June 30, 2008
New Docks Welcomed At Medard Park
Many agree that Edward Medard Park is one of the most popular freshwater fishing spots in Hillsborough County. In order to welcome the summer season and to please the many visitors who come to fish and enjoy some boating, park officials were pleased to announce the completion of a number of projects the county has been working on since last summer.
Formerly known as Pleasant Grove, the 1,281 acre park and reservoir, operated by the Southwest Florida Water Management District located on Turkey Creek Rd., just south of S.R. 60 in eastern Hillsborough County, has recently finished construction on five new aluminum boating docks which now offer four new boat launching ramps.
Senior Park Manager for the last 20 years, Kent Newcomb, who now calls the park “my home,” proudly mentioned the number of improvements done recently in the park by the Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department.
“All five of our boating docks have been completely replaced by new aluminum ones, which not only looks better but is much safer now,” said Newcomb.
Besides fishing the park offers many amenities including 40 camp sites and two group sites that are specifically designed to accommodate large groups.
“Girl’s and Boy’s scouts and a number of church as well as school groups often enjoy these facilities which are of course well-maintained,” said Newcomb.
A small island within the reservoir that can be reached by the fishing pier or boardwalk is also a favorite spot for the younger crowd. The observation tower on the island is a popular attraction. ”Kids jut flock over to the tower as well as what we call here the ‘Hills’ and have a lot of fun hiking and running around,” Newcomb said.
Being true for the last 20 or more years, the park offers some of the best spots for day camps that are organized and directed by members of visiting organizations like schools and church groups. Edward Medard Park has seen between 5,000 and 7,000 visitors per day over the Memorial Day weekend clearly proving its popularity.
Park hours are Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-7 p.m., while on the weekends the park is open to the public until 8 p.m. Fishing permit holders are allowed to fish as long as they like even after dark either on the water or off the docks.
For more information about upcoming summer events, please call 757-3802.