By Tamas Mondovics

Hillsborough County’s Conservation and Environmental Lands Management Department has scheduled to host a series of meetings in connection with the future of the County’s regional parks. Nearby regional parks include E.G. Simmons, Lithia Springs, Alderman’s Ford and Edward Medard, to name a few.

According to officials, the meetings will allow a forum to provide information about the department’s master park plan as well as gather input from residents before completion of the final plan. When completed, the plan will include specific recommendations on policies, procedures, and practices concerning natural resource management, facilities, environmental education, and outdoor recreation to include camping, boating, fishing, and hiking.

Residents are encouraged to attend at least one of the 10 public meetings scheduled to take place on Saturdays from 10-11:30 a.m. at one of the County’s 10 regional parks, where they will be able to personally offer comments and provide feedback in a survey.

Besides its regional parks, Hillsborough County currently operates more than 176 neighborhood parks and playgrounds countywide, 265 athletic fields, three dozen recreation centers, more than 727 miles of trail, as well as 61,000 acres of preserved lands acquired through the Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP).

The County’s Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department offers residents boating, bicycling, campsites, canoeing, concerts, cultural happenings, festivals, hiking, horseback riding, meeting facilities, nature study, picnic shelters, swimming and nature programs, to name a few in hopes of encouraging citizens to leave life’s daily pressures behind and reconnect with nature.

For more information, visit or call 987-6240.

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