Two of Tampa Parks Honored by the Florida Native Plant Society

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Two of Tampa parks, Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park and USF Park, received 2011 Landscape Awards from the Florida Native Plant Society for their high quality native plant landscapes.

Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park received an Award of Honor for the restoration of the natural shore line. The concrete seawall and dock were removed and the bank was re-graded and restored along its entire length. Buffers were created through the use of rip-rap, oyster shell mounds and native wetland plantings to establish the shoreline and provide estuary and wildlife habitat. A dock with a floating kayak launch provides access to the water. The 6.5 acre park is predominantly planted with native trees, shrubs, grasses and ground covers. Located on Old Water Street directly behind on the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the park serves as a living demonstration of the benefits of using native plants to create a successful urban park.

USF Park received an Award of Merit for its environmentally-friendly design. The park includes USF Plaza, which honors the university’s contributions to the city as an institute of higher learning. The Riverwalk connection allows visitors to walk from the west side of the Tampa Convention Center all the way to the Channelside district. The park incorporates seating along undulating walks, surrounded by native plants that provide shade and interest along with views of the shoreline. USF serves as a great example of restoring a small urban site to a naturalized setting while re-creating connection to the river in downtown Tampa.

For more information about the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department, please visit our web site.