Looking back to see what's next: A few of our favorite stories from 2021

Here are a few of the 83 Degrees Media team's picks as our favorite stories from 2021.

Why millennials are moving to Tampa

Tampa is a strong magnet for millennials as COVID provides the opportunity to work remotely from anywhere in the world. Read more.

Rosebud Continuum blends ancestral knowledge, experimental science for sustainable future  

Lakota Sioux Elder and former NFL offensive lineman Sonny Bishop isn't the easiest fellow to keep up with as we tour the 14-acre Rosebud Continuum, where he lives with his wife, Maryann, in Pasco County. Read more.

New film explores the 'Hidden Wild' in Florida 

Much of Florida is still more than a little wild, and that makes it wonderful. This is the theme of Hidden Wild, a newly released film that follows the journey of three South Florida high school students -- Noah, Kiana, and Kourtez -- on a 7-day trek to experience the nearby wilderness. Viewers can witness the teens’ transformative travels through swamp, scrub, and sand to a realization that the image of the Sunshine State as wholly beach-centric doesn't hold true. Wild Florida, the students decide, is beyond memorable. It’s a landscape worth preserving. Read more

USFSP, local high school students collaborate on new urban hydroponic farm in South St. Pete

Fresh and local will soon be more than a slogan thanks to an innovative project to bring an urban hydroponic farm to almost an acre of land behind the Enoch Davis Community Center in South St. Pete. The University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) and the St. Petersburg Youth Farm at Enoch Davis are collaborating on the Fresh ‘N Local Greenhouse project, which aims to address food insecurity in South St. Pete. Read more.

Local resiliency officers design plans to combat climate change in the Tampa Bay Area  

Like members of a fine orchestra, the Tampa Bay Area's resiliency officers hold prime seats among those working to prepare this area for climate change mitigation to keep people, roadways, and real estate safe. The average citizen may not even notice subtle changes along the way since much of the work involves data, calculations, and future plans, but it's happening. Read more.

North Hyde Park undergoes transition with new shops, apartments

While the biggest developments in Florida’s third largest city -- Water Street Tampa, Midtown, and the Westshore Marina District -- tend to get more attention and publicity, a whole lot of smaller investments are taking place in the city’s older, more established neighborhoods. Read more.

Video story: Solving the Missing Middle housing crisis  

Closing the "Missing Middle'' gap in housing to restore neighborhoods for moderate and middle-income families is top of mind for local planners. Watch the video.

Keeping a dream alive: Envisioning a chess park in East Tampa  

Architect Joshua L. Jones imagines his chess park concept as a seed that could help grow community engagement and civic pride as well as additional investments in East Tampa. Read more.

Eco-friendly Ocean Allies leads 'Big Cleanup' of Clearwater

As the owner of Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber restaurant, a family-run institution on Clearwater Beach for more than 70 years, Sheri Heilman knows about building something that lasts for generations. Heilman has put her professional experience and contacts to work in an effort to make sure future generations can experience the natural beauty and postcard scenery that makes Clearwater Beach a beloved hangout for locals, a coveted destination for tourists and the lifeblood of many local businesses. Read more.

Seminole Tribe, USF Sustainable Tourism, USF Access 3D Lab preserve history at Egmont Key 

Egmont Key -- located between St. Petersburg and Bradenton at the mouth of Tampa Bay, approximately a 20-minute ferry ride southwest from Fort DeSoto Park -- holds a haunting chapter in Florida history that the Seminole Tribe of Florida insists must not be forgotten, and which USF has the tech to help preserve. Read more.

Shaping the local art scene: Meet the curators

Artists play a key role in shaping communities and our choices about where we choose to live, work, play, and stay. But do we fully appreciate the role of the curators, the designers working behind the scenes to display artwork in local museums? Here are five local curators who demonstrate remarkable thoughtfulness, energy, and vision to shape how we view and react to what we see.21 historic Tampa Bay Area restaurants that can still satisfy your cravings  

Tag along as we take a culinary tour of a few of the most beloved local restaurants (we picked just 21 for now in 2021) in Tampa and the region that have been serving patrons for generations. Let's rediscover how some of these landmark entrepreneurs are doing in the face of challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and what's next for them in coming months and years. Read more.

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Read more articles by Diane Egner.

Diane Egner is a community leader and award-winning journalist with more than four decades of experience reporting and writing about the Tampa Bay Area of Florida. She serves on the boards of the University of South Florida Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications Advisory Council, The Institute for Research in Art (Graphicstudio, the Contemporary Art Museum, and USF’s Public Art Program) Community Advisory Council, Sing Out and Read, and StageWorks Theatre Advisory Council. She also is a member of Leadership Florida and the Athena Society. A graduate of the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism, she won the top statewide award for editorial writing from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors while at The Tampa Tribune and received special recognition by the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists for creative work as Content Director at WUSF Public Media. Past accomplishments and community service include leadership positions with Tampa Tiger Bay Club, USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy (WLP), Alpha House of Tampa Bay, Awesome Tampa Bay, Florida Kinship Center, AIA Tampa Bay, Powerstories, Arts Council of Hillsborough County, and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Diane and her husband, Sandy Rief, live in Tampa.