| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Environment : Development News

195 Environment Articles | Page: | Show All

Construction Begins On Marine Exploration Center, Aquarium In Madeira Beach

The 25-year-old St. Petersburg Pier Aquarium is moving, expanding and rebranding, bringing the new Secrets of the Sea Marine Exploration Center and Aquarium concept to John's Pass Village in Madeira Beach.

Slated to open by November 2013, Secrets of the Sea will be the anchor attraction at John's Pass Village on Gulf Boulevard and 129th Avenue in Madeira Beach, featuring a broader, more technology-focused marine exploration concept.

Construction on the 13,500-square-foot, approximately $4 million facility began on April 23rd.

“The Pier Aquarium has been bursting at the seams for a long time while the public's interest in the ocean environment, cutting-edge technology and marine science continues to grow,” says Pier Aquarium President and CEO Howard Rutherford of the 2,000-square-foot St. Pete facility. “The unknown future of The Pier created an extraordinary opportunity for a bold, new approach to the Aquarium's mission.”

The Pier Aquarium will close on May 31.

Rutherford plans for Secrets of the Sea to become one of an epicenter for marine research and one of Madeira Beach's premier attractions, bringing the public together with state-of-the-art marine research, innovation and technology interactive experiences.

Various marine-related activities, aquariums, galleries and exhibits developed by the St. Petersburg Ocean Team will focus on research concepts in a fun, explanatory fashion; exhibits include Essential Estuaries, Touch Tampa Bay, Fish at Risk, Corals on Acid, Crustacean Station and Moon Jellyfish.

Local design-build team Biltmore Construction and Harvard Jolly Architects are working on the construction of the two-story structure with Lexington Design and Fabrication designing and building innovative Mystery Stations throughout the center, showcasing how several sea habitats and lifeforms are benefiting from some of the ocean's unsolved mysteries.

“We hope to create a new generation of environmental stewards,” Rutherford says.

A public/private partnership between John's Pass Village owner AEGON USA Realty Advisors, Enterprise Florida's State Small Business Credit Initiative and a local lender, the new aquarium space was recently endorsed by Madeira Beach Mayor Travis Palladeno.

Additionally, a collective hotel partnership called the Secrets Premier Hotelier Group has been instrumental in helping Secrets of the Seas achieve its capital campaign target to begin construction, agreeing to provide in excess of $100,000 over the next five years in support of the new marine attraction.

The partnership includes TradeWinds Island Resort and Guy Harvey Outpost, St. Pete Beach Sirata Beach Resort and Conference Center, Lowes Don CeSar Hotel, Postcard Inn, Dolphin Beach Resort, Bilmar Beach Resort, Grand Plaza Resort Hotel, Alden Suites, Sunset Vistas Beachfront Suites, Beachcomber Beach Resort and Hotel, Plaza Beach Resorts and Barefoot Beach Hotel.

Secrets of the Sea is expected to generate nearly 250,000 visitors annually and pump $8 million into the local economy, reaching more than 40,000 students from six different countries.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Howard Rutherford, Pier Aquarium

Business Owners Looking To Improve Dog Parks, Davis Islands

Two local Tampa Bay business owners and Davis Islands residents have teamed up to keep island dog owners and visitors happy and healthy, creating Friends of Davis Islands Dog Parks through the Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful Program.

Assisting City of Tampa Parks and Recreation in maintaining and improving both the Davis Islands Dog Beach and Dog Park, Carolyn Bigley of Davis Islands Pet Care and Jenn Fadal of Wag Natural Pet Market and Bathhouse formed the not-for-profit Friends of Davis Islands Dog Parks as an on-going, long-term community effort in partnership with Friends of Tampa Recreation, Inc.

Bigley and Fadal's new organization will work to raise funds and encourage volunteerism in an attempt to help create, maintain and improve off-leash waterfront dog parks; promote responsible pet ownership and environmental protection through community outreach and events; and create an environment where dog owners follow good “dog park etiquette.”

“Residents, veterinarians, dog trainers and behaviorists have mixed feelings about dog parks, but in my opinion, they are necessary. Most behavioral problems in dogs are largely due to a lack of exercise -- dogs cannot be leashed all of the time. They need to be able to run free and socialize and these parks give them the opportunity to do so,” Bigley says.

Adding that most dog parks end up having challenges, she says Davis Islands' public dog spaces are no different.

