The University Area Community Development Corporation (CDC) has been awarded a $423,000 community development block grant from Hillsborough County. An additional $90,000 was raised Friday, Sept. 23 at the University Area CDC’s fifth annual gala.

Funds from the grant and the gala will go toward the creation of a seven acre community park on 20th street, north of Fletcher. When completed, the park will include a community garden, tilapia fish farm, learning kitchen, hiking trail, playground and sports field.

Ground will be broken in November to install park lighting, irrigation, fencing and parking. The learning kitchen and community garden are already finished.

The park will be completed in phases, with total completion expected in 2018.

“The Harvest Hope Park will allow families to enjoy the outdoors without leaving their community. We are growing fresh produce and we will offer free cooking lessons. Eventually, we will have a safe playground and hiking trails where residents can exercise and have fun,” said Sarah Combs, University Area CDC CEO.

University Area CDC provides support for thousands of Tampa residents through youth programs, adult education and resource assistance. Its primary mission is the redevelopment and sustainability of the at-risk areas surrounding University of South Florida’s Tampa campus. For more information about UACDC, a 501(c)(3) public/private partnership, call 813.558.5212 or visit www.uacdc.org.

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