Hillsborough County's Award-Winning Work
Five projects in which Hillsborough County government played an instrumental role were recently celebrated for improving the community's quality of life.
The County's efforts were recognized at the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission's 35th Annual Planning and Design Awards ceremony on Oct. 19 in Tampa. In all, the County and 40 other public and private entities, firms, and organizations received awards for a wide variety of projects and initiatives. Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners were honored for the following:
The Rock Ponds Ecosystem Restoration Project: Described as the largest coastal restoration project ever performed on Tampa Bay, this initiative involves restoring and enhancing more than 1,000 acres of coastal habitats, including 16.2 miles of new Tampa Bay shoreline. The project is a collaboration between the Southwest Florida Water Management District's SWIM Program, the County's Conservation & Environmental Lands Management Department, and Scheda Ecological Associates. The judges lauded the 2,000-plus volunteers who planted more than 200,000 marsh plants, the overall environmental benefits of the project, and interagency coordination.
Hillsborough County Veterans Memorial Park and Museum - Phase 3 War Memorials: The World War II, Afghanistan War, Seminole War, and Spanish American War memorials have been added to the park, which honors military veterans of all eras. The judges found the war memorials inspirational, and cited a "group effort" led by the Genesis engineering and architectural firm, and the Veterans Memorial Park Museum Committee.
The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, the University Area Community Development Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development were recognized in the Turning Dreams into Reality/The Power of Partnership classification for improving the quality of life in the University Area community. The judges lauded the entities investment in facilities, including a band shell, where residents can enjoy the arts, music, sports and other healthy activities, and make new friends and memories.
The Chairman's Award went to the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library, the Friends of the Library of Tampa-Hillsborough County, and the University of South Florida Library Special Collections for the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection. The collection consists of nearly 16,000 images of life in Tampa taken between the late 1800s and 1960s. The Planning Commission called the photographs an "historic treasure."
The Executive Director's Award went to Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, the cities of Tampa, and St. Petersburg, and HMS Ferries for the Cross Bay Ferry Pilot Project. In what the Planning Commission deemed "an unprecedented show of cooperation," the project provided ferry service between Hillsborough County and Pinellas County, attracting more than 40,000 passengers over six months of operation.