“Irresponsible pet owners not picking up poop is the number one issue, especially at the Dog Beach so close to the Tampa Bay,” she says. “Reports of dogs being dumped at the parks and an overall general disregard and respect for the park has made many islanders no longer use the parks, especially on the weekends.”

Bigley and Fadal are looking to change that, believing care for the parks has slowly declined over the years. Bigley says dog parks should benefit the community by providing a safe, clean area for dogs to be off the leash.

But in just the past few months, many improvements have already been made to the Davis Island Dog Park, thanks to John Allen and Earl Olson of Tampa Parks and Recreation: Fences have been repaired and painted and kiosks and benches have been fixed and are being maintained.

One of Friends' first fund-raising projects will be to create a memorial plaque wall where folks can purchase a plaque in memory of a lost pet. Plans for a memorial garden are also in the works.

“Friends started as a simple idea of making the parks cleaner, fixing up a few things and just beautifying them a bit, but its mission has become much more than that," Bigley says. "We encourage residents to get involved.”

To become a sponsor or to learn more about getting involved with Friends of Davis Islands Dog Parks, including weekly and monthly clean-ups, visit the official website and Facebook page.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Carolyn Bigley & Jenn Fadal, Friends of Davis Islands Dog Parks

Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay Upgrades Homes

Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay (RTTB) is looking to respond to the need for residential housing rehabilitation programs in the Tampa Bay region, improving living conditions for local low-income families.

Receiving a $300,000 grant from Wells Fargo to improve homes in Tampa Heights, the program has been helping 12 homeowners update their homes. Partnering with the United Way Suncoast and City of St. Pete, many more home improvement projects are planned for the Heights area, as well as St. Petersburg's Campbell Park; Campbell Park is part of RTTB's Healthy Homes and Neighborhood program.

“There are many homeowners in need of our services and not enough nonprofits providing help to low-income homeowners to keep their homes safer, healthier and more energy efficient,” says RTTB Executive Director Jose Garcia. “Because of the economic downtown, low-income homeowners can no longer afford expenses to keep their homes maintained. Sometimes, it comes down to choosing between paying for food or medicine instead of replacing a roof or HVAC.”

Spending an average of $15,000 in construction costs, RTTB works to provide new roofing, HVAC, window replacements, bathroom renovations and lead paint repairs, if needed. Volunteerism through the program is encouraged, assisting with exterior painting, landscaping and yard cleanup.

On April 13th, RTTB hosted a Kick-Off to Rebuild Day Event, installing ramps and handrails and updating plumbing and interior and exterior painting for 80-year-old Campbell Park homeowner Elizabeth Chambliss; Chambliss, a veteran's widow, has been living in the area for more than 45 years.

In partnership with RTTB and United Way, volunteers from Honeywell assisted on-site to complete much of the repairs needed in Chambliss' home.

“We look for the most essential home repairs when we help a homeowner -- the needs of every home are not the same,” Garcia says. “We want to provide services that will make the home a safe and healthy place to live.”

April marks National Rebuild Month for Rebuilding Together affiliates nationwide and National Volunteer Month for the United Way with RTTB hosting an official Rebuild Day on April 27th, gathering volunteers from the United Way Suncoast and officials from the City of St. Pete to work on home repairs to four homes in the Campbell Park area of Pinellas County.

Plans to update homes in Hillsborough County are also underway.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Jose Garcia, Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay

Tampa's "Bright Lights" Initiatve Shines On Sulphur Springs

Fulfilling Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's promise to complete a citywide lighting inventory, the first street lights as part of the “Bright Lights, Safe Nights” initiative have been installed.

Buckhorn, joined by Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas, cut the ribbon to streetlights installed in Sulphur Springs -- the first neighborhood to receive new lights. In total, 127 new lights have been installed in the Sulphur Springs neighborhood thus far.

“A well-lit city is a safer city,” says Buckhorn. “We’re illuminating streets across this city that are dangerous for motorists and pedestrians and the dark corners where criminals can hide.”

Dedicating $2.2 million over the next five years to this initiative, the City of Tampa will work with TECO to add approximately 8,400 new street lights to the city's overall grid, ultimately expanding the current street light network by 30 percent.

Plans call for the lights to be placed throughout Tampa, focusing on Community Redevelopment Areas and zones with high crime or crash rates.

