Hillsborough County to Reopen Lake Park October 6th
Hillsborough County, Fla. (Oct. 4, 2016) – Hillsborough County will reopen Lake Park to the public on Thursday, Oct. 6, with proper safety precautions in place to continue a commitment to public safety. The park, located at 17302 N. Dale Mabry Hwy. in Lutz, will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In December 2015, Lake Park was closed to the public due to sinkhole formation along a park roadway. A geophysical study was subsequently performed by Ardaman & Associates, Inc. to quantify sinkhole risk throughout the park. In their report, Ardaman & Associates, Inc. found the overall risk of future sinkhole activity to be “low,” but the report did not definitively rule out possible future sinkhole activity. After reviewing the report and continuing to monitor conditions within the park, Hillsborough County staff concurred with the report’s findings. At a recent meeting, representatives from both the County and the City of St. Petersburg agreed that the park could reopen, pending the installation of additional layers of fencing and locked gates to secure and prevent access to the sinkhole and affected road section.
Hillsborough County and the City of St. Petersburg are continuing to work on a lease agreement for Lake Park. County staff expects to bring a recommendation to the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners in 2017. In the interim, Lake Park will operate under the current lease agreement, which continues through July 2019.
Popular activities at Lake Park include biking, bird watching, hiking, horseback riding, and canoeing/kayaking. The park is a 589-acre sanctuary for birds and other wildlife, and features five lakes, cypress swamps, pine flatwoods, and hardwood hammocks. Access is limited in some areas due to high water from recent rains.
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