Tuesday, April 21, 2009

TBHC Joins the 'Eco.lution.'

The Tampa Bay History Center is proud to be a presenting sponsor of ECO.lution ’09. This week-long series of events focused on building a greener Tampa Bay comes to Cotanchobee Park on Saturday, April 25th.

ECO.Festival, presented in partnership with Mise en Place and the Tampa Bay History Center, brings local vendors to downtown Tampa’s Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park for a day of local music, organic and gourmet foods and fun, to promote and celebrate Tampa’s riverfront and the local business that make up the soul of our city. Admission to ECO.lution ’09 is free and will feature eco-oriented activities, live performances from local musicians, as well as presentations from a variety of speakers in the Tampa Bay History Center’s TECO Hall.

Be sure to stop by our booth in Cotanchobee Park to pick up a coupon for discounted admission to the History Center during Saturday’s festivities. The History Center will serve as the primary location for ECO.Festival’s series of free informational talks and presentations. Throughout the day, lectures and panel discussions in TECO Hall will address the city’s past, present and future in relation to the river and the Downtown area. Speakers include:

Session 1 - 10:30AM – 11:30AM – The Waterfront City: The History of Tampa’s Downtown Development
Rodney Kite-Powell – Tampa Bay History Center

Rodney Kite-Powell is the Saunders Foundation Curator of History at the Tampa Bay History Center, where he joined the staff in 1994. His academic degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Florida and a Master of Arts in History from the University of South Florida. Born and raised in Tampa, he has written extensively on the history of Tampa and Hillsborough County. In addition to his duties at the History Center, Mr. Kite-Powell is an adjunct professor of history at the University of Tampa, where he teaches a course on the history of Florida.

Emanuel Leto Bio – Tampa Bay History Center

Emanuel Leto is the Program Outreach Coordinator for the Tampa Bay History Center. He is also the Editor of Cigar City Magazine, a local history publication focusing on the Tampa Bay Area. Before joining the History Center, he served as Assistant Director of the Ybor City Museum Society, where he was responsible for public and educational programming including Otras Voces: The Radical and Alternative Press in Ybor City; Tampa y Cuba: The 500 Year Connection; and Urban Renewal in Ybor City, among other exhibits. A Tampa native, Emanuel is a member of the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the American Institute of Architects Cultural Heritage Committee, and the City of Tampa Enterprise Zone Agency Community Board.

Session 2 – 1:00PM – 2:00PM – The River and Civic Connectedness

Phil Compton – Sierra Club / Friends of the River

Phil Compton is the Regional Representative of the Sierra Club’s Florida Regional Office (i.e. state headquarters) in St. Petersburg. Phil is also Chair of the Friends of the River, a grassroots citizens’ group in Tampa that advocates the restoration of the health and beauty of Tampa’s Lower Hillsborough River.

Mary Szafraniec – Southwest Water Improvement and Management Program
Mary Szafraniec is an Environmental Scientist with
Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) focusing on water quality restoration. Before joining SWFWMD, Szafraniec worked as an Aquatic Biologist, specializing in benthic macroinvertebrate and aquatic vegetation taxonomy at the Department of Environmental Protection.

Session 3 – 3:00PM – 4:00PM – Connecting Tampa Through Transit

Beth Alden – Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization

Ms. Alden is a certified planner and Team Leader with the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization. She holds a Master's in Planning from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor's in Environmental Design & Architecture from North Carolina State University. In the last ten years her work in Hillsborough County and West Central Florida has focused on regional coordination in transit planning; public participation and consensus building; environmental justice & plans for the disadvantaged; livable communities & roadways; and the incorporation of public transit, pedestrian and bicycle systems in growth management strategies and tools.

Cassandra Ecker – Jacobs Engineering / TBARTA

Cassandra Ecker is a Transportation Planning Group Manager for Jacobs Engineering in Tampa, Florida, and the consultant team Project Manager for the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority Regional Transportation Master Plan project. As Project Manager, Ms. Ecker provides technical support to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on the development of the TBARTA Master Plan, including oversight of the public engagement activities related to the project. She holds a master’s degree in urban planning and a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the American Planning Association.

Ed Crawford – Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART)

Ed Crawford has been with the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) for 10 years. He serves as agency liaison to the Florida Legislature and U.S. Congress. He oversees all of HART’s media, outreach and marketing activities. Prior to coming to HART he was the executive director of the Tampa-based Alliance for Modern Transit & Livable Communities, Inc., a private, non-profit group which advocated for smarter land-use and transportation planning. He served on the Hillsborough MPO Citizens’ Advisory Committee which he chaired for four years before starting with HART. He is a long time advocate for alternative transportation modes and served as chairman of the Hillsborough Greenways and Trails Committee for eight years. He also served on the MPO’s Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee for 10 years. In 2000, Ed was selected for a travel fellowship by the German Marshall Fund to study transit, traffic calming, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and urban design in Europe. He has spoken extensively on greenways, smart growth, urban design, transit, traffic calming, and community visioning. He is a native of Tampa, a graduate of the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Political Science, and is a certified planner.

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