Longtime Lutz resident a namesake of one of County dog parks
Hillsborough County is full of inspiring, iconic, and interesting places, and there are remarkable people behind them. In this occasional series we explore namesakes of some of the county's buildings, schools, parks, and roads.
Who was Carolyn Meeker?
Meeker, 1936-2003, was a 38-year resident of Lutz and president of the Lutz Civic Association. A real estate broker and contractor, she was an outspoken advocate for her community, frequently appearing before the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. Upon her death, then-Commissioner Jan Platt, speaking to the St. Petersburg Times, described Meeker as "the conscience of the Board on rezonings in northwest Hillsborough."
Why name a Hillsborough County dog park for her?
Meeker loved animals and the semi-rural, small-town character of Lutz. She cared for ducks that favored her backyard, and opposed any restriction that would hinder the rambling nature of a well-behaved dog. Her son, Richard "Rick" Meeker Jr., recalls many family pets: dogs, birds, and even an armadillo and a skunk. The 2-acre dog park named in her memory is at 122 First Ave. S.W. in Lutz. It's next to a butcher shop and across the road from a feed store.
About Carolyn Meeker Dog Park
The northernmost of Hillsborough County's dog parks, the Lutz facility has space for canines to romp, a nature trail, and a pond. All the County's fenced dog parks are designed to give pets and their owners a chance to get fresh air and socialize. They have separate areas for large and small dogs, and water fountains for pets and people. The parks are open from sunrise to sunset.