Riverview Community Resource Guide - 2016

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RIVERVIEW my town!

In proud partnership with the


Riverview | MY TOWN!

Community Resource Guide is such a great little community; Quick! What’s the first image discover some things about your that comes to mind when home you may not have known someone mentions Riverview, before; and find a source of Florida? Its warm waters that valuable information and phone draw resting manatees? A numbers at your fingertips. bedroom community of Tampa? Inside, you’ll find practical A mining town? Whatever From Left to Right Seated: information about the image you have probably does Brittany Brown, Administrative Specialist Tanya Doran, Executive Director community’s workings – who little justice to the Riverview in Debbie Kirkland, Membership Director to call for emergencies, who the middle of a business boom. Standing: Kayla Montrose, Administrative Support represents you in Washington, “That’s the best news,” offered Kristen Munn, Communications Coordinator. D.C., and Tallahassee, and who Greater Riverview Chamber offers cable services. There’s information on of Commerce Executive Director Tanya Doran, Riverview’s history, a few of its more notable “we’re seeing some really great businesses residents, and those hidden places you may have gravitate to the area,” she said. never known existed. To help navigate those changes, this guide may “A lot of people live here but work in Tampa,” be the most valuable addition to your household, business or waiting room this year. In these pages reminded Doran. “Many who do may not be familiar with everything the community has to you will learn (or be reminded of) why Riverview See COMMUNITY, PG 8

Riverview | MY TOWN!


7-Day Guest Pass (New Members Only when you mention the code word “MY-TOWN”)


3 Convenient Locations Open 24 Hrs/7 Days a Week 208894-1

11252 Boyette Rd. Riverview, FL 33569 813-443-4747

501 W. Brandon Blvd. Brandon, FL 33511 813-409-2000

10875 Bloomingdale Ave. Riverview, FL 33578 813-269-8463 208894-2

7-Day Guest Pass (New Members Only when you mention the code word “MY-TOWN”)


3 Convenient Locations Open 24 Hrs/7 Days a Week 208894-1

11252 Boyette Rd. Riverview, FL 33569 813-443-4747

501 W. Brandon Blvd. Brandon, FL 33511 813-409-2000

10875 Bloomingdale Ave. Riverview, FL 33578 813-269-8463 208894-2


Riverview | MY TOWN!

Riverview | MY TOWN!




offer. Sometimes the coolest stuff is in your own backyard.” Anyone thinking of moving to the area will learn what makes Riverview such a delightful place to live. Prospective residents will discover what those who live here already know: It’s the people that contribute to the magic. “We have a wide and diverse community in Riverview,” explained Doran.“The people make the difference, absolutely.” “Even as Riverview grows, and new businesses develop here, we are still one community. Not every place can say that these days.” As the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, this guide will offer a look back on how this unincorporated community of over 72,000 has grown and developed. From its earliest days as a phosphate mining town to its reputation for resting manatees and star football players, this C E L E B R AT I N G unincorporated community southeast of Tampa continues to capture the hearts and imaginations of families and professionals young and old – a capture that shows no signs of letting up.

Welcome from the Chamber...................................3 Introducing Bryan Thatcher, MD......................... 10 A letter from the President.................................... 11 About the Chamber................................................. 12 Chamber Board of Directors................................. 14 Chamber Mission and Board List........................ 16 Buy local, buy from the Chamber....................... 18 Hidden Jewels ........................................................... 20 Education and schools ........................................... 26 Saluting the armed forces ..................................... 32 Important numbers for veterans ........................ 34 Local government.................................................... 36 Important numbers................................................. 38 Riverview Map........................................................... 42 A history of the Chamber ...................................... 44 What makes Riverview special ............................ 48 Local parks .................................................................. 52 Life in Riverview........................................................ 54 Art and culture .......................................................... 56 Boating......................................................................... 58 Home grown goodness..........................................60 Children’s activities .................................................. 61 Riverview’s history ................................................... 62 Can’t miss attractions and events....................... 72 By the numbers......................................................... 86 ABOUT THE COVER: The scenic Alafia River stretches for 25 miles eventually flowing into the waters of Tampa Bay. Its name comes from the native word meaning “River of Fire.” The image found on the cover of this magazine was taken behind the Riverview Civic Center. Photo by Dave Morrison Select images provided by Huth & Booth Photography and Pam Knowles. DID WE MISS ANYTHING? If so, let us know. Send your comments along with your contact information to the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce. Contact us via email at info@RiverviewChamber.com or call us at (813) 234-5944.


Riverview | MY TOWN!

Riverview | MY TOWN!


Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners is proud to congratulate the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce as it celebrates 50 years of representing the business and community needs of Riverview. The Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce has been working to increase prosperity in the community since the group was established in 1966. The organization has grown to more than 500 members and represents businesses of all sizes, from mom-and-pop operations to corporations with hundreds of employees. From the start, the Chamber recognized that success is measured not only by how it serves its members, but by how its members serve the community. The Chamber and its members give generously of their time, money, and expertise to help create opportunities for local businesses, improve schools, and increase quality of life in the Riverview area. The Board of County Commissioners of Hillsborough County, Florida does hereby commend the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce for providing 50 years of strong leadership to the local business community. Awarded this 15th day of January, 2016


Riverview | MY TOWN!

Introducing Bryan Thatcher Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce President 2016 Chamber President Bryan S. Thatcher, MD, is a retired physician, and he and his wife, Susan, have seven children, aged 33 to 9. He completed his medical training in Ohio and moved to Florida in 1985. In 2002, he started a commercial real estate business, opening Park Place in 2004, and Boardwalk of Riverview in 2006. He believes in a hands-on approach to managing and maintaining the complexes, and he and his family can be seen there on weekends doing maintenance jobs. Dr. Thatcher spends much of his time on a ministry he founded in 1996 called Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy (EADM). The ministry is now active in 35 countries worldwide. Dr. Thatcher is the author of several books on Divine Mercy, and over the past 20 years his ministry has shipped over 125 containers of medical supplies with an estimated value of $25 million dollars to the poor worldwide. Committed to his community and very active in the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Thatcher has been a Chamber member since 2003 and has been on the Board of Directors since 2012, the same year he was voted Riverview Citizen of the Year.

A Letter From The President Bryan Thatcher, GRCC President


t is a great honor for me to be the President of the

men and women who served in various capacities

Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce as we

throughout its 50 years of existence. I hope you

celebrate its jubilee year of 50 years of existence! And I

enjoy the articles on the history and early days of the

want to thank the Tampa Bay Times for its collaborative

community, featuring such community stalwarts as Dr.

effort with the Chamber staff to produce this beautiful

Earl Lennard and Jim Johnson.

Riverview guide and magazine. I hope you find the information useful. The Riverview area has so much to offer as detailed

The theme for the Golden Jubilee Year is “The Golden Rule.� In all the craziness and confusion in our lives, let us always remember and continue to

in this guide. In 2012, CNNMoney ranked Riverview

treat others as we would want to be treated. And I ask

65th in the top 100 places to live in the United States

the readers to support our local businesses, as they

based on factors such as financial statistics, housing

are the backbone of our community. Please stop by

and education. Other factors considered were quality

the chamber office and get to know more about your

of life, weather and leisure activities. We live in a great

chamber of commerce, as it is very involved locally.

place with great people who own and operate great

Remember, before you buy, give the chamber a try!

businesses! Our local chamber is strong not only because of the current staff, but also because of the many great

God bless Riverview, and God bless America!

Bryan Thatcher,


Riverview | MY TOWN!


ELITE AND TRUSTEE MEMBERS The Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce is proud to introduce our Trustee and Elite Members. Annually, these companies offer support to the Chamber that goes above and beyond.

The Chamber’s Role in this Guide. A river runs through it and somehow imparts a magical energy to Riverview, a delightful and historic community just outside the city of Tampa. Riverview offers all the essentials for the good life without the hustle of the big city. This community truly works together for the good of all. Within the business community, the creed is locals serving locals first. And it’s never more evident than at a Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce luncheon, where hundreds of chamber members gather monthly to learn, socialize and share experiences with each other. This level of camaraderie is rarely found anywhere else in Florida, and it has supported the establishment of a community that truly has the hometown feeling, a community where everyone wants to live, to raise families or to retire. Riverview residents know that living here is great; however, many residents and prospective residents are unaware of our community’s history or the wealth of resources available. That is why the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce has helped create the first Greater Riverview Area Community Resource Guide.


