Friends of Alafia, Inc. was recently awarded a $13,000 grant from Mosaic, which was used to buy another Scag commercial mower.

A local business is making an impact on a park in Lithia thanks to a generous donation.

“Friends of Alafia, Inc. is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a $13,000 grant from Mosaic, which we have used to buy another Scag commercial mower (a Turf Tiger II, 72” deck model),” said Friends of Alafia President LeRoy Dennison. “We have some 40-50 acres of grass that needs to be mowed with a mower, not a brush hog behind a tractor. This grant ensures that we have two new mowers that should remain in service for years to come.”

Friends of Alafia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Citizen Support Organization governed by Section 258.015, Florida Statutes, established to protect, preserve and support Alafia River State Park in providing resource-based recreational opportunities to the public.

The Friends of Alafia raises funds and provides volunteer services to improve patrons’ enjoyment of the park.

“In particular, we look out for the needs of mountain bikers, equestrians and hikers/runners using the park by supporting construction and maintenance of the miles of trails within the park,” said Dennison.

Alafia River State Park is located at 14326 S. County Rd. 39 in Lithia (Southeastern Hillsborough County). The park’s 7,714 acres were donated to the state in 1996 by Cytec Industries. The former phosphate mine was called Lonesome Mine, named after the nearby community of Fort Lonesome, a site which was a frontier outpost of the U.S. Army during the Third Seminole War. The mine altered the landscape and created new landforms, such as several small lakes and steep grades, popular with mountain bikers who enjoy challenging trails, as well as equestrians and hikers.

A forest bordering the South Prong of the Alafia River was protected from mining. This prong of the river is a blackwater stream that flows through the park. The stream, bordered by red maple, swamp tupelo and water hickory trees, is ideal for canoeing, kayaking and fishing. The campground features some equestrian sites for keeping horses on-site, plus it has a barn and paddocks. To learn more, visit

The Mosaic Company is one of the world’s leading producers and marketers of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients. Mosaic is a single-source provider of phosphate and potash fertilizers and feed ingredients for the global agriculture industry. More information on the company is available at

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