Tampa, Fla. – University Area Community Development Corporation (UACDC) will break ground for the seven acre Harvest Hope Park on Wednesday, March 8 at 13704 North 20 St., Tampa, 33612, in the heart of the University Area Community.
All are welcome to attend this free event, which will be begin at 9:30 a.m. with a breakfast prepared from ingredients, in part, harvested from the Harvest Hope Park community garden. A ceremony will follow at 10 a.m., with tours at 11 a.m. Local artists will create live art in the park while Prodigy Moves displays their mobile classroom.
After two years of planning, a recent $423,000 Community Development Block Grant, awarded by Hillsborough County Affordable Housing, is making it possible to proceed to the long-awaited next phase of Harvest Hope Park, Phase II.
Phase II begins with this initial ground breaking, in preparation for construction set to begin on several exciting components: a multi-purpose sports field, walking trails and infrastructure improvements. Infrastructure improvements will include upgraded sidewalks, lighting, landscaping, irrigation and parking. A community garden already is in place, as is the Harvest Hope Center, which includes a kitchen to be used for teaching purposes.
Phase II of the Harvest Hope Park will be completed by December 2017. Phase III will include
completion of a tilapia fish pond, a playground, outdoor fitness stations and signage. The final stage, phase IV, will entail remodeling the Harvest Hope Center, which includes a full learning kitchen, community meeting space and offices from which to run community programming.
UACDC is the first organization to be awarded the Treasure Tampa (T²) grant, in the amount of $30,000, from the Gobioff Foundation. These monies will be utilized for the creation of three to five dynamic art installations by local artists for the UACDC Art in the Park program. This is scheduled to begin by August 2017.
“This is the Gobioff Foundation’s first competitive grant and we wanted the applicants to work on collaborating with members of the public, private and non-profit sectors,” says Neil Gobioff, Gobioff Foundation president. “We’re excited by the University Area CDC Art in the Park Project. We truly believe they understand the type of collaboration that is necessary to make a creative placemaking project successful.“
Additionally, UACDC and University of South Florida recently received a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to create a strategic plan for dealing with environmental pollution and redevelopment challenges in the University Area Community.
UACDC, USF and other stakeholders will collaborate to develop an area-wide plan and implementation strategy for the community, which contains several brownfields and potential brownfields.
“The project will build on existing planning activities that the community has already developed for housing rehabilitation, new business creation, increased access to health services, and improved opportunities for recreation,” said Christian Wells, USF professor of Anthropology and director of the Center for Brownfields Research. “The project will focus on brownfields that are a major impediment to these redevelopment considerations and will include community engagement, local capacity building, an economic market analysis, and evaluation of existing planning documents along with social, health, and environmental data to determine the extent to which contamination will impact revitalization efforts.”
University Area CDC offers support for thousands of Tampa residents through youth programs, adult education and resource assistance. Its primary mission is the redevelopment and sustainability of the at-risk areas surrounding University of South Florida’s Tampa campus. For more information about University Area CDC, a 501(c)(3) public/private partnership, visit www.uacdc.org or call 813.558.5212.