Riverview | MY TOWN!

TRUSTEE MEMBERS South Bay Hospital The Mosaic Company ELITE MEMBERS Brandon Automall FIAT Brandon Regional Hospital Bright House Networks Ed Morse Cadillac - Brandon Electric Today Exclaimit! Inc. Huth and Booth Photography Osprey Observer Riverview/Apollo Beach Pearson Capital, Inc. R Processor, Inc. Strathmore Development Company Tampa Bay Times Tampa Electric Company Thatcher Properties The Regent Walmart Neighborhood Market #5622 William Ryan Homes Florida, Inc. Winn-Dixie Stores

Riverview | MY TOWN!



Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Leslie Forrester, Michelle Mosher and Jim Johnson

Kendra Wilson, Robert Hintze and James Pulkowski Jerry Rothstein, Melissa Hartmann and Dixie Brady

Joe Nichols, Theresa Turner and Neil Beckingham

To learn more about these community leaders, visit: RiverviewChamber.com


Riverview | MY TOWN!

Bryan Thatcher, Jill Andrew, Jennifer Caskey and Elijah Heath

Riverview | MY TOWN!



We serve to create a family environment that ensures the success of our community, our businesses and our members.


The Greater Riverview Chamber will be recognized as the leader of a community that is an incredible place to live, work and play; building a sense of belonging and creating an environment for success.

MISSION MISSION The Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce is the principal leader of and catalyst for plans, strategies, programs and services that:

Advance the general welfare, quality of life and prosperity of the Riverview area Promote the economic, civic, commercial, industrial and educational interests of the Riverview area Preserve and enhance the natural character of Riverview

CORE VALUES CORE VALUES Leadership Fun Teamwork Diversity Integrity


Riverview | MY TOWN!

Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce 2016 Board of Directors PRESIDENT Dr. Bryan Thatcher Thatcher Properties ................................................................... bryaneadm@sprynet.com PAST PRESIDENT Jennifer Caskey CenterState Bank (Riverview)................................................. jcaskey@centerstatebank.com PRESIDENT ELECT Elijah Heath, CFP Edward Jones............................................................................... elijah.heath@edwardjones.com TREASURER James Pulkowski, CPA James J Pulkowski, CPA, P.A. ................................................... james@jamespcpa.com TREASURER ELECT Michelle Mosher Southshore Insurance Professionals, LLC .......................... michelle@southshoreins.com BOARD EMERITUS Jim Johnson..................................................................................jim1226johnson@yahoo.com Dixie Brady Esq. Pilka & Associates, PA.................................................................. dbrady@pilka.com Jerry Rothstein Keep I.T. Simple Computer Services......................................... jerry@kitscomputers.com Jill Andrew Superior Residences of Brandon Memory Care ............................................................... JAndrew@SuperiorALF.com Joe Nichols Railroad & Industrial Federal Credit Union ........................... jnichols@rifcu.org Kendra Wilson Suncoast Credit Union................................................................ kendra.wilson@suncoastfcu.org Leslie Forrester Quality Life Massage Therapy .................................................. lkforrester@gmail.com Neil Beckingham The Mosaic Company ................................................................. neil.beckingham@mosaicco.com Robert Hintze Jr. Waypoint Property Inspection, LLC......................................... bob@waypointinspection.com Theresa Turner, CPA Tax Happens, LLC ......................................................................... theresa@taxhappens.com HONORARY MAYOR OF RIVERVIEW Melissa Hartmann Le-Vel Thrive.................................................................................. RiverviewThrives@yahoo.com EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Tanya Doran Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce ........................... Director@RiverviewChamber.com

Riverview | MY TOWN!


Before You Buy,

give the Chamber a try! Members of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce represent the businesses committed to helping Riverview

to create a family environment within the community. By adhering to core values of leadership, fun, teamwork, diversity

become an even better place to live and

and integrity, the Chamber promotes the

work. So it’s always a good idea to check the

economic, civic, commercial, industrial and

Chamber’s online Business Directory before

educational interests of the Greater Riverview

making a decision about any services needed. The Directory is easy to use, as it is arranged in


area. From sole proprietor businesses to large

categories by type of business or service, and

corporations, the Chamber creates an

you can also search by name from A to Z.

environment for success and a catalyst for plans, strategies,

This year the Greater

programs and services

Riverview Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 50th anniversary. From the beginning in 1966, your Chamber has always tried

The Chamber office is conveniently located at 10012 Water Works Lane in the Boardwalk Offices – just off Gibsonton Drive east of I-75 in Riverview. Stop in anytime between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday, and meet our friendly staff. Photos and fun can be found on our Facebook page, The Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit riverviewchamber.com or call (813) 234-5944.


Riverview | MY TOWN!

that meet the various needs of the Greater Riverview community.

Riverview | MY TOWN!


Hidden Jewels

So Much To Do – All Right Here! Manatees! When winter chills the waters around the Tampa Bay area, manatees swarm to the Big Bend Power Station. These gentle creatures discovered that the bay water, which is used to cool coal-fired Unit Four and then is later discharged warm and clean, created the perfect environment for them when the bay cools to 68 degrees or below. Today, this area is a designated manatee sanctuary, and Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center, 6990 Dickman Road, Apollo Beach, is the perfect place to observe hundreds of manatees from Nov. 1 through April 15.


Riverview | MY TOWN!

The center also features a wildlife observation tower, a butterfly garden and educational exhibits. Admission is free. (813) 228-4289 Showmen’s Museum! Once upon a time, the greatest thrill of the year for “boys and girls, children of all ages” was when the circus came riding into town, complete with amazing, colorful railroad cars filled with wild animals, side show performers, high flyers, roustabouts and yards of canvas for the big top. Today, the history of the circus is preserved at the International Independent Showmen’s Museum, 6938 Riverview Drive, Gibsonton. There, you’ll find everything from one of the first Ferris wheels in the country to Gypsy Rose Lee’s slinky costumes and the outfit worn by a giant nearly 9 feet tall. The museum features thousands of rare photographs of carnivals, circuses and Wild West shows, along with antique wagons, carnival games and other original memorabilia. However, the museum is only open from November to the third week of March and you must call for an appointment to visit. (813) 671-3503

Riverview | MY TOWN!


Hidden Jewels Home-style Food! If you want to know what is going on in Riverview, head to the Riverview Sandwich Shop at 8001 U.S. 301 S any morning except Sunday. For more than 30 years, locals have gathered here to discuss the day’s business or whatever else is on their mind. It’s like the city hall of Riverview, with a serving of the freshest home-style food and finest service (breakfast or lunch only). (813) 677-3037 Cosmic Bowling! Traditional bowling is just the beginning at The Alley, 10221 Big Bend Road. Try Cosmic Bowling with music and lights, or Route 66 Mini Bowling, using smaller and lighter balls. Plus, there’s a laser maze challenge, space for birthdays and other parties for up to 750 people, billiards, a comedy club once a month, NFL football on Sundays, the Tin Pan Alley Arcade and a restaurant. The alley features over 32 lanes and 40,000 square feet of entertainment for fun seekers of all ages. (813) 672-8353

Bird Watching! Located at the mouth of the Alafia River, Bird Island Sanctuary is home to gulls, terns, skimmers, herons, egrets, ibis and pelicans – in total, over 16 species of birds – and each year up to 18,000 pairs come to nest. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has listed this sanctuary as the most important colony in the state due to the size, numbers and diverse species of birds nesting. You can’t step foot on the island, but you can observe the birds from your boat or other watercraft. Visit, fl.audubon.org

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Riverview | MY TOWN!

Riverview | MY TOWN!


Hidden Jewels BMX Racing! USA BMX Riverview is an official BMX training facility located on a 58-acre site at 12705 Balm-Boyette Road in Riverview. Considered the fastest track in Florida, the facility has hosted national meets. From toddlers to senior citizens, the nonprofit facility welcomes athletes of all ages and proficiency levels. (813) 803-0304

Skate Park! The Brandon Skate Park, at 5720 Providence Road in Riverview, is known as the Concrete Jungle. It’s the largest skate park in the county and is suitable for intermediate and professional-level skaters. It is described as a street course featuring a bowl, like a swimming pool, and is 6 feet deep in the shallow end and more than 9 feet in the deep end. There is also a series of transitional elements, including quarter pipes, hand rail, pyramid, step-up and various granite structures. (813) 744-5319 More Good Eats! When hungry for comfort food just like mama or grandma used to make, folks come from all over the Tampa Bay area to savor the fresh home-style country specialties at Fred’s Market Restaurant, 6501 U.S. 301 in Riverview. (813) 741-9101


Riverview | MY TOWN!

Riverview | MY TOWN!


Education & Schools

According to some historians, Florida’s first free school appeared on the banks of the Alafia River, the site of the Peru Baptist Church. Class was offered five days a week, six months of the year, for almost three years. Since then, school choices in Hillsborough County have grown exponentially. Now, public schools, magnet schools and charter schools offer Riverview’s K-12 students and their parents a broad selection of educational programs that meet a variety of needs and interests.

CHARTER SCHOOLS Charter schools are independent public schools operated by a nonprofit organization and, though not managed by the school district, are accountable to the Hillsborough County School District. Richardson Montessori School in Tampa was established in 1997 as the first charter school in Hillsborough County.


Riverview | MY TOWN!


Boyette Springs Elementary School Grades: K – 5

10141 Sedgebrook Drive Riverview, FL 33569 (813) 671-5060 boyettesprings.mysdhc.org

Corr Elementary School Grades: K – 5

13020 Kings Lake Drive Gibsonton, FL 33534 (813) 672-5345 corr.mysdhc.org Collins Elementary School Grades: K – 5

12424 Summerfield Blvd. Riverview, FL 33579 (813) 672-5400 collins.mysdhc.org

Kid’s Community College-South Grades: K – 5 Charter School

10030 Mathog Road Riverview, FL 33578 (813) 671-1440 mykidscc.org Kid’s Community College Southeast Grades: K – 5 Charter School

11519 McMullen Road Riverview, FL 33569 (813) 699-4600 mykidscc.org Pepin Academies Grades: 3 – 9 Charter School

Frost Elementary School

10530 Lake St. Charles Blvd. Riverview, FL 33578 (813) 677-6700 riverview.pepinacademies.com Riverview Elementary School

3950 Faulkenburg Road Riverview, FL 33578 (813) 740-4900 frost.mysdhc.org

10809 Hannaway Drive Riverview, FL 33578 (813) 671-5105 riverviewes.mysdhc.org

Gibsonton Elementary School

Sessums Elementary School

7723 Gibsonton Drive Gibsonton, FL 33534 (813) 671-5100 gibsonton.mysdhc.org

11525 Ramble Creek Drive Riverview, FL 33569 (813) 672-5230 sessums.mysdhc.org

Ippolito Elementary School

Grades: K – 5

Grades: K – 5

Grades: Headstart – 5

Grades: K – 5

6874 S. Falkenburg Road Riverview, FL 33578 (813) 672-5180 ippolito.mysdhc.org

Grades: Headstart – 5

Grades: K – 5

Stowers Elementary School 13915 Barrington Stowers Drive Lithia, FL 33547 (813) 657-7431 stowers.mysdhc.org

Riverview | MY TOWN!


Education & Schools Charter schools continued

Any child throughout the school district is eligible to attend a charter school. Parents interested in information about a charter school should contact the school, or visit its website. MAGNET SCHOOLS Hillsborough County Magnet schools are public elementary, middle and high schools whose curricula are theme-based and technology-rich. With opportunities to explore and refine their talents and interests in everything from medicine to the environment, from the arts to science and engineering, every student is encouraged to “connect to the real world.”

Summerfield Elementary School Grades: Pre K – 5

11990 Big Bend Road Riverview, FL 33579 (813) 671-5115 summerfield.mysdhc.org Summerfield Crossings School Grades: K – 5

11050 Fairway Meadow Drive Riverview, FL 33579 (813) 672-5621 summerfieldcrossings.mysdhc.org

Symmes Elementary School Grades: K – 5

6280 Watson Road Riverview, FL 33578 (813)740-4182 symmes.mysdhc.org Valrico Lake Advantage Academy Grades: K – 5 Charter School

Eisenhower Middle School Grades: 6 – 8

7620 Old Big Bend Road Gibsonton, FL 33534 (813) 671-5121 eisenhower.mysdhc.org Giunta Middle School Grades: 6 – 8

4202 S. Falkenburg Road Riverview, FL33578 (813) 740-4888 giunta.mysdhc.org Randall Middle School Grades: 6 – 8

16510 Fishhawk Blvd. Lithia, FL33547 (813) 740-3900 randall.mysdhc.org

Winthrop Elementary School

Rodgers Middle School

Grades: K – 8 Charter School

6204 Scholars Hill Lane Riverview, FL 33578 (813) 235-4811 winthropcharter.org

Barrington Middle School Grades: 6 – 8

5925 Village Center Drive Lithia, FL 33547 (813) 657-7266 barrington.mysdhc.org

Riverview | MY TOWN!

13221 Boyette Road Riverview, FL 33569 (813) 793-6075 bellcreekacademy.com

13306 Boyette Road Riverview, FL 33569 (813) 699-5049 valricoacademy.com

Middle School


Bell Creek Academy Grades: 6 – 8 Charter School

Grades: 6 – 8

11910 Tucker Road Riverview, FL 33569 (813) 671-5288 rodgers.mysdhc.org Pivot Grades: 6 – 12 Charter School

3020 Falkenburg Road Riverview, FL 33578 (813) 626-6724 pivottampa.com

Riverview | MY TOWN!


Education & Schools High School CONTACTS HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT 901 E Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33602

(813) 272-4000 sdhc.k12.fl.us Superintendent Jeff Eakins

CHARTER SCHOOLS General Director Jenna Hodgens (813) 272-4733 MAGNET SCHOOLS Choice Information Line (813) 272-4692 Advanced Academic Access General Director Eric Bergholm HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD District 1- Susan Valdes, (813) 272-4052 District 2 - Sally Harris, (813) 272-4053 District 3 - Cindy Stuart, Vice Chair, (813) 272-4045 District 4 - Melissa Snively, (813) 272-4052 District 5 - Doretha Edgecomb, (813) 272-4053 District 6 - April Griffin, Chair, (813) 272-4045 District 7 - Carol Kurdell, (813) 272-4045


Riverview | MY TOWN!

Bell Creek Academy

Grades: 9 – 12* *Opening 12th Grade in 2016-17 Charter School

13221 Boyette Road Riverview, FL 33569 (813) 793-6075 bellcreekacademy.com East Bay High School Grades: 9 – 12

7710 Old Big Bend Road Gibsonton, FL 33534 (813) 671-5134 eastbay.mysdhc.org Newsome High School Grades: 9 – 12

16550 Fishhawk Blvd. Lithia, FL 33547 (813) 740-4600 newsome.mysdhc.org Riverview High School

Colleges Hillsborough Community College The Regent 6437 Watson Road Riverview, FL 33578 (813) 253-7845 hccfl.edu/the-regent Hillsborough Community College SouthShore Campus 551 24th St. NE Ruskin, FL 33570 (813) 253-7000 hccfl.edu/southshore Hillsborough Community College Brandon Campus 10414 E Columbus Drive Tampa, FL 33619 (813) 253-7802 hccfl.edu/br

Grades: 9 – 12

11311 Boyette Road Riverview, FL 33569 (813) 671-5011 riverviewhs.mysdhc.org Spoto High School Grades: 9 – 12

8538 Eagle Palm Drive Riverview, FL 33578 (813) 672-5405 spoto.mysdhc.org

Visit sdhc.k12.fl.us for a complete list of schools throughout Hillsborough County & school year calendar. Click on the FAMILIES tab to search for a school. View zoning & school maps & more. School grades can be found at schoolgrades.fldoe.org.

Riverview | MY TOWN!



iverview proudly salutes the active

because of the quality of life and quality

and retired members of the armed

of the schools here. Being centrally

forces living within our community.

located with an easy commute to the

Because of the close proximity to MacDill

base, area attractions and recreational

Air Force Base and the James A. Haley VA

opportunities, and having access to big

Hospital, military retirees find Riverview

city services without having to deal with

the perfect place to live and get away from

daily congestion, is important for military

it all, yet have all the services they need


close to home. And for the same reason, a majority of active personnel at MacDill Air Force Base also make their home here or nearby. Active personnel with families report that Riverview was attractive to them

Walt Raysick, USN retired, has been in the area since 2004. When he first visited Florida he fell in love with the west coast and thought he wanted to retire in the Ft. Myers area until he saw what our area had to offer. Medical services, the base at See HONORING, PG 34


Riverview | MY TOWN!

