Spring bubbling back to life - FOX 13 News

Spring bubbling back to life

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A gathering place for Tampa residents a hundred years ago will soon be accessible again.

Ulele Spring in Tampa Heights was named for a legendary Indian princess. It still delivers up to 100,000 gallons of fresh water to the Hillsborough River every day.

The once-popular spring was covered by dirt and brush for generations, but now its bubbling output is visible once more.

"It's a jewel, in my opinion, to have the spring right here in the heart of the city," says Tom Ries of Ecosphere Restoration Institute, who's in charge of the project.

Ulele Spring will be a feature of Tampa's new Riverwalk. Pedestrians will be able to stroll from downtown Tampa and cross a bridge over the outflow of the spring as it flows from a stream and ponds into the river.

The spring is a main part of the restoration of the city's Waterworks Park, which will also feature a riverfront restaurant. The restoration is costing about $600,000, split between the city, Southwest Florida Water Management District, and federal dollars. They hope to have most of the work finished by summer.

Ries expects manatees to congregate here seeking warm water in winter. He says the new spring outflow will also attract many fish.

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