The Park campus, facilities, grounds, patriotic events and Memorials Plazas are managed, supervised and supported by three organizations:
The DCVS is responsible for operation and maintenance of the park, opening and closing the Park and Museum, supervising Park Rangers/Volunteers/Staff and general management of the grounds and facilities.
To contact Park Operations, Veterans Benefits, volunteer information, general information for rental of pavilions, hours of operation, and park/museum events and tours: click here
The HCVC is made up of representatives from the community who plan, organize, and host events throughout the year (see calendar)
Mailing Address: Veterans Council, 3602 US 301 North, Unit #4, Tampa FL 33619
To contact a member of the Hillsborough County Veterans Council: click here
The VMPMC focuses on supporting, promoting expanding and facilitating long-term improvement and expansion of the park campus.
Mailing Address: Veterans Memorial Park and Museum Committtee
3602 US 301 North, Unit #3, Tampa FL 33619
To develop a World Class Park and Museum complex that supports and remembers the sacrifice and valor of the members of the Armed Forces from Hillsborough County, Florida.
Veterans Memorial Park and Leroy Collins, Jr. Museum is managed, supervised and supported by the Hillsborough County Department of Consumer and Veteran Services (DCVS) and two non-profit organizations, the Hillsborough County Veterans Council (HCVC) and the Veterans Memorial Park and Museum Committee, Inc. (VMPMC).
The mission of the VMPMC is to facilitate the enhancement, expansion and support of the Hillsborough County Veterans’ Memorial Park and Museum. To accomplish this mission the committee will:
Plans back in the early 1980’s were in progress to develop a Veterans Park near Tampa International Airport but the project was eventually abandoned to make room for a “Toll Road”. This was a significant set-back for local veteran advocates but it actually set the stage for the extraordinary success of what is now one of the most historically significant places to honor the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States.
Veterans Memorial Park was resurrected on a small property known as “Tis-A-Wee Day Use Park and Bike Path” in eastern unincorporated Hillsborough County along the Cross Channel Canal. The property was previously part of land managed by Southwest Florida Water Management District. Through various agreements with county government the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners initiated a project on June 4, 1986 along with the approval of $350,000 to construct recreational facilities at the site, which was officially established as Veterans Memorial Park on November 25, 1986.
Less that a year later, a grant from the Florida Legislature Land Acquisition Trust Fund was appropriated along with local resources to construct Veterans Memorial Park Museum. The Veterans Memorial Park Museum was commissioned June 6, 1990 and opened the next year in partnership with Hillsborough County Veterans Council and County officials that included hosting and organizing patriotic events at Veterans Memorial Park.
Memorial Day in 1997 was celebrated on May 24 and many Americans held cookouts and barbeques but something special occurred in Tampa with the dedication of the “Freedom Memorial”. This memorial became a reality from hard work of the Veterans Freedom Memorial Committee, Inc. which was a team of dedicated veterans, county officials, Trustees, Board of County Commissioners and the Tampa City Council. This Memorial site is considered hallowed ground by many veterans and will forever be a place to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
More than a decade later in early 2004, county leaders recognized interest in Veterans Memorial Park was increasing so they acquired an additional 4.73 acres to expand the park. Two years later, on April 5, 2006, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners directed the County Administrator to “form a committee to develop a plan for honoring those who have lost their lives while serving in combat”. After several months of meetings and studies between veterans advocates, county planners and others, a comprehensive and professionally designed “Master Plan” was approved by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and the project was put in motion with a Ground Breaking Ceremony on November 17, 2009.
During the next decade, Veterans Memorial Park and the Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins Jr. Museum (renamed on October 20, 2010) has seen a most remarkable transformation due in part to another unique partnership between county government and another non-profit organization, Veterans Memorial Park and Museum Committee, Inc. The park is now home to over 20 Memorials and a Veterans Resource Center that provides personal service and support to Hillsborough County Veterans, their dependents and survivors. The memorial plazas and park grounds gained local notoriety in 2015 when they received several awards from the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council at their 33 rd Annual Future of the Region Award.
To download the award entry details.