Riverview | MY TOWN!



MacDill, the proximity of Tampa International Airport, the convenience for visiting kids and a road system that could quickly take him out of the area in any direction in the event of a hurricane – he was sold! Like many area veterans, Raysick is very involved in local veterans affairs, and he is an important part of the

IMPORTANT NUMBERS HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY VETERANS SERVICES 311 Pauls Drive, Suite 100, Brandon (813) 246-3170 hillsboroughcounty.org VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK & MUSEUM 3602 U. S. 301, Tampa (813) 744-5349 • veteransparkhc.com

events and ceremonies at the Veterans Memorial Park and the American Legion Post. The camaraderie found at VFW Post 8108 and American Legion Post 148 in Riverview is enjoyed by veterans and their families. Veterans Memorial Park is close by and is a beautiful and peaceful place to reflect and honor members of the Hillsborough community who made the ultimate sacrifice in every conflict from the Seminole Wars to the present. With more than 94,000 veterans in the area, Hillsborough County has the fourth-largest veteran population in Florida. Since so many veterans live in the Riverview area and

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE 6801 S Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa (813) 828-1110 • macdill.af.mil JAMES A. HALEY VA HOSPITAL 13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa (813) 972-2000 • tampa.va.gov AMERICAN LEGION POST 148 7240 U. S. 301 S, Riverview (813) 677-6529 americanlegionalafiapost148.org VFW POST 8108 7504 Riverview Drive, Riverview (813) 671-9845 • myvfw.org/fl/post8108

neighboring communities, the Hillsborough County Veterans Services located their office at 311 Pauls Drive, Suite 100, Brandon, in order to be closer to the veterans needing help. The Veterans Services office provides a more personal experience and serves as a single point of contact in accessing federal, state and local benefits. Good weather, great schools, stable property values, yearround boating, biking and other recreational activities, a world-class airport, easy access to medical facilities and VA benefit offices, nearby beaches, major league sports, shopping, entertainment – these are just some of the reasons the Riverview area is the perfect choice for active and retired members of our military.

MARINE CORPS LEAGUE DET. 1226 Meets at American Legion Post l48 7240 U. S. 301 S, Riverview (813) 653-4924 • mclriverview.org FRIENDS OF MILITARY FAMILIES (813) 748-8484 friendsofmilitaryfamilies.org ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY (AUSA) Suncoast Chapter Colonel Rodriguez, President P.O. Box 6455, Tampa 33608 (813) 760-1405 • ausa.org facebook.com/AUSA Suncoast Chapter HALEY HOUSE FUND (813) 926-1100 • HaleyHouseFund.com Provides accomodations for low-income families spending time with injured service member while at James A. Haley Hospital.


Riverview | MY TOWN!

Riverview | MY TOWN!


On Maintaining Riverview’s Identity Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White represents District 4, composed of all or parts of Riverview, Brandon, Valrico, Dover, Plant City, Lithia, Balm, Wimauma, Ruskin and Sun City Center. “Riverview is experiencing unprecedented growth at this point in time, and it is imperative that we foster growth in the community in such a way that it doesn’t diminish the special qualities that make Riverview Stacy White, Hillsborough so special. Second, it is important that County Commissioner Riverview continue to foster its strong economic base with the fertilizer plant. The plant, currently owned by Mosaic, has provided solid jobs to local residents. Both my grandfathers, my father, my great-uncle and my uncle are some that have held and benefited from those quality jobs. Furthermore, the parent companies have always given back to the community. At the same time, environmental stewardship as it relates to the plant is crucial. Riverview has the unique need of enhanced environmental monitoring and stewardship.”

Sandra L. Murman was elected as a county commissioner in 2010, representing District 1. In 2014, Commissioner Murman was elected by her fellow commissioners to serve as Chairman of the BOCC. She served as Vice Chairman in 2011, 2012 and again in 2013. Prior to joining the County Commission, Murman completed eight years as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, from 1996 – 2004. She is a champion of the Southeastern part of Hillsborough County and proud of its future.

Riverview | MY TOWN!

Hillsborough County Supervisior of Elections Craig Latimer (813) 744-5900 voter@hcsoe.org

Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners District 4 Stacy White (813) 272-5740 District 1 Sandra L. Murman (813) 272-5470 District 5 Commissioner (Countywide) Ken Hagan (813) 272-5725 District 6 Commissioner (Countywide) Kevin Beckner (813) 272-5730 District 7 Commissioner (Countywide) Al Higginbotham (813) 272-5735 For more information, visit hillsboroughcounty.org

Hillsborough School Board District 4 Melissa Snively (813) 272-4000 Sandra L. Murman, Hillsborough County Commissioner

“Congratulations to the Riverview Chamber of Commerce as they celebrate this 50th year anniversary. The Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce has a long history assisting with economic development, helping to create jobs, promoting ecotourism and making this a great area for people to live, work, play and stay. The Greater Riverview Chamber is an important resource for businesses and residents in this growing southeastern part of Hillsborough County. This Chamber works hard to create a sense of community spirit, and in turn, fosters strong networking and expansion opportunities. Hillsborough County is proud to partner with the Greater Riverview Chamber and looks forward to providing them with the tools needed for continued growth and success.”


Local Government Representatives

For more information, visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us

Florida State House of Representatives District 57 Rep. Jake Raburn Valrico district office (813) 653-7097 District 59 Ross Spano Riverview district office (813) 744-6256 To locate your current local elected official, visit maps.hillsboroughcounty.org/FMEO/FMEO.htm and enter your home address.

Florida State Senate District 24 (ZIP codes 33568 & 33579) Sen. Tom Lee Brandon district office (813) 653-7061 District 19 (ZIP codes 33569 & 33578) Sen. Arthenia L. Joyner Tampa district office (813) 233-4277

U.S. House of Representatives District 17 (ZIP codes 33568, 33569, 33579) Thomas J. Rooney (202) 225-5792 rooney.house.gov

District 15 (ZIP code 33569)

U.S. Senate

Dennis A. Ross (202) 225-1252 dennisross.house.gov

Sen. Bill Nelson (D) (202) 224-5274 billnelson.senate.gov

District 14 (ZIP code 33578)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R) (202) 224-3041 rubio.senate.gov

Kathy Castor (202) 225-3376 castor.house.gov

Due to elections & redistricting, info is subject to change. For current info, please visit house.gov/representatives/find.

Riverview | MY TOWN!


Important Numbers ANIMAL RESCUE GROUPS Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort, Inc. (C.A.R.E.) CareShelter.org (813) 645-2273 RVR Horse Rescue RVRHorseRescue.org (813) 280-9299 ELECTRIC TECO/Tampa Electric Company tampaelectric.com (813) 223-0800 1 (877) 588-1010 Power Outage GAS TECO/Peoples Gas peoplesgas.com 1 (877) 832-6747 GREATER RIVERVIEW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE riverviewchamber.com (813) 234-5944 HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY hillsboroughcounty.org (813) 272-5900 HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY FIRE RESCUE (813) 272-6600 HOSPITALS There are 39 hospitals within 30 miles of Riverview. Check online at ushospitalfinder.com to find one closest to you. St. Joseph’s Hospital - South baycare.org/sjhs (813) 302-8000 South Bay Hospital SouthBayHospital.com (813) 634-3301 Brandon Regional Hospital BrandonHospital.com (813) 681-5551


Riverview | MY TOWN!

INTERNET, TV, PHONE AND LAND LINES Bright House brighthouse.com 1 (888) 289-8988 Verizon Verizon.com 1 (877) 502-2876 LAW ENFORCEMENT Emergency dial 911 Sheriff: David Gee (813) 247-8000 Riverview Station (813) 672-7822 Winthrop Station (813) 635-8129 Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department/District 4 hcso.tampa.fl.us (813) 247-0455 UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE Riverview Office 10810 Boyette Road Riverview, FL 33569 uspspostoffices.com (813) 672-4562 VETERINARIANS Big Bend Animal Hospital BigBendAnimalHospital.com (813) 672-1355 Boyette Animal Hospital BoyetteAnimalHospital.com (813) 671-3400 Four Paws Veterinary Hospital 4PawsVetHospital.com (813) 672-3687 Riverview Veterinary Hospital RiverviewVeterinaryHospital.com (813) 677-3100 WATER/SEWER Hillsborough County hillsboroughcounty.org (813) 272-6680

Riverview | MY TOWN!


