Mayor Buckhorn Announces Parks to Stay Open until Midnight, Free “Rec Cards” for Youth

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Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced two significant initiatives today to help keep kids safe throughout the summer by extending hours of parks facilities and providing free “Rec Cards.”

“In February when we announced the expanded summer programming, I said that initiative was just the beginning, and this is another step in our mission to give all kids the opportunity for a safe and successful summer. We have the facilities, activities, and most importantly, caretakers who can provide a productive outlet for youth in our community to enjoy their summer vacation,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “Our parks can be more than just a safe haven; we want to give kids in our community exposure to new activities, life skills and positive role models. Coaches, mentors and police officers can be positive role models for combatting the lure of the streets or gangs.”

Expanded Hours

Nine Tampa Parks and Recreation facilities, predominantly those in the East Tampa area, will remain open until midnight, seven days a week until the end of the summer. Those sites are as follows:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Park, Recreation Center, and Pool, located at 2200 North Oregon Avenue
  • Copeland Park, Recreation Center, and Pool, located at 11001 North 15th Street
  • Cyrus Green Park and Pool, located at 2101 East Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Boulevard
  • Desoto Park and Pool, located at 2617 Corrine Street
  • Grant Park, located at 3724 North 54th Street
  • Jackson Heights Recreation Center, located at 3310 East Lake Avenue
  • Springhill Park and Recreation Center, located at 1000 East Eskimo Avenue
  • Williams Park and Pool, located at 4362 East Osborne Avenue
  • Woodland Terrace Park and Gwendolyn Miller Center, located at 6410 North 32nd Street

Starting tomorrow, Friday, June 12, 2015, Jackson Heights and Springhill Community Parks will remain open until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. Beginning Friday, June 19, 2015, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Copeland Parks will remain open until midnight on weekends, along with their pool facilities. Other facilities and additional week days will be added as staffing allows, with the goal of opening the facilities listed above until midnight, 7 days a week, by the first week in July.

Activities will be in a semi structured environment and vary by location. Those activities will range from sporting activities like basketball to indoor movie screenings. Pools will be open in a free swim environment.

Extra duty Tampa Police officers and contract security will work together to ensure everyone’s safety. Temporary lighting will be brought in.

The City of Tampa will also provide free snacks to all participating youth. Sponsors looking to assist in that effort should contact Tampa Parks and Recreation Director Greg Bayor at (813) 274-7726 or by email at

Free “Rec Cards”

Teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 will be able to register for a “Rec Card” for free during the summer by visiting any of the parks facilities listed above after 6 p.m. The “Rec Cards” will be good for one year and allow for access into facilities and programming, including free After School programs during the school year.

Youth can begin to register for free beginning tomorrow, Friday, June 12, 2015 at both Jackson Heights and Springhill Community Centers.

For additional information, please contact:
Greg Bayor, Director of Parks and Recreation
(813) 274-7730