Friday, February 01, 2008

Band Aids for lake Roberta

Today the Tampa Tribune ran an article by Kathy Steele about the stormwater project for Lake Roberta. The City of Tampa with a the assistance of a grant from the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFMD) has begun another step in the long road to restoring Lake Roberta. This little gem of greenspace inside the Hampton Terrace Historic District is one of the few public areas on the east side of Old Seminole Heights.

The project to capture storm water run-off on the northeast side of the lake follows a project a few years ago to capture the run-off on the west side coming from Nebraska Ave. The effort to improve the lake has been a slow process. Almost 20 years ago a longtime neighbor and Lake Roberta advocate, Myron Griffin, began planting trees around the edge of the lake. Later the neighborhood obtained a grant to add aquatic plants. But the pollution and silt still flowed in with each heavy rain. I remember in the mid 1990's when our neighborhood Publix store was rebuilt the rivers of orange and white silt that flowed into the lake. The journey toward restoration will take time. It didn't decline over night but rather by decades of abuse and neglect.

Today, it is still so far removed from the images captured by the Burgert Brothers in the 1940's when the lake was still healthy enough to host fishing tournaments. Hopefully, some day in the not too distant future, funds will be secured to dredge the lake of the many years and feet of polluted silt.

1 comment:

Shawn-non-anonymous said...

Worth noting is that several homes on Idlewild above the new storm septer suffer water intrusion/erosion on their properties during even average Summer rains. This project will accomplish two important things:

1) stop the water intrusion and erosion of property, and

2) capture more of the sand, leaves, and trash that flow into the lake from Idlewild.