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Joggers, cyclists on trail can get shelter, shade

The Town 'N Country Park Civic Homeowners Association paid for it and the county had it built.

Amateur athletes now have a place to cool their heels with the completion of a new shelter on the greenway trail in Town 'N Country.

The 15- by 15-square-foot prefabricated shelter on Webb Road and Channel G is the brainchild of the Town 'N Country Park Civic Homeowners Association and the Hillsborough County Parks Department.

"We paid for it and took it to the Parks Department; they had it built," said Rob Gamester, a member of the Civic Association representing more than 20,000 Town 'N Country homeowners.

The wooden shelter, which covers a picnic table and benches, was built to provide shade for the many walkers, joggers and bicyclists who use the popular half-mile trail that runs from Shimberg Park and crosses Hanley Road along Channel G. Although the shelter looks small, Gamester said it cost approximately $4,500 to build.

"It gives people some place to go," Gamester said. "We have 70- and 80-year-old people who use the trail." He said it also is accessible for people with disabilities.

The shelter, one block south of Woodbridge Boulevard, is at the site purchased by the county last year after Jacqueline Chapman tried to get fast-track approval for a housing development. Before that, it had been widely understood that the county would use that land to extend the greenways trail.

County parks director Ed Radice said the people of Town 'N Country effectively protected that land for the trail. "This was their project and they deserve all the credit," Radice said. "They even helped plant trees with county parks workers on that trail."

County officials and members of the civic association will hold a dedication at 10 a.m. Saturday at the shelter site on the trail. Gamester said refreshments will be served and the ribbon cutting ceremony is open to the public.