Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The fountain at Palma Ceia Spring continues its wet, watery dance with history and Mother Nature

In 2006, this small body of water with its gentle spraying fountain, nearly hidden in Fred Ball Park, played host to its 100th anniversary celebration. According to historians, the Palma Ceia Spring used to flow from this site near the corner of Bayshore Boulevard and Rubideaux Street. (The sculpture, the Wave, is about 25 yards from here.) The view of Hillsborough Bay through the tall trees of is beautiful, quiet and contemplative. There really isn't another place like this sliver of a park along the entire 4 mile length of Bayshore. The spring is surrounded tall, mature trees and by a waist high wall that is entirely covered in plants and vines. The original Plama Ceia Springs plaque from 1906 is worn but still visible on the wall. Older Tampa natives and local historians tell us that the spring fed two man-made swimming pools and the water was said to have healing powers. Stories abound of families enjoying the spring but the pools are long gone. Today the park does have nice picnic areas, grills and a gazebo. The spring now feeds this fountain. It is wonderful, even after the last couple of weeks of record setting temperatures and rainfall, to see the cascading waters of a real working fountain. (It was so inviting I felt like jumping in.) Every other public and private fountain is shut down because we are still under water restrictions caused by our lack of rainfall. The park, named after former Hillsborough County Commissioner Fred Ball, was restored and is supported by the Rose Garden Circle. It is a real oasis, an actual working water fountain and a jewel of a park.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it sounds and looks like a wonderful oasis!
    Just a few weeks ago, you were flooding and now it's too dry? That's crazy weather! I hope you get rains again soon then.