“We've been lighting Tampa for 114 years and we look forward to doing our part to meet the mayor's goal,” Gillette says.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, early-morning and nighttime crashes can be reduced by about 35 percent with additional streetlights while two research projects by the Institute of Criminology at the United Kingdom's  University of Cambridge in 2005 found that documented crimes decreased up to 45 percent with the financial savings from reduced crimes exceeding the cost of lighting by up to 10 times.

Sulhpur Springs -- also the target for revitalization through the City's Nehemiah Project, which will demolish more than 50 abandoned, uninhabitable homes in the area -- is only the first neighborhood of many that will benefit from the “Bright Lights, Safe Nights” initiative.

The Jackson Heights neighborhood is slated as next to receive new street lights.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa & Gordon Gillette, Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas

New Home Interior Design Store Coming To Sarasota

Downtown Sarasota will soon have a new home interior design store.

Featuring 2,200 square feet of elegant, uncommon and artisan home furnishings for local beach and waterfront resort homes in Sarasota, Pecky will become an addition to the Starbucks and Whole Foods development located on 100 Central Ave. in Sarasota. A a grand opening and open house will be held on April 3rd and 4th.

“Our recovered lumber business of cypress, black cypress, pecky cypress and heart pine was an instigator of the store's formation,” says Owner Patricia Estes, who operates the store along with her husband, Peter. Pecky cypress wood will be seen throughout the store, recovered by Estes Recovered Lumber.

Offering an abundance of classic, liveable wood furniture; wall and ceiling applications; and linen sofas and chairs, Estes says Pecky's new showroom will offer several lines of home furnishings new to Sarasota and the surrounding area.

“If you are looking for an upscale, relaxed, quality, earth-friendly feeling for your beach abode, Pecky is where you want to start,” Estes says. “The store will hopefully fulfill an element of quality and design-driven décor for our lovely community.”

Pecky will focus on artisan products sourced throughout the United States and will offer home interior services.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Patricia Estes, Pecky

Men's Lifestyle Apparel Company Chooses CoWork Tampa, Focuses On Environment

Black & Denim Apparel Company, a men's lifestyle apparel company looking to take the green route by taking care of the environment with fashionable, eco-friendly clothing, has picked the Tampa Bay region to base its headquarters.

Black & Denim searched for a space to house an office and showroom, ultimately stumbling upon CoWork Tampa's entrepreneurial atmosphere, which offers the opportunity to interact with other companies, all under one roof.

"Instead of cities that have garment districts -- New York or Los Angeles -- we did a bit of research and it turns out that when the embargo hit, a lot of cigar factories in Tampa became sewing facilities,'' says Roberto Torres, president of Black & Denim. "Tampa's a natural hub, with one of the most active port systems in Florida, so we dug into the area's roots and decided to help create a garment district. We're trying to harness all of the talent coming out of design schools and major universities, which is paramount for our growth.''

According to Torres, Black & Denim -- which, by the way, is made and sourced entirely out of the United States -- plans to ultimately make CoWork Tampa a permanent home for the company with plans to house machinery on an empty floor, advertising their factory as a "must see destination for tourists,'' he says.

But for now, Black & Denim is focusing on the environment, calling "green technology fashion's new black'' with the launch of a kickstarter project in hopes of showing the region -- and the country -- that fashionable, eco-friendly clothing is possible. One technology currently being utilized by the company includes water-based inks versus traditional plastisol, which is harmful to the environment and, potentially, those wearing it. Sampling and upcycled materials are also a focus for the brand.

"We are thrilled to be able to add to the Tampa Bay economy: We're local and support the local shops and enterprises driving this town,'' Torres says. "One day, we want to be one of those 103-year-old businesses that calls Tampa home. We want to be a part of the history and fabric of the area.''

Black & Denim supports seven local boutiques and employs five employees at the local distribution facility. According to Torres, the company is looking to not only continue supporting local jobs, but create job opportunities in the near future.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Roberto Torres, Black & Denim Apparel Company

Leadership Sarasota Makes Plans To Improve Michael Biehl Park, Venice

Leadership Sarasota, a program of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, is making Venice's Michael Biehl Park a focus, with plans to improve the local park as part of a community service project.

Located next to Venice Theatre on West Tampa Avenue, improvements will be made to the park with $5,000 of seed money that was given to Leadership Sarasota by the local chamber of commerce to get the project off of the ground. ProGo Solutions, a company specializing in agronomic solutions, will also play an instrumental role in the project, as well as the City of Venice, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and Venice Theatre.

