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Published
May 15, 2024

Contact
Planner – [email protected] – 813-272-5940

Last updated
June 7, 2024

Take the Community Site Selection Survey to identify where you want to see future Community Air Monitoring Sites

Previously, we introduced you to our Community Air Quality Monitoring Network. Now that you have heard from the TPO side, it’s time to hear from the community. Thanks to the Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association (THJCA) for their participation and for providing this article. 

Join the Coalition for Community Air Quality Monitoring By THJCA Staff 

As we celebrate Clean Air Month in May, it’s a perfect time to talk about a new initiative that’s gaining momentum in Hillsborough County—the Community Air Quality Monitoring Network. This collaborative effort brings together community organizations, public health experts, and local agencies to monitor air quality in our neighborhoods. At THJCA, we are thrilled to be part of this movement, and we invite you to join us in making a real difference. 

Underserved communities located near major interstates often face higher levels of air pollution due to traffic and industrial activities. This can lead to significant health risks for residents, including respiratory issues. The new Coalition for Community Air Quality Monitoring aims to address this by creating a network of low-cost air quality monitors in key locations and gathering critical data to identify areas where air quality improvements are most needed. 

The Community Air Quality Monitoring Network isn’t just about collecting data; it’s about empowering the community to drive change. By involving local residents and organizations, the coalition seeks to create air monitoring sites that reflect the needs and priorities of those most affected by poor air quality. This collaborative approach, supported by local agencies, ensures that community voices are heard and contribute to meaningful solutions. 

At THJCA, we embrace this opportunity to educate our youth about the urban planning process and encourage them to advocate for changes that improve air quality. Recently, we’ve been active in promoting a green wall along the highway near Robles Park to reduce pollution and heat, demonstrating how community-led initiatives can make a tangible impact. Our role as a Community Air Monitoring Site allows us to engage our students and the broader community in discussions about sustainability and public health. 

The Hillsborough Transportation Planning Organization has just launched a survey that will be a crucial step in gathering community input. It allows you to suggest locations for new air monitoring sites and share how you’d like to be involved, whether by hosting a monitor, participating in the coalition, or spreading awareness in your neighborhood. Take the survey by clicking here. You can also check out the project website for resources and updates. 

We encourage community organizations, schools, places of worship, and local businesses near I-275, I-4, or I-75 to consider joining the Coalition for Community Air Quality Monitoring. By becoming a Community Air Monitoring site, you can play a key role in this important effort and receive the support and training needed to make a difference. Let’s work together for a cleaner, healthier future in Hillsborough County! Join the coalition, get involved, and be part of the solution! 

For more information about the Community Air Quality Monitoring Network, contact Lizzie Baker & Wyatt Burttschell at (813) 272-5940 or email at [email protected] and [email protected]