District leaders recently attended the dedication of Water Works Park in the City of Tampa, which included the restoration of Ulele Springs.
The 5-acre park is part of the city’s plan to revitalize the Riverwalk District and Tampa Heights. Ulele Springs is a unique natural spring systems within downtown Tampa.
Initiated in 2012, the Ulele Springs Restoration project is a
cooperative funding partnership between the District, city and Ecosphere Restoration Institute. The restoration effort aimed to connect water from the springs to the Hillsborough River, allowing fish, manatees and other wildlife access to the freshwater and provide a unique area for community education.
The project was completed in two phases – upland and wetland restoration.
During the second phase, a pipe was removed that previously directed the spring outfall to the river. A meandering stream system was created that will remove nitrogen from the spring water before entering the Hillsborough River.
The restored wetland area was planted with native vegetation by volunteers and District staff.
Governing Board Chair Michael Babb praised the project at the dedication.
“The Ulele Springs Restoration project is a shining example of historic revitalization and ecological restoration working together,” he said. “The District is proud to invest dollars into the project that enhance habitat restoration and water quality benefitting Tampa Bay.”