In addition, the program -- which is designed to nurture and engage leadership skills through community immersion, leadership training and educating participants on "how things work'' in the local community -- will use resources through various Tampa Bay area-based businesses for additional funds via in-kind donations of consulting, supplies and equipment.

"Leadership Sarasota's Class of 2013 came to choose the Michael Biehl Park project after thorough consideration'' says Bridget McGrath, a member of Leadership Sarasota. "We all felt that this park and location had immense potential to enhance downtown Venice and, with the resources we have through our class and the local community, knew this project would be a success.''

The project plans to brighten the park with lighting and landscaping, add picnic tables and bike racks and enhance the overall design of the park; an existing mural will be embellished with new lighting.

"Currently, the landscape is pretty drab and lacks color; we intend to change that,'' McGrath says. "We feel that this park is a main focal point when you enter historic downtown Venice and will be helping the continued revitalization of the downtown area.''

An unveiling and community barbecue will be held at the park on April 21st, celebrating the new and improved Michael Biehl Park. Until then, Leadership Sarasota has plans to put in more than five scheduled work days where the class in its entirety will be putting in work to see the project through.

"Leadership Sarasota's class of 2013 is full of solid talent and great charisma with a strong desire to give back to our beautiful community that we are so fortunate to call home.''

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Bridget McGrath, Leadership Sarasota

New Bistro To Open In Tampa Convention Center, Downtown Tampa

Designed to provide an oasis from the loud, congested atmosphere typically found in convention centers, a new dining option is coming to the 600,000-square-foot Tampa Convention Center.

Located on the waterfront in the heart of downtown Tampa, Bay Bistro at the Tampa Convention Center will expand opportunities for patrons taking advantage of the Riverwalk. The new 7,830-square-foot waterfront bistro promises to provide visitors an opportunity to enjoy menu items and daily chef specials while relaxing on both lounge seating or traditional cafe seating.

The restaurant will officially open to the public, serving lunch, on Wednesday, January 16th.

“Bay Bistro was added to reposition the Convention Center as a destination rather than just a venue for special events,” says Eric Blanc, director of sales and marketing at the Center. “As we continue to separate ourselves from the competition, Bay Bistro, as well as The Sail Pavilion (located on Tampa's Riverwalk), are keys to our success in providing that memorable experience we wish to provide our guests.”

A year in the making, Blanc says the Tampa Convention Center is focusing efforts on customer experience and satisfaction.

Bay Bistro is expected to feature an eclectic menu with items including Southern-Fried Green Tomatoes, Brie-L-T, Grilled Mahi Mahi, Bay Bistro Fritters, Chicken Mole Quesadillas and Portobello Steak Salad. Prices will range from $6 to $12.

“The Convention Center is not just a convention center to be used by visitors to Tampa. It is our goal to provide quality events and activities that the citizens of Tampa can participate in and enjoy,” Blanc says. “Bay Bistro is only the beginning of an exciting development that will culminate with Tampa's waterfront becoming one of the best waterfront destinations in the country.”

For Bay Bistro hours and more information, visit the Tampa Convention Center website.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Eric Blanc, Tampa Convention Center

New Nature Park, Trails Open In New Tampa

A new city park is now open in New Tampa for active residents and visitors to enjoy outdoor activities such as bicycling and ziplining.

Located at 17001 Dona Michelle Dr. in New Tampa, the 122-acre New Tampa Nature Park connects to Hillsborough County's 7-mile, 400-acre Flatwoods Park trail system. Together, the two parks give Tampa Bay area residents access to miles of trails and preserved green space; not to mention the opportunity to keep an eye out for native wildlife.

“The New Tampa Nature Park is a great, active park,” says Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

An elevated boardwalk -- “nature walk'' -- crossing a wetland habitat, elevated "marsh walk,” rock and rope playground climber, zip lining system and a one-half mile long entrance road are among some of the activities offered at the new Nature Park.

“Children can explore nature,” Buckhorn says. “Our commitment to New Tampa is not just in roads and sewers, but is embodied in our parks and playgrounds, as well.”

Funded through Community Investment Taxes, Phase I of the project cost approximately $927,469, including stormwater control elements and parking for 22 cars and two buses. General contractor for Phase I was QGS Development, Inc.

