By LINDA CHION KENNEY
The 17th annual Hillsborough County Neighborhood Expo is set for virtual attendance, with its aim this year to promote steps for building “healthy, safe and engaged neighborhoods.”
That’s the theme this year for the annual event, featuring workshops designed to showcase Hillsborough County services and programs for neighborhood leaders and residents.
Organized by Hillsborough County Neighbor Relations, the expo is set to run 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 21. The expo will also offer training for required new board member certification, from 1:15 to 3:30 p.m. (with a 25-registrant minimum hosting requirement).
Neighborhood Expo workshops include a look at services offered through Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation, including the latest in sports and athletics, summer camps, adaptive sports, guided hikes, night tours, sunset paddling tours, wagon tours, canoe trips, family programs, Esports and more.
“Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About” explores the many ways residents can connect with Hillsborough County’s social media channels, through the county web site and through Hillsborough Television (ATV). Learn how to provide virtual feedback for upcoming capital improvement projects and how to share county information with neighbors.
A workshop exploring the “nuts and bolts of code enforcement” includes best practices for working with code enforcement teams to maintain and restore a community’s safety and quality of life. Among the questions to be answered include how to report a code violation, if you can do so anonymously and what happens next after you file a report.
Presented by Hillsborough County Conservation and Environmental Lands, the “Be a Good Neighbor to Nature” workshop explores the county’s role in environmental conservation and as a steward to more than 80,000 acres of protected lands. Learn why parks and preserves are essential to the health of every community by enhancing environmental, economic and social conditions. Learn about the animals and exotic plants of protected lands and “how to be a good neighbor if you live next or near one of these protected areas.”
The “Disaster Preparedness and You” workshop, presented by the Hillsborough County Office of Emergency Preparedness, addresses what to include in a family preparation plan and the difference between an evacuation zone and flood zone. Learn also how, through the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, volunteers and organizations are educated and trained to respond to disasters. According to county officials, “professional responders rely on CERT teams during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.”
The “Utility Package and Talking Trash” workshop covers how public utilities officials deliver and treat water “from toilet to tap and what challenges lurk for this precious resource.” Presented by Hillsborough County Solid Waste and Management and Hillsborough County Water Resources Department officials, the workshop addresses how trash is converted to energy and what county officials do “to be mindful of community health when it comes to meeting our trash and recycling needs.” Learn how individuals and associations can assist in meeting the growing demands of water and trash services in a healthy way.
Jim Taylor, division director of government relations at Hillsborough County Government and Strategic Services, is set to present a workshop entitled, “The Political Process, Effecting Change.” Learn tips and insights “to better prepare your neighborhood to communicate effectively with government leadership.” Learn how county officials engage with state and federal officials on issues and policies affecting county concerns.
Kelley Parris, executive director of the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, is set to join Cpt. Tiffany Lindsey of the Plant City Police Department to address how to “Child Proof Your Neighborhood and Cyber Safety.” The aim is to secure family online information, to protect family members from online bullies and predators and to increase awareness about child preventable injuries and death associated with water, infant abusive head trauma, car seat safety, safe baby sleeping arrangements and more.
The “County Wise” workshop involves an overview of county programs and services, including library services, social services, veteran services and pet resources.
The virtual exhibit hall is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the morning starts with a 20-minute welcome, including opening remarks from Hillsborough County leaders.
The first 200 people who register and participate are to receive a free gift item.
For the registration link, visit HCFLGov.net and search for “Hillsborough County Neighborhood Expo.” Call Hillsborough County Neighborhood Relations at 813-272-5860.