Hillsborough to reopen select parks and boat ramps, county's 'safer-at-home' to expire May 4

Posted at 3:27 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 07:35:36-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Hillsborough leaders have voted to let the county's "safer-at-home" order expire May 4.

County leaders decided to let the order expire so it coincides with Governor Ron DeSantis' plan to reopen Florida.

In addition to letting the local order expire, the county is allowing the boat ramp at E.G. Simmons Conservation Park to open on Saturday, May 2.

Hillsborough County is also allowing the following parks to reopen on Monday, May 4:
• Flatwoods Conservation Park, 14302 Morris Bridge Road, Thonotosassa, and 18205 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa
• Morris Bridge Off-Road Biking Area, 12651 Morris Bridge Road, Thonotosassa
• Alderman’s Ford Conservation Park, 100 Alderman’s Ford Park Drive, Plant City, for hiking and biking only
• Upper Tampa Bay Trail and all parking areas

The following walking trails will reopen Monday, May 4*:
• Jackson Springs Community Center, 8620 Jackson Springs Road, Tampa
• Northdale Community Center, 15550 Spring Pine Drive, Tampa
• Carrollwood Village Community Park, 4680 W. Village Drive, Tampa
• Ruskin Community Center, 901 6th St. SE, Ruskin
• Apollo Beach Community Center, 664 Golf and See Blvd., Apollo Beach
• All People’s Life Center, 6105 E. Sligh Ave., Tampa

*= the county said in a press release that only walking trails will be open for those six parks.

The county said in its press release that other parks will remain closed.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor says she voted against Thursday's order, saying the county needs to "take a thoughtful approach of reopening."

The county's vote comes as Gov. DeSantis unveiled phase 1 of his "SAFE. SMART. STEP-BY-STEP PLAN." The first phase allows restaurants and retail operations to reopen on limited capacities starting Monday, May 4.

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Florida residents had been under a statewide safer-at-home order since April 2. Earlier in the month, Hillsborough County had issued a curfew order before rescinding it just days after.