Land for the 122-acre park was acquired through assistance with the Florida Communities Trust Preservation 2000 and Hillsborough County Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection programs.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa

InVision Tampa Releases Draft Of City Center Plan

Thanks to help and input from nearly 800 Tampa residents, 1,000 online users and AECOM's globally recognized urban planners, the InVision Tampa project has released a draft of its City Center Plan.

The City Center -- a Texas-shaped area of Tampa -- spans from downtown Tampa to Ybor City on the east, Armenia Avenue on the west and north along Nebraska and Hillsborough Avenues, including the University of Tampa (UT) neighborhood, North Hyde ParkWest TampaTampa Heights, Ybor City, V.M. Ybor, downtown Tampa and the Channel District. The City Center Plan will act as a road map to transform the area.

InVision Tampa is going to create a blueprint for downtown Tampa for the next 25 years,” says Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “The community input and engagement on this planning effort was just extraordinary. With that kind of collaboration, I am even more confident that, together, we can make this happen.”

The plan focuses on re-centering downtown around the Hillsborough River, connecting area neighborhoods in a pedestrian-safe, transit-friendly manner while improving both the quality of life and economic development in the center of the city.

In the plan, the InVision Tampa team outlines 10 short-term and long-term ideas to help move the City of Tampa forward, helping to improve the city's urban core:

1. Nurture new river places that spur activity and create access to the Hillsborough River and Garrison Channel, extending the economic value of the Center City waterfront.

2. Make the north downtown neighborhoods a multimodal, walkable area that extends the value of the Riverwalk and cultural venues east to Nebraska Avenue.

3. Establish streets and parks as primary elements of civic identity to catalyze downtown as the location of choice for new private development investment in the region.

4. Redevelop south downtown in a pattern of streets, blocks and public spaces that connect the Channel District with venues in the Downtown Core.

5. Reposition street corridors from traffic conduits to residentially oriented, balanced “Neighborhood Connectors” and local business “Main Streets.”

6. Rebalance Tampa and Florida Avenues as local streets, joining neighborhoods while providing regional access.

7. Develop an attractive, safe, cross-city, multipurpose trail that links the eastern and western Center City to neighborhoods and the Riverwalk.

8. Create a premium local transit route crossing the river from the Channel District to North Hyde Park to link residential, employment, and academic areas and capture “choice riders” as a mechanism for both transportation and economic development.

9. Continue on the mission of repositioning the large parcels of property within the Center City for development while supporting grassroots efforts for neighborhood improvements.

10. Leverage substantial education and healthcare assets and investments by linking their large workforce and student populations with community revitalization.

“In the draft process, we really took advantage of online social media. Residents provided input on what they liked and what they wanted to see more of in the downtown area,” says City of Tampa Urban Planning Coordinator Randy Goers. “We needed to take a look at our urban core because it hasn't been looked at in this standpoint in almost 20 years. We needed to take a look at a bigger area -- a more comprehensive look.”

Beginning in early December, expect additional outreach by the InVision Team as a draft plan focusing on the Nebraska Corridor develops, including community charrettes in early December. By early January, the project expects to begin a multi-year revitalization and transformation of the West Tampa area.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Mayor Bob Buckhorn & Randy Goers, City of Tampa

Net Zero Energy Building Opens In St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg's first self-sustaining, net zero building celebrated its grand opening on Monday, December 3rd.

As Florida's first designated green city, St. Petersburg is the new home of the Sierra Club's state headquarters and Big Sea Design and Development and Roundhouse Creative offices.

Built by All Florida Management with partners Bosch and Florida garden center Twig Leaves, St. Pete's first self-sustaining, net zero building is a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Platinum applicant, fully equipped with environmentally friendly solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, a water-to-air geothermal heat exchange system, glare-reducing thermal barrier window tinting, green spaces with native landscaping, rainwater harvesting and a weekly recycling program.

In other words: zero energy bill.

“These days, green businesses aren't just focused on developing earth-friendly technologies -- they are committed to offering a product or service that consumers know has little to no environmental impact,” says Tom Hall, the building's developer and managing partner of All Florida Management. “The emergence of this new green business culture has allowed our company to focus on meeting the needs of the small business community by dedicating ourselves to cultivating environmentally conscious commercial building platforms that reflect both our clients' personal and professional values.”

Roundhouse Creative is one of those small businesses looking to take advantage of everything the new eco-friendly building has to offer; Andrew Lee and his wife, Brooke, founded their production studio in 2007, focused on telling powerful stories and creating beautiful designs. Roundhouse Creative moved into a 2,600-square-foot space in the new building that is shared with Big Sea Design and Development.

“We made the decision years ago in our personal lives to be conscious of the environment and are excited about what being net zero will mean to our customers,” says Lee. “By hiring Roundhouse Creative, our customers can now benefit from the fact that their new website, TV commercial or web video has been produced with a near net zero environmental impact.”

With Roundhouse Creative's new space currently open for business, Lee looks forward to thriving in downtown St. Pete: What he calls a regional hub for art, culture and great food.

“Innovative, forward-thinking projects like this building are a perfect fit for the city and add to why I love St. Pete. I couldn't be more excited about what this project means for the area,” he says. “I hope other business owners become educated on the benefits of net zero and understand that they can now make conscious decisions for their business with the environment and future generations in mind.”

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Tom Hall, All Florida Management & Andrew Lee, Roundhouse Creative

Tampa Mayor Adds StreetLights, Improves Safety

Thanks to a multimillion dollar investment, Tampa's about to get a lot brighter.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced a new street lighting program, “Bright Lights, Safe Nights,” a $2.2 million commitment over the next five years to expand the city's current streetlight network by 30 percent.

“Brighter lights mean safer neighborhoods and safer streets,” says Buckhorn. “Joining with our partners at TECO, this initiative will eliminate dark areas where criminals can hide and illuminate streets and intersections where our children cross.”

Improving Tampa's quality of life, approximately 8,400 new streetlights will be strategically placed throughout the city, including Community Redevelopment Areas and zones with high crime and/or crash rates; installation will begin in January 2013 with approximately 1,683 new lights per year.

Tampa Electric will oversee the installation with the City of Tampa funding electricity and maintenance; the City currently funds 30,000 streetlights, totaling $5 million annually.

“We've been lighting Tampa for 114 years and we look forward to doing our part to meet the Mayor's goal,” says Gordon Gillette, president of Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, early-morning and nighttime crashes can be reduced by about 35 percent with additional streetlights.

In addition, two research projects by the Institute of Criminology at the United Kingdom's University of Cambridge in 2005 found that documented crimes decreased up to 45 percent with the financial savings from reduced crimes exceeding the cost of lighting by up to 10 times.

“A well-light city is a safer city,” says Buckhorn.

“Bright Lights, Safe Nights” fulfills Buckhorn's promise to complete a citywide lighting inventory, determining where updates and repairs are necessary throughout Tampa, including the replacement of dimming streetlights and removal of tree branch obstructions.

The City is asking residents to request repairs on existing streetlights and/or submit suggestions for new streetlight locations.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa & Gordon Gillette, Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas

Tampa Spay/Neuter Clinic Moves, Increases Services

If you visit the Animal Coalition of Tampa Spay/Neuter Clinic on Lemon Street on a typical day, you'll see clients braving the summer heat and storms under tents pitched in the parking lot.

Affectionately called the "waiting room,'' the tents are a temporary solution to space issues experienced by the clinic. With an average of 20,000 animals served per year, the clinic has outgrown its 3,000-square-feet space and plans to move to a new building on Gilchrist Avenue on October 9.
 
"We needed so much to come together for the building to be right,'' says Linda Hamilton, the clinic's founder and executive director.

The new building, located four blocks from the current one, was chosen because of its proximity to the existing space (to keep their dedicated staff and clients), large parking area, reasonable rent, ideal size and layout.
 
With the mission of ending unnecessary euthanasia of dogs and cats in Hillsborough County, the Spay/Neuter Clinic first opened in 2006 to provide low cost, high quality spay/neuter services to low-income residents. Since then, services have been expanded to include vaccine packages and even life-saving surgeries.

"It's because of the community's reactions to our services that moving became such a critical need,'' says Hamilton. "People bring in a pet they have saved from the street or a shelter, and they are able to give it a home because of our affordable prices.''
 
The new building will allow ACT to offer pet care classes for the public on topics such as managing feral cats and grieving the loss of a pet. They also plan to utilize more volunteers and loan space to local rescue groups for meetings.

"We want our clients to know that someone is there for them, to help them keep their animals in the home rather than surrendering them to a shelter. The building is in honor of the community, who cares and wants to see unnecessary euthanasia finally come to an end,'' says Hamilton.
 
