The Hillsborough River: Human Connections presented by the USF Humanities Institute

This notice is archived content and this information may no longer be accurate.
The Hillsborough River: It's an oasis of tranquil nature in a busy urban area, or a popular waterway, bustling with boats and business. But did you know that the remains of a steamer burned by Union troops in 1863 lie in its waters at Lowry Park, or that it boasted a "bat tower" in Temple Terrace that was part of a grand experiment in mosquito eradication?

Join the University of South Florida Humanities Institute Oct. 20 - Nov. 7, 2012 for a series of events celebrating the river. Whether you're interested in art, literature, history, archeology, or ecology, there are sure to be events you'll love. Visit the events page for a complete list. Everything is free and open to the public!

• Sat., Oct. 20: Twenty-fifth Annual Hillsborough River & Coastal Cleanup. (Organized by Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful). The Humanities Institute will have a table at the events, with flyers and publicity about the project, and materials from community partners. For more information [visit the KTBB website]

• Sat., Oct. 20: Sierra Club River Paddle and Clean-up Meet at Riverhills Park boat ramp near 56th St. at 9:00am.
While participating in the River Cleanup, participants will explore a hidden gem located in the middle of urban Tampa. Departing from Riverhills Park, we learn about the unknown oxbow called Orange Lake by the locals, ending the trip near the dam at Rowlett Park. We learn about the natural history of the oxbow, where Tampa gets its water, the wildlife and more. Approximately 5 miles. Come prepared to pick up litter floating in the river. Bring snacks, water, sunscreen, etc. After the paddle we can join other volunteers at Lowry Park for Rollin' on the River Rally. To pre-register, contact the leader, Sierra Club's Gail Parsons Cell: 813-928-1412

• Monday, Oct. 22: Dr. Kevin McCarthy, Professor Emeritus of English, University of Florida: "10 Little-known Facts About the Hillsborough River," USF Patel Center Auditorium. 7:00pm, reception to follow. In this opening event, Dr. McCarthy discusses little-known but important details that explain the river's history. Reception will feature digital displays of historic photos.

• Thurs. Oct. 25: Karen Glaser: 2010 Tampa Photographer Laureate. "Above & Below Florida's Freshwaters." USF, Patel Center Auditorium. 7:00pm, reception to follow.Glaser's interest in the Hillsborough grew out of a 20 year, pure obsession with Florida's freshwaters in general. This includes Florida's springs, rivers, and swamps. Karen approaches her subject from an art background; her photographs are in no way intended to be a scientific mapping of Florida's wilds. Glaser's personal views convey the mystery and primal power of these environments in a unique, alluring and visceral way. On October 25th Karen Glaser will talk about the evolution of her Florida projects starting with Mysterious Manatees, then The Mark of Water: Florida's Springs and Swamps to The Hillsborough River: From the Green Swamp to the Bay.

• Sat. Oct. 27: Dr. Brent Weisman, USF Anthropology Professor. "A Walk Through Time: Archeology and History on the Hillsborough River." Depart from Morris Bridge Wilderness Trail at 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Dr Weisman will lead a guided hike "back in time" to historic places where human cultures of the distant and recent past interacted with the river's natural environment. Picnic lunch provided. *Space is limited; registration is required.

• Sun. Oct. 28: Hadrian Alegarbes, River Guide, will lead a canoe paddle on the river, putting in at USF Riverfront Park, Fletcher Ave., 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Topics covered will include: How Florida was found by "Lost" people, glaciers, how wild boar, maple trees, and Brazilian pepper end up here, and why you should be a crazy advocate for native plants. It is preferred that at least one participant per boat have experience steering a canoe. Please be prepared to listen and watch for beautiful things in a quiet, natural environment. *Space is limited; registration is required.

• Tues. Oct. 30: Dr. Laura Runge, USF English Professor. "A Year Spent on the Hillsborough River." Grace Allen Room (USF Library) 3:30pm reception, 4:00pm talk. Dr. Runge walked the River at sever sites each month for a year, recording observations through writing and photography, to reach a deeper understanding of the human role in the ecosystem. She will present a public lecture with photographs and readings from the memoir.

• Thurs. Nov. 1: Dr. Philip Levy, USF History Professor. "Fellow Travelers: Spaniards and Natives on Florida's Early Trails." Temple Terrace Community Church: 210 Inverness Ave. 7:00pm. Dr. Levy will address the relationships between 16th century Spanish explorers and the Native peoples they met and traveled with, focusing on why the conquistadores failed so badly along the Hillsborough. Co-sponsored by Temple Terrace Preservation Society.

• Sat. Nov. 3rd: Public Archaeology and History Day, MacDill Park: 100 N. Ashley St. (downtown Tampa), presented by the Florida Public Archaeology Network, USF Center. Hands-on activities and presentations; educational fun for the whole family, 10:00am - 3:00pm

• Wed. Nov. 7th, USF: "The River as a Resource for All": Closing event panel with Terry Tomalin (Tampa Bay Times), Chris Meindl (USF St. Pete Florida Studies Director), Krista McKean (Lowry Park Zoo), and Bob McDonaugh (City of Tampa). Featuring the art of photographer Carol Kay. What is the future for the Hillsborough River.

After the events end, this website will remain an ongoing resource full of historical photos, videos, contemporary photography, and other resources. There is even a way for you to submit your own photos, documents, and stories about the river.

The program is partially funded through a major grant from the Florida Humanities Council and is supported by a number of community partners.

For more information: