Visitors of Bethune Park in Wimauma will have a little more natural beauty to view as well as more shade from the sunshine with the recent planting of dozens of trees there.
The tree planting took place on September 24 and involved the participation of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay as well as the civic group Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, which promotes environmental awareness through volunteer and educational activities. It also helped fund the tree planting at Bethune Park and provided volunteers for the event.
“They paid for about $9,500 of the $22,000 it took to put all those trees in at Bethune,” said Greg Brown, who manages planning and development of parks for Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation.
He added that there will soon be more trees planted throughout the county park system as the department has $4.7 million to buy approximately 27,000 trees.
Bethune Park is home to a local chapter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay and the organization’s improvements to its facilities became part of a greater makeover for the park, according to Brown.
“The Boys & Girls Club had just finished renovating their building and we wanted to dress that up a little bit,” he said.
Brown also said that additional upgrades to Bethune Park will include covered basketball courts and an additional walking trail.
Trees planted by the volunteers include sabal palms, crape myrtles and weeping podocarpus. Children from the Boys & Girls Clubs also planted seedlings. The University of Florida, which operates the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma, performed site surveying for the project.
Financial support for the project was partly provided through Hillsborough County’s tree fund, which uses money that developers pay to replace trees that are lost through their construction projects.
The additional trees are an enhancement to Bethune Park’s 11 acres of space in one of Hillsborough County’s fastest growing areas. It is one of 168 parks in Hillsborough County and is located at 5809 Edina St. in Wimauma, just north of the intersection of SR 674 and Railroad St. It is open daily from sunrise to sunset. There are basketball courts, picnic shelters and trails to walk.