Inside Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s head is a master plan for renewing downtown Tampa from the Hillsborough River out. First came Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, then the Riverwalk. The third jewel in this triple crown is the $35 million restoration of Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, 25 acres on the west bank of the river, with a boathouse, community center and green-monster sculpture. Part of the money for the job came from the BP oil spill settlement.
The park, which reopened on Mother’s Day, borders West Tampa and North Hyde Park, neighborhoods the city has been trying to redevelop for years. The Mayor says he hopes the park will be a catalyst for a new West Tampa.
Maybe the truest test of the park’s success is the use city residents make of it. One beautiful evening in late October, nine OLLI Shutterbugs gathered there, because it happens to be a great spot for taking pictures of the downtown night skyline and life on and across the river.
Do you like to take pictures of people, places and things? OLLI Shutterbugs is for OLLI members like you. We will make picture-taking outings to places like farmers’ markets and crafts fairs in and around Tampa Bay once or twice a month, maybe more, depending on what members want. An important part of our activities will be sharing and discussing the pictures we take. OLLI Shutterbugs will be very much a participatory SIG, with outings chosen jointly and led by members. For information, please contact Shelly Belzer, firstname.lastname@example.org.