Important Numbers LOCAL AGENCIES Animal Services (813) 272-5900 Clerk of Court Pat Frank (813) 276-8100 Department of Motor Vehicles Brandon office (813) 635-5200 Ruskin office (813) 635-5200 HART Transportation Customer Service (813) 254-4278 Hillborough County Waste Mgt Services (813) 272-5680 Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department (813) 635-3500 Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez, CFA (813) 272-6100 State Attorney Mark Ober (813) 272-5400 Tax Collector Doug Belden (813) 635-5200 U.S. Social Security Administration Tampa office 1 (800) 772-1213 Voter Registration Supervisor of Elections office (813) 272-5850


Riverview | MY TOWN!

Riverview | MY TOWN!


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Riverview is located in unincorporated Hillsborough County not far from downtown Tampa. The community occupies a total area of 9.4 square miles and sits along the shores of the Alafia River. The town is conveniently nestled less than an hour from the white sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast and approximately 80 miles from Orlando and includes the following four zip codes: 33568, 33569, 33578 & 33579.

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Riverview | MY TOWN!


Greater Riverview Chamber the early years.


rior to 1966, Riverview was a community without focus, and properties were developed without a plan for the

future. Kenneth Brandon spearheaded an effort to organize the businesses as well as the homeowners within the community, and the concept and development of the first Greater Riverview

Civic-minded citizens helped create Riverview as we know it today.

Chamber of Commerce was established around his kitchen table. One of the most pressing issues at that time was zoning – there was none. The Riverview area was mostly acres of woods or farm land with just a few small mom-and-pop grocery stores and gas stations, a couple of churches and the school. People built whatever they wanted wherever they wanted. Proper use of the land and future development were a major concern for these early civic-minded citizens, and their success with the zoning issue helped create Riverview as we know it today. There was not much to do in the area in the ‘60s, and most social activity


Riverview | MY TOWN!

centered around local churches or schools. It was a long drive to Tampa to see a movie, dine at a good restaurant or get medical treatment. The community needed many services, especially a bank, so that was the next issue chamber president Kenneth Brandon and his newly formed chamber tackled. In those days, branch banking had not yet begun, and it was difficult to attract a bank to come way out to Riverview, which at that time seemed far away from Tampa. The Chamber was successful and after the bank was built, businesses began to come into the area to serve the growing population. The Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce originated and was built completely by volunteers; meetings were held in homes, restaurants or the Civic Center because they did not have an office. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the first paid director was hired and the first chamber office opened on U. S. 301 near the American Legion. In 2012, the chamber moved into the current office in the Boardwalk complex on Gibsonton Drive. The heart of the chamber has always been the people that it serves. From its very beginning 50 years ago, the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce has been like one big happy family; a family that looks out for each other’s best interests and is concerned about the welfare of all its members. We have grown and we are growing, and we look forward to the next 50 years of service to our community.

Riverview | MY TOWN!


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Fulfilling our mission is more than just

is more than just a job.

It’s our legacy. Mosaic’s mission is to help the world grow the food it needs. In carrying out this mission, we employ 4,000 Floridians — and tens of thousands more have jobs that support our industry. Our employees work not only to produce essential crop nutrients, but also to reclaim the land, create clean green energy, conserve our water and practice good stewardship of our natural resources. At Mosaic, we encourage going beyond our mission at the workplace and in the communities where we live, work and play.




What sets us apart. Always a great source of literary entertainment, Riverview’s ”little library that could” started as a bookmobile stop at a grocery store. Through the years, the library has grown to be the center of cultural and historical information for the Riverview area. Books, recorded books, music CDs and DVDs are available. Plus, online and Internet access is provided and wifi connectivity is free. Visit the library at 10509 Riverview Drive or for more information call, (813) 273-3652 With the growth of Riverview, and the population explosion of the past 35 years, library patrons and county officials met in early 2015 to discuss improvements to the library. Although still a couple


Riverview | MY TOWN!

of years away, millions of dollars have been set aside to transform the library into a facility fitting the demands of the community. Unique among YMCA facilities, Camp Cristina is located on 65 acres in the heart of Riverview and offers outdoor as well as indoor experiences for all ages. Horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking or fishing on the lake, archery and rifle skills, a paintball course and a disc golf range are just a

9840 Balm Riverview Road, Riverview or for more

few of the activities that make Camp Cristina very

information call, (813) 677-8400.

special. Swimming lessons in the Olympic-size pool

A new, YMCA can be found in Gibsonton at

are fun, but imagine the excitement on the water

9650 Old Big Bend Road. The Big Bend Family

slide or zip line across the lake. Older adults will

YMCA offers common classes found at other

enjoy the camaraderie and health-building benefits

similar facilities including community programs,

of the Silver Sneakers Program, and businesses and

and health and fitness classes as well as plenty of

corporations can take advantage of Camp Cristina’s

fun and exciting programs for children. For more

Team Building program that utilizes a high and low

information, call (813) 436-5890.

rope course. Camp Cristina’s after-school program provides a safe place for kids with structured play, healthy snacks and homework assistance – plus, bus pickup is available from 10 local elementary schools. Camp Cristina offers diverse experiences for everyone in the Riverview community. Visit Camp Cristina at

Much like a little village with shops and places to dine, Winthrop Town Centre helps create a sense of place in the Riverview area. Like a traditional marketplace, it provides services to meet all the needs of daily life, with a major grocery store,

Winthrop can hold up to 350 people and offers space for events of all kinds. Trade shows, seminars, family reunions and fundraising events have all found a home at this very special event hall. For more information, call (813) 684-2276. The Riverview Park and Civic Center, located on financial, medical and insurance offices, a fitness center and much more. This little village is the center of events throughout the year, with the Winthrop Arts Festival in March, Special Markets, Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, the Winthrop Art Factory and much more. Winthrop Town Centre is located at 11109 Winthrop Market Street, Riverview. For more information, visit WinthropTownCentre. net or WinthropArts.org. Some of the community’s most exclusive and intimate happenings take place at The Regent at 6437 Watson Road in Riverview. This 30,000 square-foot facility hosts many different local events, from wedding celebrations to corporate gatherings. For more information, call (813) 571-2494. Another local event venue can be found at 11349 Bloomingdale Avenue. The Barn at


Riverview | MY TOWN!

the Alafia River at 11020 Park Drive in Riverview, is one of county’s most-used recreation spots throughout the year. The 9-acre recreational park features a playground and picnic area, a pavilion and outdoor grill, a fishing dock and a recently upgraded boat launch. The Civic Center’s location right on the river makes it the perfect place to rent for parties and events. For more information, call (813) 671-7600

The Gardenville Recreation Center, located at

barges. It provided fresh fish to eat and recreation

6215 Symmes Road in Gibsonton offers programs

for all – a place to picnic, swim, paddle a canoe or

for toddlers and teens as well as seniors. Picnic

row a johnboat. Today, there are several restaurants

shelters and a playground are on site for those who

along its shores and boat ramps to launch your craft

want to frolic outside, while a fitness room and

for a day of peaceful paradise.

meeting facilities are available inside the center. For more information, call (813) 672-1117.

In 1930, Riverview had a population of 882. By the end of World War II

The Alafia River

the population had

has been at the center

increased to 1,245,

of life since the early

and in 1998 there

settlement of the area.

were 6,578 residents.

Before good roads, the

Today over 71,000 call

river was the source

Riverview home.

of staples, food and supplies delivered on small ships and

Riverview | MY TOWN!


Things to Do

Parks Bell Creek Nature Preserve, at 10940 McMullen Road, is a 500-acre preserve that features uncommon plant communities such as longleaf pine flatwoods and sandhill, which create a wildfire-maintained ecosystem. Over 5 miles of trails wind around freshwater marshes, open grasslands, oak hammocks, ponds, sand pine scrub and spring-fed creeks. The scrub contains a significant population of the Florida golden aster, a state and federally listed endangered wildflower found predominantly in southern Hillsborough County and nowhere else in the world. The preserve is also home to rare wildlife such as the gopher tortoise and Florida sandhill crane.

Boyette Springs Park, at 10423 Deepbrook Drive, features a picnic pavilion, playground, a basketball court and walking trails.

Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve, at 13998 or 13305 Balm-Boyette Road, Lithia is a 3.5-mile loop trail primarily used for mountain biking and is accessible year-round. The park has almost 4,900 acres with pine and oak scrubs, lakes, creeks and swamps.

Vance Vogel Park, at 13012 Bullfrog Creek Road, Gibsonton is a large park with multiple football fields, soccer pitch, baseball grounds, a sand playground, picnic areas and ample parking. The park also features a 1.5-mile loop trail used primarily for hiking year-round.

Lithia Springs Park, a 160-acre park located on the Alafia River at 3932 Lithia Springs Road, Lithia features a wide variety of plant life, including river cypress swamps and hardwood hammocks. The park’s most popular feature is the natural spring, with water

that remains at 72 degrees year-round. There are picnic tables, shelters, a shower house and restrooms. Swim in the spring, launch a canoe or take a hike along the primitive trail that follows the river. Camp sites are available with advance reservation.

Alafia Scrub Nature Preserve. As you walk along the trail at the Alafia Scrub Nature Preserve, you’ll experience the beauty of the land much like the early pioneers that first came to our area. The 1.7-mile trail winds through a variety of natural plant communities within the 80-acre preserve. A scenic overlook provides a beautiful view of the river and, sometimes, the birds and other wildlife that call the preserve their home. Park on the grassy right-of-way beside the trailhead at 10212 Gibsonton Drive in Riverview.

OUTDOOR FUN! Check out this sample of local parks. For a complete list, along with more information visit hillsboroughcounty.org/parks. Alafia River Boat Ramp Alafia Scrub Nature Preserve Apollo Beach Dog Park Bell Creek Nature Preserve Bloomingdale Hills Park Boyette Springs Park Brandon Skate Park Ekker Preserve Golden Aster Scrub Nature Preserve J.B. Gibson Park Lithia Springs Park Mosaic Park Providence West Park Rhodine Scrub Preserve Riverview Park South Pointe Park Stephen J. Worthman Summerfield Soccer Park Triple Creek Preserve Vance Vogel Park Williams Park

Riverview | MY TOWN!


Things to Do

Life in Riverview R Check the Community Calendar on the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce website: riverviewchamber.com.

iverview. From here, you

Tampa is 12 minutes away, the

are close to anywhere. The

Ellenton Premium Outlet Mall only

community is perfectly situated close

20 minutes, within 30 minutes you’re

to the large metropolitan areas yet

at Tampa International Airport,

is nestled near wilderness areas just

and the Disney World exit can be

off the major roadways that lead to

reached in an hour or less from

everywhere. The community retains

your door. But you don’t have to

the homey charm of a small town, yet

go far from home to find shopping,

offers all the service and convenience

dining or other needed services. St.

of a big city, and that’s one of the

Joseph’s Hospital-South opened in

reasons Riverview earned a spot on

2015 to provide complete care. From

the 2012 CNNMoney list of the 100

emergencies to the birth of a baby,

best places to live.

surgery and intensive care, almost

Easy access to and from I-75 makes


Riverview | MY TOWN!

all medical needs of the community

living in Riverview like being at the

are now met. Banks, grocery stores,

gateway, and life is good. Downtown

movies, entertainment, a brand new

family-centered YMCA and more are minutes away from your neighborhood. Peaceful, relaxing, convenient – Riverview is a great place to come home to. Providing children with the best education possible is the goal of all residents, and our schools are well supported by the business community. In addition to elementary, middle and high schools, the area also has a Hillsborough Community College campus and the Florida campus of Thomas M. Cooley Law School, an affiliate of Western Michigan University. The Riverview campus of the Pepin Academies is a very special place for students with learning disabilities, and through the years over 80 percent of their students have graduated with a standard high school diploma. The neighborhoods of Riverview offer everything

family living and some are age restricted. Some are gated, others not. New communities under construction, old homes along the river or beside a lake or a park – homes to grow a family, homes to grow old gracefully – the diversity of choices within the Riverview community makes it possible to find the home of your dreams. Get involved with Riverview. Throughout the year, there are many events and opportunities to get out and enjoy all the goodness of the Riverview lifestyle.

from condominiums and townhouses to singlefamily homes. Some communities are geared to

Riverview | MY TOWN!


Things to Do

Art and Culture Riverview is home to Norwegian Cruise Line’s Creative Studios. It’s here that entertainment crews train for the fabulous shows on Norwegian’s luxurious ships. Our community is the source of many talented dancers and entertainers often trained in local studios, such as Julestarz Academy for the Performing Arts or Tampa Bay Rhythmics, among others. Local martial arts studios help students gain stamina, strength and poise. Budding artists can begin to have fun with art at the Art Monkey, or the more serious might try the Drawing Point, where skills are taught and refined. And the Winthrop Arts Factory offers after-school arts and music programs. Public art installations can be found around the Riverview area – some in surprising places like the skate park. Throughout the year, music and entertainment are enjoyed at festivals, outdoor art shows and school concerts as well as at events in neighboring communities.


Riverview | MY TOWN!

Movies are coming to Riverview, and two wonderful theaters are planned to be opened in 2016. Each will offer 14 screens, state-of-the-art viewing and stadium seating with luxurious recliners. Goodrich Quality Theaters will locate between the Super Walmart and I-75 on Gibsonton Drive, and the Xscape Theatre at the intersection of Progress Boulevard and I-75 – both convenient locations for Riverview residents.

Riverview | MY TOWN!


Things to Do

Boating From Lithia Springs to Tampa Bay, there’s no better way to spend the day than on the Alafia River. Hitch up your boat, canoe, kayak, standup paddleboard or jet ski and head to one of the conveniently located boat ramps along the river.

Riverview Park, a 9-acre park at 11020 Park Drive, features grooved boat ramps, docks for loading and unloading, bathrooms, a fishing pier, a playground and parking for 25 vehicles with trailers. The Riverview Civic Center is also located in the park and can be rented for events.

Williams Park, at 9425 U. S. 41 S, Gibsonton features grooved ramps and docks for loading, and is the last boat ramp on the river before Tampa Bay. The park features a fishing pier, playground and restrooms.


Riverview | MY TOWN!

Alafia River Public Boat Ramp. The single ramp at 4020 Alafia Boulevard, Brandon offers just one nongrooved ramp with a dock for loading. Parking is available for 10 vehicles with trailers. There are no restrooms. The spring-fed waters of the Alafia River provide great fishing, and local anglers have reported grand-slam catches of trout, redfish and snook in season. The natural crystal beauty of the river, tree-lined banks, the birds gliding overhead and wading along the shore, a pod of dolphins or a manatee cruising by, and turtles sunning on a log – all help make a day on the Alafia a wonderful experience whether the fish are biting or not.

Riverview | MY TOWN!


Things to Do

Always Fresh in Riverview Because the community is surrounded by

Come fall, pumpkins, kids’ activities and

rich, growing fields in Ruskin, Wimauma and

even hayrides can be found at Wolfe’s Produce,

Plant City, Riverview residents have the good

and a wide variety of fresh produce is available

fortune to find fresh produce available in local

all year-round. Located at 6005 U. S. 301,

open-air markets close to home.

Riverview. For more information, call (813) 927-2204 or (813) 927-2203


Riverview | MY TOWN!

For the kids The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay

Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation

serve more than 10,000 children each year.

and Conservation department partners with

The clubs, which are community-based

58 various youth sports organizations locally.

and building-centered, provide a safe and

Various programs are offered for individuals

affordable destination for young people when

of all ages and abilities. From rec leagues to

not in school. The mission of these clubs is to

competitive leagues, kids are sure to have fun

enable youth to reach their full potential as

playing soccer, baseball, softball, football and

productive, responsible and caring citizens.

even cheerleading.

Riverview has its own Boys & Girls Club located on 6809 Krycul Ave., Riverview.

Visit hillsboroughcounty.org

Contact the club at (813) 443-0629 or visit

for more information.


Riverview | MY TOWN!


