Hillsborough County recently asked for public input on how to make Veterans Memorial Park an even better resource for veterans, residents and visitors to learn about the nation’s wars and conflicts and pay respect to the millions of veterans who served our country.
On October 14, veterans and residents were invited to an open house to help prioritize potential improvements and amenities identified from online public input and an open house earlier this year. An online engagement opportunity was also made available following the open house.
Earlier feedback showed support for the following items:
• Park entrance and entry signage.
• Signage and wayfinding throughout the park.
• Meditation garden.
• Active learning zone.
• Museum renovation.
• Expansion of the Veterans Resource Center.
• New pavilion.
Input from the open house will help generate consensus and a vision for the future. Hillsborough County Conservation & Environmental Lands Management, which owns the property, and Hillsborough County Consumer & Veterans Services, which runs day-to-day operations, is working with the University of South Florida’s (USF) Florida Center for Community Design and Research to create a master plan for the park. Veterans from around the area attended and a PowerPoint was presented with both representatives from USF and the county there to answer questions.
Veterans Memorial Park, located at 3602 N. U.S. Hwy. 301 in Tampa, is home to 14 war memorials, the Veterans Resource Center and the Rear Admiral Leroy Collins, Jr. Veterans Museum. It also serves as a venue for regional ceremonies on Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Patriot Day, along with a variety of other organized events. Established oak trees provide a well-shaded and tranquil setting for reading, reflection, meditation, picnicking, family gatherings and walking/jogging its many paths, which include a fitness trail along the Tampa Bypass Canal.
The Department of Consumer & Veterans Services in conjunction with the Veterans Council of Hillsborough County will host the county’s 58th annual Veterans Day Tribute at the park on Friday, November 11 to include guest speakers, patriotic music and more saluting military service members/families of all eras.
An outdoor ceremony and celebration at the amphitheater will commence at 11 a.m. and last approximately one hour, followed by casual refreshments from community military partners. The new wing commander at MacDill AFB is slated for keynote.
Consumer & Veteran Services staff are available by phone at 813-635-8316 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/locations/veterans-memorial-park-and-museum for more information and updates.