By Tamas Mondovics
Hillsborough County officials are hosting another round of public meetings, seeking input from residents about the future of local neighborhood parks, dog parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, and recreation centers. The meetings, represented by members of the Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation and Conservation (PRC) department, was similar to a series of public meetings held earlier this year focusing on the future of the county’s regional parks.
According to County Parks Services Manager Kyla Booher, last month’s meeting, held at Randall Middle School, was one of the best attended yet in the series, and while residents addressed a number of topics and concerns about the future of area parks, the event’s focus quickly turned to the future of the skate park located next to Bevis Elementary School in FishHawk Ranch, which is in need of much repair and upgrade.
“The purpose of the meetings is for Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation is developing a Parks & Recreation Master Plan and wants to know what you think makes for an outstanding parks system,” Booher said. “Once completed, the plan will include specific recommendations on facilities, programming, amenities, recreational needs, current park conditions, improvements and renovations throughout the county. We want to educate the public as much as we seek everyone’s input.”
Booher emphasized the county is interested in working with the FishHawk Community Development Board to move forward with improvements at the skate park that sits on county-owned property, leased by the FishHawk CDD and operated by the community.
“We are in negotiations with the FishHawk CDD about the prospect of making improvements or possibly rebuilding the park with longer-lasting construction materials, redesigned to be a state-of-the-art skate park, fashioned after the county’s three other skate parks,” she said. “On the county’s end, the extent and design of the new park will depend on available capital founding … the request would have to go before the BOCC.”
To promote the 13th Annual Go Skateboarding Day, Hillsborough County is currently hosting a free three-part contest series to name the Best Shredder, while showcasing the county’s three skate parks. Prizes are awarded in four age categories to competitors. The Endless Summer Skate Contest will take place Friday, August 5 at Brandon Skate Park from 6-10 p.m. Forms are available at Hillsborough County.org/BestShredder. Call 967-5973. Visit PlanYourParks.org.