New Tampa residents looking for something family friendly and affordable to do this summer might only need to escape to Lettuce Lake Park for a solution.
Hillsborough County’s Lettuce Lake Park, 6920 E. Fletcher Ave., Tampa, introduces two new programs that will allow everyone to join a park ranger and discover Hillsborough County in a new way.
The park is offering Park Ranger Nature Education Programs in July, August and September.
The new programs, which take place at 10 a.m. and noon, provide a variety of fun and informative guided activities for children ages 9-15.
Participation is $5 per child, and children must be accompanied by an adult. The park entry fee is $2 per vehicle up to eight people. Participants should meet inside the Visitor Center.
Upcoming programs include:
- July 21 – Let’s Make Homemade Butter and Eat It
- July 28 – Venomous Florida Snakes and Watercolor Art
- Aug. 4, 5 – Jelly Fish and Watercolor Art
- Aug. 12 – Raising Chickens In Your Back Yard
- Aug. 18, 19 – Planting A Vegetable Garden – Get It Ready Now
- Aug. 25, 26 – Coffee Plants, Roasting Beans and Saving the Birds
- Sept. 1,2, 3 (Labor Day) – Survival Skills and Camping in Florida
- Sept. 9 – Beginners Orienteering: Having Fun With a Compass
- Sept. 15, 16 – Turtles of Florida: What You Can Do to Help
- Sept. 22, 23 – Florida’s Pine Trees, Logging and Turpentining
- Sept. 29, 30 – Indians in Florida
In addition, for kids and adults alike, the park is offering free guided tours every Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. starting at the Visitor Center.
Lettuce Lake Park’s free guided tours will take participants through the boardwalk and along the scenic Hillsborough River. Park rangers will highlight many native plants, a variety of birds and perhaps an alligator or two. Those bold enough to climb the five-story observation tower can enjoy a scenic overlook from the skies.
These tours will include a look into traces of what happened in Florida 200 and 300 years ago. After the tour, participants can enjoy the cool air-conditioned exhibits in the interpretive center located inside the Visitor Center.
Participants should wear walking shoes and cool clothing, and carry water. Binoculars and a camera are welcome. Pets are not permitted on the boardwalk.
For more information or to register for the Park Ranger Nature Educational Program or a free guided nature tour, contact Carol A. Legan at 813-987-6204.
The 240-acre Lettuce Lake Park opened in 1982. It offers wooded picnic areas and a playground, a bicycle path/jogging trail complete with a fitness course, an interpretive center featuring exhibits and a 3,500-foot boardwalk and an observation tower where visitors can view an extensive variety of wildlife. The parks also has canoes/kayaks available for rent.
More than half of the park’s property lies in the natural floodplain of the Hillsborough River, and consists of a hardwood swamp forest. This feature provides a natural storage reservoir for floodwater and improves water quality, acting as a biological filter to remove excess nutrients from the water. The remainder of the park consists of hardwood hammocks and pine flatwoods plant communities.
To reach Lettuce Lake Park, head north on Interstate 75 and merge onto East Fletcher Avenue via Exit 266 toward Tampa. The park is located 2.1 miles on the right.