Back in the mid-1800’s much of Florida was still a wild place. Beyond the major cities, early settlers found marshland, swamps, thick stands of pine and palmetto, huge alligators, wild hogs and wildcats along with a vari-

John Benjamin Moody

ety of poisonous snakes. In 1843, Benjamin Moody left Tampa with his six motherless children to create a homestead and raise cat-

out of Tampa. In 1870, Peru officially obtained a post

tle in this seemingly unfriendly environment because

office, and a few years later a school was established

there was abundant game and fish and plenty of fresh

in the church Moody built.

water available. Moody settled on the southern bank

By the late 1800s, people flooded into the area to

of the Alafia River, and being a devout Methodist he

work in the phosphate mines. Because of the difficulty

quickly built a little log church on his property. He

of crossing the river to reach Peru, many people be-

was soon joined by three other families, creating the

gan to settle on the northern bank of the river. A hotel

beginning of the community once known as Peru

and general store were built, and seeing an economic

(pronounced Pee-roo), an Indian name for “straight

potential, Isham E. Copeland and F.S. Morrison platted

part of the river.” As more settlers moved into the area

Riverview in 1891. In 1901, a bridge was constructed

to farm and raise cattle and sheep, Moody opened a

to replace the river ferry, and by the 1920s, much to

general store to provide residents with supplies and

the dismay of early settlers, Peru lost its identity and

mail – all delivered by the Josephine, a small schooner

the entire area became known as Riverview.


Riverview | MY TOWN!

The Alafia River was a rich source of phosphate – its

from Tampa, the distance being 14 miles by land, 12

Indian name means “river of fire” because of the phos-

by water and M. J. Boyett’s store near Leslie’s ferry is

phorus that glowed on the river’s bottom at night.

nearly the central point.”

The Peruvian Mining Co., along with other compa-

“I did not intend to convey the impression that it is a

nies, mined the phosphate, an essential ingredient

town, or even a village, but a closely settled neighbor-

of fertilizer, until river mining became too expensive

hood whose citizens are intelligently wide awake to

and production declined by 1894. Phosphate mining

the best and most important interest to their commu-

was short lived, but it gave life to the communities on

nity, county, state and entire country.”

the river banks. Today, Riverview is one of the fastestgrowing communities in Central Florida.

Today, the spirit of Riverview can be summed up in this second paragraph written over 135 years ago.

A July 15, 1880, Sunland Tribune article provided this description of Peru: “Peru is situated on the Alafia River about 2 miles from its mouth. It is southeast

Riverview | MY TOWN!




1830 One of Central Florida’s oldest settlements – Peru – was established on the south side of the Alafia River. The community existed for 100 years. Peru continued to exist on the river’s south shore even after Riverview was founded on the river’s north shore in 1885. A ferry connected the two settlements.


Riverview | MY TOWN!

1878 Resident S. E. Mays planted a grove of citrus trees that, in the 1940s, was called one of the oldest producing groves in the county.

The area’s first school was built inside the Peru Baptist Church. It ran five days a week, six months a year.


1900s Imagine a Saturday night street


Courtesy Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.

Moonshine still in a wooded area in Riverview.

Courtesy Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.

Early State Road #5 in a rural setting near the bridge in Riverview.

and fun. The river was so clear that you

dance on U. S. 301. One old-time resident

could stand on the bridge at night and

commented there was so little traffic you

see the fish, or toss a rock or cast net and

could take a nap in the middle of the road,

see the “fire.” Riverview was originally

and for Riverview Days, U. S. 301 was

established around the Alafia and every

closed to all traffic during the parade. It

year is a new chapter in its history. The

couldn’t happen today; but, many years

visions, hard work and memories of early

ago U. S. 301 was just a quiet two-lane

settlers inspire the sense of community

country road, and farms, fields and

that Riverview residents enjoy today.

woods made up the Riverview landscape. The Alafia River was a focal point of the community. Fishing, boating, swimming, crabbing, collecting oysters, jumping off the 301 bridge, rope swings to the other side, camping along the bank – the Alafia was the source of food, transportation

When Jean Ann Hancock Leske’s grandfather, Horace James Hancock, saw a need in the community back in the 1930s, he went to work to find a solution. He turned the Riverview hotel into a gas station and a grocery store.

Riverview | MY TOWN!


1900s 1925 Courtesy Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.

United States Export Chemical Company plant.

1921 The first commercial poultry farm in Florida was established by Emmet Tope (1895-1987) in Riverview.


Riverview | MY TOWN!

1940 The name Riverview came into common usage for the area by the post office to alleviate the tensions between Riverview and Peru. The town’s original name lived on, however, as the Peruvian Mining Co. that mined phosphate from the Alafia River, an Indian name that means “River of Fire.”

1940 Riverview’s 1,245 residents joined the rest of the state and the country in celebrating the end of WWII.

1941 The town needed a doctor, so

Courtesy Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.

Courtesy, Tampa Bay Times

The iconic Riverview Sandwich Shop

he built a doctor’s office and

chickens in the country, so he left Tampa

then later a pharmacy. And so

and came to Riverview in the ‘30s. His

the community began to grow.

father rebuilt the family home out of hard

With that same spirit, Jean Ann

pine and added a cellar, quite an anomaly

Leske built Riverview’s iconic

for Florida. However, the cellar was perfect

Sandwich Shop. In 1982, she

for incubating eggs. Mayhall’s father

rented the lunch counter of the

worked for Coca-Cola, and chickens were

old Rexall Drug Store and later,

just a side business for the family – the

when the drug store moved

local feed store bought most of the chicks.

out, she took over the entire space and

Later, they quit raising chickens for the

the rest is history. Today, the Riverview

more profitable squab business. When the

Sandwich Shop is like a little town center

squabs were just the right size, Mayhall’s

where everybody goes to catch up on the

mother and sisters would dress them

latest gossip/news. Leske’s mother was

and pack them in ice to be shipped by

the daughter of Samuel Summerall. The

rail all the way to New York and Chicago

Summerall family was also an important

to satisfy the gourmet tastes of diners

part of the early development of the area;

in northern cities. The squab that didn’t

they had a grocery store on Bloomingdale

meet standards were enjoyed around the

and donated the property for the

Mayhall table. The Mayhall family had the

Providence Baptist Church. Her mother’s

first telephone in a private home on the

uncle owned Buckhorn Creek and used to

north side of the river. It was a party-line

charge a nickel to swim in the creek.

with eight other homes. There was no such


Riverview Terrace housing project and surrounding area.

John Mayhall’s father wanted to raise

Riverview | MY TOWN!


thing as a private line in those days. Riverview has always

found the High Rollers Car Club, and each year this group

been a community of neighbors helping each other. When

gives back to the community with charity car shows. As

a storm destroyed the Mayhall’s turkey pens in 1965 and

a public affairs officer for Mosaic, he enjoyed educating

killed six birds, neighbors found one house that still had

the public about the phosphate industry; especially

electricity, so they dressed out those birds, roasted them

since it played such a major role in the development of

and had a feast.

Riverview. Johnson reminisces about the days when almost

Jim Johnson’s family arrived in the area in 1957. Mom and Dad and six kids loaded up in a car heading south on U. S. 41 from Dayton, Tenn. His father was looking for warm weather and a job and didn’t stop driving until he

all entertainment centered around community, school or church events; and he still believes that’s the best way for new residents in the area to experience their hometown. Back in the 1940s, political speeches were exciting

saw a Help Wanted sign on the Leisey Farm in Ruskin.

entertainment in the Riverview community. There was

Coming from the Volunteer state, Jim soon became

lots of land to wander, and parents didn’t have to worry

involved in the community, and when he was 18 he joined

about driving their children to play dates, soccer practice

the volunteer fire department. Through the years, Johnson

or other activities. Kids filled their days with Tom Sawyer-

has been called “Mr. Riverview” due to the many hours he

like events. Ken Brandon remembers swimming across

has contributed to community organizations, charitable

the wide part of the Alafia at age 12. Almost year-round

groups and the chamber of commerce. In 1990, he helped

they would sail and waterski. His grandfather had a home


Riverview | MY TOWN!

1900s 1958 1953

Moss-covered house.

1966 Riverview Chamber of Commerce established.

Riverview Terrace boys football team and coach.

1970 Courtesy Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.

The U.S. Census listed Riverview’s population at 2,225.

Courtesy Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.

