October 12, 2007

In October, the Southwest Florida Water Management District will celebrate the Hillsborough River and the Hillsborough River watershed with a series of events along the river.

The District’s Hillsborough River Basin Board has declared the week of Oct. 20 through 27 as “Hillsborough River Watershed Awareness Week.” The participating city and county governments plan to recognize the week, which was modeled after a similar event in April that focused on the Peace River watershed.

In conjunction with the awareness week, several events are planned within the Hillsborough River watershed to create watershed awareness, showcase the commitment to protecting the watershed and foster proper stewardship of the watershed. At the end of the week, a canoe paddle will be presented to the participating governments in honor of their commitment to protecting the watershed. The watershed awareness events include:

  • Temple Terrace Riverfest, Oct. 20, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Riverhills Park, located at 329 S. Riverhills Drive, Temple Terrace.
  • Water-Wise workshop, Oct. 20, 10 a.m. at the Thompson CenterWaters, located at 5455 West Waters Ave., Suite. 208, Tampa.
  • Volunteer river cleanup, Oct. 21 10 a.m. at Hillsborough River State Park, located at 15402 U.S. 301 North, Thonotosassa.
  • “A River Runs Through It”, Oct. 27, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hillsborough River State Park, located at 15402 U.S. 301 North, Thonotosassa.

Watershed awareness week will kickoff Oct. 20 with the 7th Annual Temple Terrace Riverfest at Riverhills Park. The annual educational event offers families the opportunity to learn about the Hillsborough River and the surrounding environment. The event includes a Canoe Challenge race, hands-on exhibits, local performances and children’s fishing.

On the same day, Hillsborough County Extension Office staff will be conducting a Water-Wise workshop at the Thompson Center Waters. The workshop will focus on Florida-friendly landscaping practices, especially proper irrigation techniques.

Watershed awareness activities continue Oct. 21 at Hillsborough River State Park with a volunteer river cleanup. Volunteers will be provided with canoes, gloves, garbage bags and trash pickers to collect trash along the river. If there are enough participants, volunteers will also collect trash along the park’s trails and parking areas.

The watershed awareness journey wraps up on Oct. 27 at Hillsborough River State Park during the “A River Runs Through It” celebration. This all-ages event will feature fun, nature-based interactive activities that celebrate the Hillsborough River watershed. Presentations, workshops, and educational displays will highlight the Hillsborough River’s recreational opportunities such as canoeing and fishing, as well as Florida-friendly landscaping.

Event participants will have the opportunity to sign a watershed pledge and commit to behaviors that foster watershed protection and water conservation. A canoe paddle will be presented to local elected officials signifying how each area is interconnected as part of the watershed.

“A River Runs Through It” is sponsored by the District’s Hillsborough River Basin Board, the Hillsborough River Watershed Alliance, the Florida Park Service and the University of Floridas Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences Extension Office. Other partners include the Tampa Water Department, Hillsborough County Water Resource Services, TECO Energy, the Florida Environmental Protection Commission, CF Industries and Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful.

To learn more about the “A River Runs Through It” event, please call the park at 813-987-6771.

You may also contact Kendra Antoine, District senior communications coordinator, at 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4753, to learn about all of the Hillsborough River Watershed Awareness Week events.

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