Medard I_NR
Posted October 20, 2017 | 5:07 PM

You Can Help County Parks Recover from Hurricane Irma

Volunteers sought for conservation parks and nature preserves cleanup

Weeks after Hurricane Irma swirled up the Florida peninsula, the campground at Edward Medard Conservation Park in eastern Hillsborough County is steadily recovering.

The storm's 70-plus mph winds knocked out about 300 feet of the park's wooden boardwalk, which stretched 700 feet across Medard Reservoir to a popular overlook tower, downed trees and broke water lines. Crews are working to reopen the campground.

Three conservation parks - Dead River, Northwest Equestrian, and Sydney Dover - also are closed as cleanup continues. Other parks and preserves have re-opened, and damaged amenities are being restored.

The County welcomes volunteers who want to help with cleanup and repairs, and to perform other duties, at conservation parks and nature preserves.

Storms haven't caused this much damage at Hillsborough County parks and preserves since four hurricanes struck Florida in 2004.

Irma's wind speeds varied across the county, but destruction was widespread. Gusts and sustained winds knocked down structures, uprooted trees, and tore up electrical equipment and water lines.

The County is making repairs and re-opening facilities as quickly as possible.

Check the status of your favorite conservation park or nature preserve before heading there to exercise or relax.

Photo information: The 700-foot boardwalk at Edward Medard Conservation Park that was badly damaged by Hurricane Irma.