Glimpse Florida’s ancient past at the Green Swamp

Living on Florida’s densely populated coast, it’s almost impossible to believe that a 37,350-acre wilderness exists just an hour or so inland. Known as the West Tract of the 110,000-acre Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, this environmentally protected land offers glimpses of what Florida used to look like, and, hopefully, will look like way into the future. This important natural treasure … [Read more...]

Decision delayed on Quail Hollow

Pasco County commissioners, for a second time, pushed off a decision on the fate of the Quail Hollow Golf Course. In a 3-2 vote, they opted to continue the issue until June 6 at 1:30 p.m. in Dade City. The intent is to give the golf course owner and Quail Hollow homeowners more time to settle differences. But, there is a wide gulf between an owner who wants to redevelop his unprofitable … [Read more...]

Larkin’s legacy goes beyond ‘tough guy’ reputation

William M. Larkin’s reputation for being a tough character outlasted his lifetime. Known as “The Meanest Man in Pasco County,” some people still recall that moniker applied to the Dade City man, nearly a half century after his death in 1973. Larkin reinforced that image by keeping a single-shot .22 rifle in the gun rack of his truck — a statement that often left a lasting impression with … [Read more...]

Nature’s way to have fun, decompress

The Hillsborough River State Park — just a short drive south of Zephyrhills — is one of Florida’s first state parks. It’s a place where nature lovers can explore trails, where fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines, where families and friends can host special gatherings, and where campers can call the place home — for up to 14 days at a time. The park opened in 1938, as one of the … [Read more...]

Lettuce Lake Park offers beauty, bird watching and fun

If you’re looking for a place to commune with nature, spend some time exercising, or gather with family and friends — Lettuce Lake Park may be just the spot for you. The 240-acre park offers wooded picnic areas, a playground, an interpretive center, an observation tower, and a 1.25-mile bicycle and jogging trail, complete with a fitness course, according to the park’s website. There’s … [Read more...]

The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expeditions reveal Florida’s wild side

Motorists zipping along Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando can't see from their ribbon of asphalt how close they are to the wild side of Florida. But the Green Swamp is all around. Often called the "liquid heart" of the state, the swamp is headwaters for four major rivers: Peace, Withlacoochee, Ocklawaha and Hillsborough. Natural habitat, hiking trails, blueways and wildlife … [Read more...]

Dade City and Zephyrhills pool their water

Zephyrhills and Dade City will connect their water systems as a hedge against emergencies and future development along U.S. 301, the highway that runs between them. City commissioners in both cities recently approved a 25-year interlocal agreement to turn their spigots on if either city is in need. Each city would pay whatever the going rate is at the time. The first step is installing about … [Read more...]

Flood warning for Hillsborough River, Cypress Creek

Heavy rains have brought flooding to parts of eastern and central Pasco County, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning for the Hillsborough River and Cypress Creek. Those two waterways at Hillsborough River State Park and Worthington Gardens are expected to rise above flood stage by the weekend, officials said. Up to 5 inches of rain is expected to fall in a short … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills water to donate $50K at open house

The public will get a rare opportunity Saturday to see inside the plant that Nestle Waters North America uses to produce Zephyrhills bottled water. But it will come with some money for area charities as well. The company says it will donate $50,000 in honor of its 50th anniversary Saturday to organization that help support cleanup and education events at parks along the Hillsborough River, the … [Read more...]

Tampa Bay Water funding nonprofit conservation projects

Tampa Bay Water is offering $20,000 worth of mini-grants to help fund projects and events sponsored by local community groups, non-profit groups, schools and universities that help promote protection of the region’s drinking water sources. The deadline to apply for the grant is Oct. 31. To qualify, applicants need to provide a plan for a project or event that is related to source water … [Read more...]