By Tamas Mondovics

FishHawk Ranch development officials and CDD II representatives were joined by residents last month during a ribbon cutting ceremony of the official opening of a new green space park in the heart of the community.

The long-awaited park, which consists of a fenced grass gazebo, drinking fountains, benches, and about a dozen paved overflow parking spaces, is said to provide additional space for families, young and old in the area, a great place to play and enjoy an open field, while honoring the community’s founder, Glen Edward Cross.

The CDD II Board approved acquiring a completed park located across Park Square at the corner of FishHawk Crossing Blvd. and Dorman Rd. during its September 2013 meeting along with paying $310,000 (plus $25,000 in district engineering costs) for a new community amenity said to be valued between $503,000 and $543,300.

According to community development district officials, the park will ease the overuse that Park Square’s grass has been getting in recent years.

“As a community, we are dedicating the park in the memory of its founder Glen Cross,” said CDD II Chairman Ruth Brown. “This park is a tribute to the community’s willingness to work together to help make FishHawk Ranch such a wonderful place to live and work. We want to thank Newland Communities for working with us to make this project come together so quickly.”

Brown was referring to Newland Communities’ role in the project that has donated the site work and construction at no cost to the district, while the district engineer handles the design, permits and surveys.

“It is my honor to have known Glen and I know that this new park, which bears his name, represents the person he was, and his vision of preserving the natural environment,” said Newland Communities Vice President and General Manager Thomas Panaseny.

Cross’ wife Sandy, along with son Todd and daughter Kathy (Scott) Nixon, were also on hand for the official ribbon cutting of the new park.

“We are humbled and honored to attend this event,” Todd said, adding that his father was a man of integrity, honor and commitment, who tried to pass such traits along to his children and, who was about finishing the race while making sure that everyone was a winner.

Cross leaves behind a legacy of having a hand in developing the Tampa Bay area including the areas of Town and Country, Carrollwood, and eastern Hillsborough County, including Riverview and FishHawk, such as FishHawk Ranch of Newland Communities.

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