By Tamas Mondovics

Hillsborough County residents had a chance to learn last month during a public information meeting about proposed plans to develop vacant County-owned land designated for a Seffner-Mango Park. Armed with site maps for viewing, County Parks, Recreation and Conservation (PRC) staff presented information, answered residents’ questions during the open-house format meeting and, according to Kara Walker with the County information office, received a favorable response to the plans to develop the parcel, which sits adjacent to the Seffner-Mango Library located at 1104 N. Kingsway Rd. in Seffner.

“Residents are in support of the new park design and proposed components to develop the land into a passive park to include community gardens, shade shelters, walking and jogging trails, landscaping, fencing, and other amenities,” Walker said.

The Park is designed by Engineering Design Firm, Lauren D. Campo, P.E. Campo Engineering, Inc. Currently in its permitting stages, the project will take place under the direction of project manager Chris Postiglione, with an estimated total cost of $400,000, which will be covered by Hillsborough County Parks Impact Fees. County officials have not yet decided on the construction company, but according Walker, residents will not be impacted by the project.

The Seffner-Mango Park is by no means the only park project on the PRC’s current roster.

Walker said one of the greater Brandon area community’s oldest and most visited parks, Paul Sanders Park located at 3319 S. Kings Ave. in Brandon, is now also on the list for a much-needed upgrade.

“The Paul Sanders Park will receive a complete overhaul, which will include a more modern playground, bathroom facilities, pavilion shelters as well as improved parking,” Walker said.

The time frame for the $315,000 project will be announced later, but Walker said that the park will be shut down throughout the duration of its remodeling phase.

Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department operates more than 176 neighborhood parks and playgrounds countywide, 265 athletic fields, 13 recreation centers, 10 regional parks, 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. For more, visit the Project page at www.HillsboroughCounty.org/CountyProjects and click on the Community Projects link.