At ABC Action News, we know it's the combination of all the communities that make Tampa Bay great to live in. That's why we've started a new series of reporting highlighting good things happening around town, discovering cool gems you may not know about, and uncovering the big news events impacting those areas.
On Friday, the Good Morning Tampa Bay team focused on Land O' Lakes.
If you're in the mood for a small park with a big park feel, look no further than Crews Lake Wilderness Park! It's a great place to explore without a plan. You don't have to worry about getting very lost because the park is fenced in!
The Land O' Lakes Library is the first in Pasco County with a Makerspace.
The library has a full woodworking studio along with 3D printers, sewing machines, and crafting items.
The Makerspace is an opportunity for the whole family to learn or brush up on skills.
The pandemic has not stopped new businesses from opening in Land O’ Lakes.
Aroma Joe's Coffee House opened its doors in Land O’ Lakes a year ago during the peak of the pandemic.
“Something that we would’ve have chosen but through faith we really just kept plugging away and we actually did a lot better than we thought we would,” said Glenn Cote, Owner of Aroma Joe’s Coffee.
Harry Wright has been the BBQ king of Land O' Lakes for 36 years.
It's not always easy at the top.
"Two days after everybody agrees on religion and politics, they'll agree on barbecue!" says Wright, the owner of Hungry Harry's BBQ. "Everyone has an opinion on barbecue!"
The Ridge Road Extension is moving forward in Pasco County. The project is set to give families another much-needed hurricane evacuation route and way to get more easily from New Port Richey to Land O’Lakes.
The construction on the first phase of the extension began in 2019. That’s when Ryan Becwar, a neighbor who supports the project, told us he remembers hearing talk of extending Ridge Road when he was in high school.
The Land O' Lakes Recreation Center is home to 18 ball fields, a skate park, gym, swimming pool, dog park, pet cemetery and a whole lot of family memories.
It's hard to miss if you're in the area. It's often an active spot in the community for both kids and adults.
The programs are opening back up and summer is expected to be an exciting time for staff.
It's one of the hidden gems in Land O' Lakes, the Heritage Park Community Garden.
Every participant gets a plot to call their own and is able to grow their own food.
It's so popular there's a waitlist to take part but they also have a community plot for public use. The community plot runs on a "give one, take one" type of mentality.
The population in Land O’ Lakes is growing quickly.
“We’re super excited that everyone has found out that Pasco County is an amazing place to live,” said Corey Dierdorff, Public Information Officer for Pasco County Fire Rescue.
With more people moving to the area, comes some unique challenges.
“We want to make sure that as people move the county they’re protected and that the fire rescue is doing the best that they can to protect them,” said Dierdorff.
That’s why Pasco County Fire Rescue is building Fire Station 9, which will serve northern Land O’ Lakes.
With so many more people working from home, there's now a co-working space in the Land O' Lakes area.
The Connerton Community Welcome Center is now a membership-based co-working space with a cafe.
Eliza Smith, 15, is pretty comfortable in front of the camera. The rising Junior at Land O' Lakes High School is the host of a weekly video chat on Instagram.
"I am so excited to be here with my beautiful mom. Say hello, 'Hi Everybody.'"
Smith's chats are funny, real, and also raw and revealing.
Pasco County's Human Resources Department is hosting a job fair with on-the-spot interviews on Tuesday, June 15 in Land O' Lakes.
The county encourages job seekers to come dressed to impress with several copies of their resume.
The North Tampa Bay Senior Softball League (NTBSS) is in off-season mode. But these veteran players keep their skills sharp with practice and pickup games twice a week.
Every Tuesday and Friday, around two-dozen players meet at Heritage Park, 60+ for men, 55+ for the ladies.
A Pasco County organization that helps kids in foster care is undertaking a new project to make sure kids need are taken care of and have a safe place to go.
“We give them whatever they need to keep surviving,” Fostering Change Foster Closet founder George Agovino said.
“Fostering change is an organization that helps anybody in the community, not even our community, whoever needs it,” he said.
The idea for "Our Heroes Rock!" started something like this: "What if we did Schoolhouse Rock for important black figures?"
And turned into something like this: "Imagine the Smithsonian, but it was designed by Tony Stark."
When WWE champion Ettore "Big E" Ewen and local artist Jonathan Davenport get together, wild wonderful things happen.