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Linda Hamilton, ACT Spay/Neuter Clinic

Explore Downtown Tampa Architecture On QR Code Tour

AIA Tampa Bay members are serving as guides for Do the Local Motion's Discover Design Architect Tour of downtown Tampa's unique architecture on Friday, Oct. 5, from noon to 1 p.m

The one-hour tour, beginning at Lykes Gaslight Square Park in downtown Tampa, will include five to six historically significant buildings that contribute to the city's sense of place. The event is free and open to the public. Just show up!

Tampa Bay residents and visitors also can experience downtown Tampa's unique architecture through a self-guided walking tour using QR codes. The tour was launched as part of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Institute of Architects' Archifest in October 2011. Twelve new sites were added in August this year, bringing the total to 23.

"It's another way to get the public thinking about architecture,'' says Dawn Mages, executive director for AIA Tampa Bay. The tour is free and both phone and tablet-friendly, making it attractive to people visiting downtown.

Participants can start the tour by visiting Tour Tampa Bay Architecture, where they will find maps of the sites and pictures showing where the QR codes can be found. Some codes are obscure, whereas others stand out on windows and can be found while passing by. The website also includes historic sites in Ybor City and Hyde Park.

The tour has had 600 unique visitors since the new buildings were added in August. The most popular building is Tampa Theatre on Franklin Street, followed by Sacred Heart Church on Florida Avenue. Rivergate Tower on Ashley Street is a favorite among architects.

AIA was recently awarded a grant from the Florida Department of State's Division of Historical Resources and is also receiving support from the Tampa Downtown Partnership. Future plans include site enhancements such as professional videos to provide more information about the buildings.

Additional local events honoring Archtober can be found on AIA Tampa Bay’s website.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Dawn Mages, AIA Tampa Bay

Gift To USF: $12 Million Toward New College Of Global Sustainability

Thanks to the help of Drs. Kiran C. and Pallavi Patel, a new College of Global Sustainability may be in the works for the University of South Florida (USF).

The latest contribution to the USF: Unstoppable Campaign -- a $600 million effort to celebrate the energy, vision and future of the university -- the Patels recently donated $12 million to the university toward an endowment aimed at creating the new Patel College of Global Sustainability.

The new college will expand on nearly a decade of research in an attempt to advance sustainability around the globe.

“The Earth is God's gift to humanity and we believe that the current generation must ensure that while meeting our present needs,” the Patels say. “The world's rapidly depleting resources and growing population require us to become more efficient and think of new ways to develop sustainable and renewable sources of clean water, energy, food and transportation.”

Upon university approval, the new Patel college -- which could begin accepting students as early as January 2013 -- will bring the current work of the Patel School of Global Sustainability to a new level, allowing it to focus on improved urban systems, water and transportation.

Recently, the Patel School of Global Sustainability, which Pallavi Patel calls a “do tank, not a think tank,” became the first North American university to obtain a research and strategy partnership with the UN-HABITAT Partner University Initiative. Together, USF and UN-HABITAT will establish the first United Nations Urban Futures Research Hub in the U.S., promoting education and professional development in emerging cities.

“We are inspired by the Patels' vision of a world where all people have a real chance to reach their full potential in a clean, healthy environment,” says USF President Judy Genshaft. “We are humbled that they have entrusted USF to be a partner in making the vision of a better tomorrow a reality. The Patels' trust in us means as much as the money they give.”

Right here in Tampa, the current Patel School has created a multiyear learning and research partnership with water management in the Netherlands called Resilient Tampa Bay. An effort to prepare the region for potential urban flooding challenges brought by hurricanes and rising sea levels, the program is guiding future development in an attempt to protect areas vulnerable to severe flooding.

The latest $12 million gift from the Patels brings the family's contribution to USF to $25.8 million. Through a series of donations and matching state funds, the Patels have focused their endowments and attention on sustainable global development and healthcare through supporting the Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions Endowment Fund, USF Health, the Dr. Kiran Patel Center for Global Solutions Operating Fund and the Patel Center for Global Solutions.

According to Genshaft, the Patels leadership, influence and donations have helped USF become one of the top 50 research universities in the nation.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Drs. Kiran C. and Pallavi Patel & Judy Genshaft, USF
195 Environment Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts