New Park in East Tampa to Honor Tampa Civil Rights Leader - Buckhorn, community leaders to open park in September

New Park in East Tampa to Honor Tampa Civil Rights Leader - Buckhorn, community leaders to open park in September

For additional information, please contact: 
Ali Glisson, Public Affairs Director
(813) 274-8262
ali.glisson@tampagov.net

Tampa, FL August 27, 2014 - Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced today that the Osborne Pond and Community Trail, a new park in East Tampa, will open in September and will be named in honor of local Civil Rights leader, Clarence Fort. 

To celebrate the park's completion, Mayor Buckhorn will join Mr. Fort and East Tampa community leaders to cut a ribbon on September 18, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. The new park is located at 3803 E. Osborne Avenue. 

"It’s important that we as a community know and understand our history, particularly during the 50 year anniversary of the Civil Rights Act being signed into law. I am honored to be able to dedicate this park in name after my friend Clarence Fort but also to the ideas that he fought for," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "The park area itself is truly something special, and I think the residents will be proud of what it has become."

2014 is the 50 year anniversary of the Civil Rights Act being signed into law, and the park will be officially named the Clarence Fort Freedom Trail.

Fort, who will attend the ribbon cutting ceremony in September, organized the first lunch counter sit-ins in the Woolworth Department store in Tampa on February 29, 1960 and served as the NAACP Youth Council President. He also led the initiative to integrate the workforce of Tampa Transit Lines, and later became the first African American long-distance bus driver (Trailways Bus Company) from Florida. As a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputy, coordinator of the local Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade, and founder of the Progress Village Foundation, Fort has fought injustices and worked to make Tampa a more equal city for more than 50 years.

The 0.5 mile long trail encircles an existing retention pond, and features eight fitness stations in four different locations for adults and seniors. The park also features three boardwalk sections that will allow visitors to walk out around the water's edge. More than 110 trees, including palms and cypress trees, have been planted to provide shade and for aesthetics.

The trail connects with adjacent sidewalks along Osborne Avenue, North 29th Street, North 30th Street, and East Cayuga Street.

Construction began in December 2013, and cost approximately $500,000. It was paid for through Community Investment Tax funding.

To view or download the rendering of the park, please visit tampagov.net.