Without fanfare on June 21, the first pilings were set at the dead end of Canal Boulevard to begin construction of a 2,000-square-foot wharf to allow public access to the Intracoastal Waterway. The project first came before the St. Johns County Commission in May 2018. Canal Boulevard separates North Roscoe and South Roscoe Boulevard.
David Plummer of Outback Marine Construction had been researching the viability of the project six months before the commission meeting. Plummer was raised in Palm Valley and still owns property on Roscoe Boulevard. He saw a need for a safe place to fish, watch the annual boat parade and enjoy the Intracoastal.
“Currently it’s a hazard,” Plummer said. “The bulkhead drops off into oyster beds and metal. There’s no exit if anyone falls in.”
An avid fisherman and former president of the local chapter of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, Plummer seeks every opportunity to share the sport he’s enjoyed since childhood. A safe, public place for families to fish fits that vision. And safety is a primary concern.
“The wharf will have a handrail completely around it,” Plummer stated in a Facebook post. “Down the middle of the wharf will be back-to-back benches with a roof.”
It will be called “Mickler’s Wharf” in recognition of Plummer’s heritage as a member of the Mickler family.
He shared the idea of a community dock with Deb Chapin, founder of the Ponte Vedra Greenway Alliance and a member of the St. Johns County Recreation Advisory Board. According to Chapin, the alliance has a mission to create recreational destinations and to build a safe, multi-use recreational path. Plummer’s project fits into the PVG Alliance’s larger vision of creating greenway recreational spaces.
“It was timely that we came across this reputable contractor from an historic family,” Chapin stated to the Recorder. “This (wharf) has historic and cultural relevance.”
Outback Marine Construction is donating construction of the project to the community of Palm Valley. The PVG Alliance will provide funds to purchase composite decking after securing a grant from the Department of Environmental Protection and the University of Florida.
Six more pilings were set on June 26 and Plummer plans to have the project completed by fall.
“We look forward to seeing smiling faces on the dock and fishing lines in the water,” Plummer said.