County Closes Paul Sanders ‘Tree’ Park To Begin Two Month Park Renovation Project

By Tamas Mondovics

Hillsborough County has temporarily closed and began a two month long renovation project of one the largest and most heavily used parks in Brandon.

The makeover at Paul Sanders Park, 602 W. Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon, named after long time Brandon resident Paul Sanders three years before his death in 1991—is promising to upgrade as well as expand the park, while virtually replacing all of the playground equipment and adding additional play structures, county officials said.

Famous for its mature oak trees that provide shade by means of a natural canopy, the park has been the favorite hangout for the thousands of visitors it sees annually. Picnic tables throughout the park have been used for birthday parties and family gatherings.

The facelift is a much welcomed and anticipated project for many of its regular guests including Lithia resident Jinifer Leichner who said, “I love this park. I have great memories growing up as a teenager visiting this park and as an adult bringing my children here. It is a beautiful park and I am glad the county is putting the effort into making sure it stays that way.”

County officials said that the renovation and expansion has been on the County’s Community Project roster for some time, and when complete, the new playground will sport engineered wood fiber in an improved playground surfacing system, which they say is designed to be enjoyed by children of all abilities. “The new equipment includes traditional swings and slides along with a next-generation playground equipment that encourages children to climb, run, and play,” said County spokesperson Todd Pratt.

The $315,000 project covered by the County Parks and Recreation department’s budget for Capital Improvement Projects also includes renovating the restrooms, repaving the parking lot, adding sidewalks, and creating an additional entrance on the northwest side of the park to improve traffic flow, which will come in handy.

Hillsborough County Parks Services manager, Kyla Booher confirmed that the park will be closed to the public during the duration of the project from Wednesday, February 1, to Friday, March 31.

For information about community projects in Hillsborough County, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.