Riverview | MY TOWN!


right on the river but sold it in the ‘60s because he thought

days just after the Civil War. Earl Lennard’s grandmother’s

there was too much traffic. Brandon and his friends would

father came to the area from Liberty County, Fla., after

camp in the woods with no tent and only a palmetto lean-

the war seeking better conditions and land to farm.

to for shelter. Once, he and his brother found a bunch of

Growing up in a farming family meant hard work and

moonshine bottles; but never found the still. He went to

simple pleasures compared to the technological world of

teen dances at the American Legion Hall and the drive-

today. A day on the river meant catching fish and selling

in movies at the Autopark over on Causeway Boulevard.

them to one of the many fish houses for pocket money

Riverview was home to many tropical fish farms, and after

or just hanging out along the riverbank, where it seemed

school Brandon had a job feeding the fish. He remembers

the wilderness belonged to you. Few people had a car,

having to wash his hands in Old Spice to get rid of the

and those that did were willing to pick up hitchhikers

smell. The Capitano Dairy hired kids to work in the

without fear. The center of town was Riverview Drive

dairy, and the milk they bottled was used at Riverview

and 301. There, you found the post office, a pharmacy,

Elementary School. Back then the mom-and-pop stores

a dry cleaners, a convenience store, a filling station, the

sufficed. Almost everyone grew their own vegetables; all

First Methodist Church and the Coffee Pot restaurant

they needed was meat. Ken Brandon’s family is part of the

and the original location of Ruth’s Steak House. In spite

fabric of this area. The city of Brandon is named after his

of tremendous growth, Riverview today has retained a

great-great-grandfather, and his father was instrumental

commitment to family, education and schools. All of the

in the organization of the Greater Riverview Chamber of

things that were important in the past are still present

Commerce 50 years ago.

today: that feeling of belonging, local activities and events,

Riverview has grown tremendously over the past 50 years; many new families have moved into the area and yet there are still families with roots that go back to the


Riverview | MY TOWN!

a hometown with a heart – a place set apart from the hustle of the big cities yet close enough that all needs and wants are met.

2000 1976


Gardinier donates land for new library in Riverview.

Riverview’s population had grown to 6,478.

2010 2010 – The last U.S. census showed Riverview’s population at 71,050.

Courtesy Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.


The power station at Big Bend Unit 4 opened. Soon after, people started seeing manatees in large numbers in the power station’s discharge canal, where saltwater – taken from Tampa Bay to cool Unit 4 – flowed, clean, and warm, back to the bay. The Manatee Viewing Center was soon born. Courtesy Tampa Bay Times

Riverview | MY TOWN!



Check the Community Courtesy, Tampa Bay Times

Calendar on the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce website: riverviewchamber.com.

SHOWMEN’S CLUB Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls – step right up! The circus has come to town! Every year in January, for one day only, the big top rises along the river on the grounds of the International Independent Showmen’s Club. Three rings come


Riverview | MY TOWN!

alive with clowns, circus performers and animals. It’s an event not to be missed, and kids are free with an adult admission. It is located at 6915 Riverview Drive, Riverview. For more information, call (813) 677-3590

WINTHROP ARTS FESTIVAL The Winthrop Arts Festival, held in

financial, grocer,

March each year, is a unique opportunity

medical and

to enjoy artworks created by artists in

business offices,

each of 10 art-style categories. Only 40

the village-like

carefully selected artists will be chosen

atmosphere of

to exhibit at this event. The limitation

the Winthrop

of four works in each medium makes

Towne Centre creates the perfect

it easier for patrons to appreciate and

environment to spend the day enjoying

compare the talents of the artists within

the arts, entertainment and foods

each style. With its mix of dining, shops,

offered during the festival.

Courtesy of http://www.winthroparts.org/past-festivals

Riverview | MY TOWN!



GET OUT AND VOTE! Just like days gone by, when small towns hosted lively political contests, the entire Riverview community gets in the spirit of a good oldCheck the Community Calendar on the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce website: riverviewchamber.com.

fashioned faux political event during the annual campaign for Honorary Mayor of Riverview. To win the title, the candidates will host a variety of fundraisers between the first of May and the end of July, and the one who raises the most money will be declared the winner and assume


Riverview | MY TOWN!

the honorary position at the chamber’s annual dinner in January. Every $1 donated counts as a vote. Funds raised by all candidates will be equally divided among each candidate’s charity of choice and the chamber. The candidates are creative in their fundraising events, and the race brings members of the Riverview community together and a great time is had by all.

Riverview | MY TOWN!



YOU CAN’T MISS IT! Me oh, my oh, all the money raised at the annual FishHawk - Riverview Rotary Club’s Crawfish Festival is donated to local charities and scholarship funds. In April, the Pole Barn area of the Winthrop Town Centre, 11349 Bloomingdale Avenue, is filled with Cajun music and baskets

Courtesy Tampa Bay Times

other foods will be available for purchase the day of the event. There is no charge to enjoy the live music, entertainment and children’s activity area.

of crawfish to be devoured. Tickets must be


purchased in advance for the crawfish feast;

The Rotary Club of FishHawkRiverview


Riverview | MY TOWN!

TEACHING TO EXCELLENCE At the beginning of each school year, the

their students, local businesses and residents

Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce

donate much-needed school supplies at

organizes a Teaching to Excellence

this event. The Riverview community greatly

Breakfast to honor and celebrate the teachers appreciates the commitment of our excellent of the year, and to welcome new teachers to

teachers, and they welcome additional

Riverview. To help teachers provide additional

support from anyone that would like to

educational opportunities and experiences for


Riverview | MY TOWN!



TRICK OR TREAT FOR EVERYONE! When October rolls around and Halloween is in the air, it’s time for the annual Trick or Treat Street. Children of all ages can enjoy the fun of trick or treating in a safe environment. Plus, there will be entertainment, games, bounce houses, food and other fun activities. Sponsored by the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation and Riverview High School, this event is attended by thousands of local kids and their families.


Riverview | MY TOWN!

Decorated booths manned by local businesses form the candy line, ready to pass out free candy and other treats to all the trick or treaters. Prizes are given for the best decorated booth and there are costume contests for kids from newborn to age 15 and even a special contest for costumed dogs. It’s a funfilled evening always held from 4 to 8 pm on the Saturday before Halloween.

ROCK ‘N RIBS Rock ’n Ribs on the River is held in the fall along the river at the International Independent Showmen’s Club. Teams from all over the state and country come to compete in a Kansas City BBQ Societysanctioned event. There’s no admission to enjoy the live bands and kids’ play zone. Exchange your dollars for Pig Bucks and enjoy a taste of the barbecue. Organized by the International Independent

Check the Community Calendar

Showmen’s Association, proceeds

on the Greater Riverview

from the event go to help fund special needs children and their annual holiday events. (813) 918-9237

Chamber of Commerce website: riverviewchamber.com.

Riverview | MY TOWN!



SOUTH SHORE MUSIC FESTIVAL! The South Shore Music Festival at the International Independent Showmen’s Club, 6915 Riverview Drive, kicks off in November. This event showcases Florida entertainers and is known for its blend of rock, country music and blues. There’s also a Corn Hole tournament and Chili Cookoff. It’s a day of music, fun and festivities for the whole family. www.southshoremusicfestival.com


Riverview | MY TOWN!

SEE YA IN GIBTOWN! Thousands of bike enthusiasts come with their bikes from all over the country to attend the Gibtown Bike Fest in January. The festival, on the grounds of the International Independent Showmen’s Club, is the third-largest bike festival in Florida and features five stages of live entertainment, major headliner bands, stunt shows, and food, beverage and merchandise vendors. Parking is available for over 10,000 bikes. www.gibtownmotorcyclerally.com

Riverview | MY TOWN!



Check the Community Calendar

HOLIDAY ON THE RIVER Early in December, the Alafia River comes alive with the

on the Greater Riverview

live, music and magic of the holiday season. For over

Chamber of Commerce website:

32 years, the FishHawk-Riverview Rotary Club has


sponsored this Lighted Boat Parade. Local boat owners enjoy trimming their vessels with lights, holiday whimsy, snowmen, and surfing Santas to


Riverview | MY TOWN!

set sail down the Alafia. The festive display of lights and gorgeous reflections on the water make this a must see event! Interested in participating or coming out to this special event?

FishHawkRiverviewRotary.org The Rotary Club of FishHawkRiverview

Riverview | MY TOWN!



Greater Riverview Chamber Luncheons are held on the

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS Taking Care of Business. The TCOB group meets every Thursday morning at 7:30. It’s another opportunity for Greater Riverview

4th Tuesday of every

Chamber members to network and build community relationships.

month. Visit the web-

The chamber’s monthly luncheon offers even greater networking

site calendar for details

opportunities, as well as an informative program. In Riverview,


it’s all about people and finding ways to make the hometown experience even better for every resident.


Riverview | MY TOWN!

Local Resident Photos Courtesy Pam Knowles

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