History

1975 – Riverwalk project conceived by Mayor Bill Poe in 1975 as a bi-centennial event
1976 – Waterfront walkway of wooden planks installed in the Curtis Hixon Park area
1989 – CNBC Plaza (Rivergate Tower) and ramp constructed
1989 – Wooden planks replaced with granite pavers
2000 – Marriott Waterside Hotel opened
2003 – Cotanchobee Ft Brooke Park opened
2005 – MacDill Park opened
2006 – Phase I Master Plan completed
2006 – USF Park opened
2008 – Platt Street Bridge Underpass opened
2009 – Tampa Convention Center, Cotanchobee/Ft Brooke Park extension, South Plaza completed
2010 – Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park opened; Cass Street crosswalk enhancement completed
2012/13 – Brorein Street Underpass, Brownstone, CapTrust and TCC connector completed
2014 – Water Works Park completed
2015 – Kennedy Boulevard Plaza – 1460 feet over water completed – Funded by TIGER Grant
2016 – Straz Center to Water Works Park – Funded by TIGER Grant
2020 – The Heights District Riverwalk extension completed

History of Friends of the Riverwalk, Inc.
Incorporated as a Florida Not-For-Profit entity on July 7, 2005
Given 501(c)(3) status effective July 7, 2005
Raised over $2,778,000 cash and in-kind
Transferred over $1,350,000 directly to the city to fund design and construction activity

Projects include:
Riverwalk Master Planning and Design Contracts – $183,000
Brownstone Segment Design and Construction – $220,000
CapTrust Segment Construction – $320,000
History Center Dock Survey, Permitting and Design – $86,000
History Center Dock Construction and Engineering Support –  $40,000
Convention Center Connector Construction – $58.000
Riverwalk Portal – $146,000
Shade Structure Design – $9,500
Donor Wall Design and Construction – $60,000
TIGER Matching Funds – $225,000

Paid $75,000 for Promotion and Other Amenities:
Riverwalk Promotional Fly-over Video
Legal Fees for Forum Land Transfer at South Plaza
Planters Along the Convention Center
Granite for “Quotes on the Water” on Brownstone Segment
Railing Gate for Large Vessel Docking at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

Historical Monument Trail – Cash, Grants and In-kind – $628,000
Six Monuments Installed, 2012
Six Monuments Installed, 2013
Six Monuments Installed, 2014
Six Monuments Installed, 2016
Six Monuments Installed, 2017

Event Activity Along the Riverwalk
FreedomFest in Cotanchobee Park – 2010
Two Unveilings Annually in 2012 and 2013 for Historic Monument Trail
Chili Cookoff in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in 2012 and 2013
Burger Showdown in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in 2012 and 2013
Mayor’s Mac & Cheese Throwdown in 2014
“The Plank” Tampa’s First Waterfront Pop-Up Bar in 2014
RiverFest and the 2nd Annual Mayor’s Mac & Cheese Throwdown in 2015
RiverFest and the 3rd Annual Mayor’s Mac & Cheese Throwdown in 2016
“The Plank” Tampa’s Waterfront Pop-Up Bar in 2016
Trick or Treat on the Riverwalk in 2016
RiverFest in 2017
Trick or Treat on the Riverwalk in 2017
RiverFest in 2018
Trick or Treat on the Riverwalk in 2018
RiverFest in 2019
Trick or Treat on the Riverwalk in 2019
Riverwalk Holiday Spectacular in 2019
Riverwalk Halloween Hunt in 2020

Friends of the Riverwalk is a non-profit 501 (c) (3). Our goal is to enhance the quality of life and build a stronger sense of community for Tampa Bay by preserving the waterfront for use by our citizens and visitors in a way that inspires a sense of ownership and invites active participation in city life.

While the city, as our public partner, is responsible for the design and construction of the Riverwalk, Friends of the Riverwalk plays a leading role in the generation of resident and tourist use through events, natural partner involvement and overall marketing of the Riverwalk. We also raise funds for Riverwalk enhancements such as shade structures, docks, more educational opportunities and entertainment venues. Through private participation and matching grants from Hillsborough County, the Historical Monument Trail has taken shape along the Riverwalk.

To complete and improve Tampa’s Riverwalk we need your support!