coachman Park, this 9,000-seat amphitheater sits on 19 acres, and will feature performances all year. The latest in a series of developments to the downtown Clearwater area, The Sound is sure to be a hit for family outings, date nights or any occasion.
Upcoming shows will feature the following artists:
- Kenny Loggins – Saturday, September 16, 2023
- Sammy Hagar and the Circle – Saturday, October 28, 2023
- Chris Young – Friday, November 10, 2023