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Tampa begins to open its parks, beaches

Mayor Jane Castor made the announcement on her daily Facebook Live update.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announced Friday that some of the city's parks and its beaches would reopen.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announced Friday that some of the city's parks and its beaches would reopen. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published May 1, 2020|Updated May 1, 2020

TAMPA — Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announced late Friday that some of the city’s parks would open on Monday at sunrise along with the city’s beaches.

The mayor made the announcement on her daily Facebook Live update, saying that dog parks, kayak, canoe and boat launches and other amenities were also reopening.

Here is the list of parks:

  • Al Barnes Park, 2902 N 32nd St, 33605
  • Al Lopez Park, 4810 N Himes Ave, 33614
  • Copeland Park, 11001 N 15th St, 33612
  • Davis Islands Seaplane Basin Park, 650 Severn Ave, 33606
  • DeSoto Park, 2617 Corrine St, 33605
  • Gadsden Park, 6901 S MacDill Ave, 33611
  • Lowry Park, 7525 N Boulevard, 33604
  • MacFarlane Park, 1700 N MacDill Ave, 33607
  • McKay Bay Trail, 513 S 50th St, 33619
  • New Tampa Nature Park, 17001 Dona Michelle Dr, 33612
  • Ragan Park, 1200 E Lake Ave, 33605
  • Rivercrest Park, 4802 N Boulevard, 33603
  • Rowlett Park, 2401 E Yukon St, 33604

Restrooms, playgrounds, picnic area and sports fields will remain closed, according to an accompanying news release.

Castor asked residents to exercise in groups no larger than 10 and to maintain social distancing rules.

Code and law enforcement will monitor the spaces, she said.

Ben T. Davis, the beach on the south side of the eastern terminus of the Courtney Campbell Causeway is the city’s most popular beach. The others are Picnic Island, Cypress Point and Davis Islands.

Hillsborough County has already announced it will reopen some of its parks as early as Saturday.

Related: Hillsborough will begin reopening parks

On Wednesday, Castor said she would keep the city’s parks and beaches closed for the time being, citing her concern that they would attract crowds.

Related: Jane Castor says the city's parks, beaches will remain closed for now

She also told the Tampa Bay Times in that interview that she considered getting the city’s service industry back on its feet to be a higher priority.

“We’re doing all we can to help out our restaurants and our retail locations,” she said. “It’s critically important that our economy get back open but that we do it very thoughtful,” she said in her Facebook appearance.

She said the city would be making an announcement about Gov. Ron DeSantis’ statewide order allowing restaurants to operate at 25 percent capacity “very soon.”

Other city parks will remain closed, the release said.

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