Tucked beneath the skyline of Downtown Tampa, not too far from the University of Tampa’s minarets, sits a small neighborhood park.
"Once upon a time it was a little better than what it is. It's sort of like it went down," Ruth McNair said.
McNair has lived near Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park for more than 57 years. During that time she's watched it slowly deteriorate.
"There's not much of anything down there," McNair said.
Her husband used to take their great-granddaughter to the park every day. Now McNair wants other generations to love the park.
City leaders agree, planning a $10.5 million makeover.
"I want to activate it. I want to program it so more people have the ability to use it," Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said.
One idea both McNair and the mayor agree on is possibly removing hills and obstacles around the park. This would give visitors better views and access to the Hillsborough River, a key feature of the park.
"I want this to be a park that is river focused and has activities on it that are river focused whether it's crewing, whether it's paddle boarding, whether it's kayaking, whether there's splash pads for kids," Buckhorn said.
McNair would like to see more picnic benches, fitness equipment for seniors, lighting and amenities for young people. "It would be nice to have a swimming pool back," McNair said.
She would also like to see more parking. "We don't want them parking in our neighborhood," McNair said.
City leaders will continue brainstorming with park neighbors before redesigning the park to fit into Tampa's future.
To find more information and see a schedule of the next community meetings, visit www.invisiontampa.com .