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Published Oct. 24, 2008


Once a landfill, now a quiet oasis next to a bustling international airport, Cypress Point Park has undergone another in a series of transformations aimed at preserving the area as a retreat.

Originally purchased in 1996, the site, the west end of Cypress Street, was originally slated to be commercially developed, but was purchased for $3.9-million with money from the Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program and Florida Community Trust.

After 12 years of storms and natural erosion, the park's shoreline, which offers beach access to Old Tampa Bay, had begun to shrink while nonnative plants started to encroach from land.

More than $350,000 and 11,000 cubic yards of sand later, the park now features an expanded beach, new restroom facilities, shelters and showers. Native plants were brought in to help fight erosion and filter pollutants from the water.

The improvements are part of the city's commitment to preserve open space and reclaim wetlands, said Tampa Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Linda Carlo.

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio held a rededication ceremony to usher in a new era at Cypress Point last week.

Davis Islands

Marjorie Park Marina wins 'clean' rating

Marjorie Park Marina has become one of four Tampa-area facilities to be recognized by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as a clean marina.

Less than 10 percent of Florida's 2,000 marinas bear the distinction, which is earned by a combination of good practices and a commitment to education. Marjorie Park, located on Davis Islands, is one of two marinas operated by the city of Tampa.

The marina has consistently demonstrated that it promotes sound environmental practices, said Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Pamala Vazquez. But it doesn't stop there. Marjorie Park must be able to show that it maintains its conscientious programs to keep the mark of clean marina.

"Public education and staff education are a constant criteria," she said.