a sponsored project of
501c3 nonprofit EIN 27-0594445
a sponsored project of
501c3 nonprofit EIN 27-0594445
A manmade environmental disaster is brewing in Gibsonton.
Please help us prevent this crisis.
A crucial wetland ecosystem that provides sanctuary for migrating species and local wildlife is in danger of being destroyed by encroaching industry. This vital land also has a rich history of Native American inhabitacy.
"Situated along U.S. 41, just south of the Alafia River, present-day Gibsonton consists of several historic communities including Adamsville, Gardenville, Garden City, Remlap, and Gibsonton: Adamsville was located south of Bullfrog Creek in the area of present day Pembroke Road, Garden City straddled Bullfrog Creek, Gardenville stretched from Gibsonton Drive to just south of Bullfrog Creek (incorporating part of Garden City), Remlap was situated between Gardenville and Adamsville, and Gibsonton existed between the Alafia River south to Gibsonton Drive. While today Gibsonton is famous for its carnival community which came to the area in 1924, the community’s history reaches back into the 19th century." Full article: https://www.hillsborough.wateratlas.usf.edu/upload/documents/HILLSBOROUGH_COUNTY_Historic_Resources_Excerpts_Gibsonton.pdf
"Have you ever visited the Roosevelt River in Hillsborough County? You may have, but you probably didn’t know it. If you’ve even heard of this 22-mile stream, you are one of a very few locals that can recognize this ‘river’ as..."
"In 1884, James Barney Gibson Sr. moved his family to Hillsborough County from Alabama. He chose a homestead on the south bank of the sparsely settled Alafia River. Long ago, that location seemed the site of a small, native village dating to around 800 A.D. (A large shell mound and a burial mound stood on Gibson Sr.’s homestead.) His family made a reasonable living in farming and in selling shell to pave roads in Hillsborough County. Yet, it was his son who became the father of Gibsonton. "
"The First Decade: The end of the reign of the plume hunters. From the beginning, Audubon made major strides in bird protection, from legislation outlawing plume hunting in the state, education programs that reached thousands of children and adults, to on-the-ground wardens who protected important rookeries. Florida Audubon's early success came from its partnerships with leaders of other state Audubon Societies, the American Ornithologists' Union, and the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs."
"Established in 1905 by President Teddy Roosevelt, Passage Key's purpose is to preserve nesting colonies of native sea and wading birds.
Originally a 60 acre mangrove island that featured a fresh water lake, Passage Key was almost entirely destroyed by a hurricane in 1921. It is now a low lying sandbar that fluctuates in size from one to 30 acres.. Due to its importance as one of the last undeveloped barrier islands in Tampa Bay, it is closed to public use."
"Shortly after the birth of the 20th century, the Gibsonton area underwent tremendous change. Beginning in 1907, T.M. Wier had the Gardenville Town Site surveyed. Three year later W.D. Davis filed the plat for Florida Gardenlands... Preceding the Florida land boom by a decade, but foreshadowing its promotional hype, Mr. Davis reprinted letters from “happy” property buyers who touted the advantages of living in his development in a 1911 brochure."
"A (silent video) narrative of Roosevelt's role in bird preservation which includes factual footage taken on his visit under the auspices of the National Audubon Society to bird sanctuary islands off the coast of Louisiana, June 1915 (as TR had accomplished in Florida a decade prior). Mating habits and domestic life of snowy egrets and their plunder by hunters are dramatized. Scenes of egrets' nest and the hunt, kill, and plucking of birds serve as the prologue to depiction of TR as bird preservationist."
Prior to the 1930's while the phosphate industry developed on the north banks of the Alafia River and prior to the carnival community's migration to Gibsonton, General Portland Concrete Company acquired Plat L Lot J of the Revised Map of Florida Garden Lands. The land was deeded to them in 1947 and they operated there for decades. In 1976, Mutual Metals recycling facility opened. They obtained the deed in 1982 which then transferred to a Mr. Exum in 1994. In 1998 the land was forfeited due to zoning violations and foreclosure.
"Native Americans continued to live by hunting and gathering as the population expanded and tribes claimed their territories. Southwest Florida’s earliest Indian mounds date from this period.Mounds and earthworks were built for a variety of reasons. The most common form of mound was a shell refuse midden where Paleo-Indians disposed of trash such as oyster shells and animal bones. Other mounds were temples or burial sites. Full article: https://www4.swfwmd.state.fl.us/alafia/archaic-period.php
"Humans first settled along the Alafia River thousands of years ago. Remains of a sizeable native town were found in Gibsonton, possibly belonging to the Mocoso tribe that lived at the site during Hernando de Soto’s arrival in 1539. Further upstream, work and hunting sites dotting the placid river have been found and explored. These smaller sites provided ongoing shelter and sustenance to precontact natives." Full article: https://www.ospreyobserver.com/2021/03/facts-and-legends-from-the-shores-of-the-alafia/
The Mocoso people were among the first inhabitants of Florida encountered by both the Narváez expedition in 1528 and the de Soto expedition in 1539. Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda, who was a captive of various tribes in Florida from about 1549 until about 1566, described Mocoso as a "kingdom by [it]self", i.e., not part of the Calusa domain. Full article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mocoso
In recent years, Gibsonton residents have witnessed a huge decline in the quality of the natural resources that have always made our community an attraction to visitors. An outright assault on our garden lands, fresh and salt water estuaries, and the very air we breathe has been underway by irresponsible ownership of local scrap metal, concrete, and asphalt recyclers who disregard the health and well-being of those who live in our small, low-income community.
Pro Way spreads toxic air, land, sound, and water pollution
Starting as far back as 2012, Pro Way and their various colleagues and counterparts have been decimating our delicate garden lands, spoiling our natural fresh water ponds, destroying our estuaries, and sickening the citizens who live in the neighborhoods that border their establishments. By 2015, their blatant disregard for zoning compliance leading to $1,000 per day fines, caused them to relocate from the Phillips Lane location to Trinity Lane where they once again destroyed the natural resources and unleashed a bitter battle against this quiet neighborhood. When the Trinity Lane residents met Pro Way in front of the Board of County Commissioners, Pro Way realized they had to move again - this time closer to Gibsonton Elementary School.
The first document below is the request from the Trinity Lane residents to the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners formally requesting a denial of Pro Way's application for Land Use Variance. The documents that follow detail the horrible devastation Pro Way inflicted on the Phillips Lane community prior to the move to Trinity Lane, plus a long, but partial list of the various entities created by Pro Way's principles in an effort to rename themselves so as to escape legal actions against them while maintaining their government contracts.