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Our Santa Fe RiverFest – Spring 2018

In March 2018, the Santa Fe River will get some much needed attention thanks to Our Santa Fe River, a North Florida nonprofit organization which produces the annual RiverFest.  This time, the formerly one-day event turns into a season of events celebrating what’s most important, our water resources.

Fun and entertainment will lead the way with the 8th annual Our Santa Fe River Songwriting Contest at Rum 138 near the entrance to Rum Island in Columbia County.  After all these years, we’ve got quite an array of songwriters which we will celebrate in venues throughout the area featuring a reunion of past winners and select former contestants to share their stories once again.

Outreach and education take center stage as North Florida has some of the most highly regarded experts. We’ll tap their talents to provide unique land and water tours, workshops and lectures.   Catch up on the latest challenges and opportunities to protect our waters and the local communities that depend on them.

Community engagement through much needed river cleanups will show firsthand why there is a need for active participation by residents and visitors in keeping our waters clean and safe while having fun and learning more about these precious resources.

If you’d like to learn more about this exciting Spring celebration of our water resources, please call Sharon Yeago at 386-243-9441 or email riverfest@oursantaferiver.org.

Partnerships, sponsors and volunteers… we need you!


Below is an agenda of our upcoming RiverFest events:

Mar
3
Sat
2018
RiverFest Plant Hike – A Floodplain Forest and Swamp with Guide Colette Jacono PhD @ Rum Island Park
Mar 3 @ 9:00 am

Join us in this short hike through a narrow band of low-lying hardwood forest and swamp adjacent to the Santa Fe River. Springtime ground covers of lilies, ferns, violets and sedges will pave the path to springs and sloughs where otters may be seen foraging for breakfast. Learn how to recognize tree species such as pop-ash, elm, and hornbeam which characterize a community that is in many ways part of the river itself.

Dr. Colette Jacono is a botanist and plant ecologist specializing in aquatic and wetland plants ears in Florida for twenty years. She believes that only through understanding and recognition of the ecosystem services provided by the Suwannee River in its entirety, can preservation of the Santa Fe be fully attained.

Mar
4
Sun
2018
RiverFest Paddle – Upper Santa Fe: From O’Leno to Olustee with Lars Andersen @ Bible Camp Rd Boat Ramp
Mar 4 @ 10:00 am – 1:30 pm

Olustee Lars AndersenThis 3 – 3.5-hour paddle will have us on a relatively quiet and remote section of the Santa Fe River, above the River Sink and O’Leno Park. It will be an up-and-back paddle, going up to the Santa Fe’s confluence with Olustee Creek. If water levels allow, we’ll paddle beyond the confluence for a short exploration of an attractive, narrower section of the upper river.

Olustee Lars AndersenAlong the way, your guide, Lars Andersen, will describe a few high points of this area’s geology and history, including the site of the mission village, Santa Fe de Toloca. Forest birds, such as barred owls, woodpeckers and perching birds are the most common types we see in this area. In periods of lower water, herons (several species) are commonly seen wading and fishing in the shallows, while ospreys occasionally scan the water from overhead. Kites (both swallow-tailed and Mississippi) are often spotted overhead in summer months. Other animals we sometimes see are wood ducks, deer, beaver and otter. One animal species of special interest in this region is the non-native capybara, the largest rodent in the world. Some of these animals escaped captivity in the 80’s or 90’s and now roam this area.

Lars Andersen is in his 21st year as a full-time river guide for Adventure Outpost in High Springs, Florida. Each week he leads 3 – 4 tours on some of the 60+ North Florida waterways on his tour list. In 2003, he became a certified Master Naturalist and on April 5, 2014, was presented with an “Award of Excellence” by the Florida Master Naturalist Program. In January of 2016, he became FMNP’s Lead Instructor for the North Central Florida region.
Mar
10
Sat
2018
RiverFest Paddle – Santa Fe River Spring Hop with Lars Andersen @ TBD
Mar 10 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Spring Hop w/Lars AndersenOn this 5-hour tour, we’ll be paddling the nine mile section of Santa Fe River, from Hwy 27 to Hwy 47. Along the way, your guide, Lars Andersen, will give an overview of the rivers unique geology, history and lore of of plants and animals we spot. Spring Hop w/Lars Andersen

Our route will take us past a handful of the river’s most famous springs, as well as a couple of swallets (underwater cracks which drain the water into the underground aquifer). Among the largest we’ll pass are Poe, Rum Island, Blue, Ginnie, Devil’s Ear & Eye, July and Myrtles Fissure.

Each tour includes shuttle: $50 w/boat rental ($20 donation to OSFR); $30 own boat ($15 donation to OSFR)

Lars Andersen is in his 21st year as a full-time river guide for Adventure Outpost in High Springs, Florida. Each week he leads 3 – 4 tours on some of the 60+ North Florida waterways on his tour list. In 2003, he became a certified Master Naturalist and on April 5, 2014, was presented with an “Award of Excellence” by the Florida Master Naturalist Program. In January of 2016, he became FMNP’s Lead Instructor for the North Central Florida region.
Mar
17
Sat
2018
RiverFest Paddle & Music – Blues Canoe Cruise (FREE) @ Hwy 27 to Rum Island
Mar 17 all-day

Join Our Santa Fe River for an enjoyable paddle of the river from Hwy 27 to Rum Island. Bring a picnic lunch for our rendezvous at Lazy Turtle Lodge’s beautiful riverfront and enjoy a Blues sing along!

Paddlers will meet at the State Road 27 Bridge just north of High Springs to unload boats and gear. Drivers will take their vehicles to Rum Island Park and catch a shuttle back to the boats. Your vehicle will be waiting for you at the takeout.

Mar
18
Sun
2018
RiverFest Music – OSFR Songwriters Reunion at Music in the Park (FREE) @ James Paul Park
Mar 18 @ 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Remember all the FUN & GOOD MUSIC?

Join us for more fun at James Paul Park (High Springs Sinkhole) where previous OSFR Songwriting Contest winners and select contestants will showcase their love of our local resources and their songwriting and performing talent in advance of the 8th Annual Songwriting Contest to be held the following week on March 25th.

March’s Music in the Park concert will be produced in partnership with Our Santa Fe River to promote live local music and the preservation of our local waters.

RiverFest Music – OSFR Songwriters Reunion at Great Outdoors (FREE) @ Great Outdoors Restaurant
Mar 18 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

riverfest grouppost

Remember all the FUN & GOOD MUSIC?

Join us for more fun at the Great Outdoors Restaurant when previous OSFR Songwriting Contest winners and select contestants will showcase their love of our local resources and their songwriting and performing talent in advance of the 8th Annual Songwriting Contest to be held the following week on March 25th.

March’s Music in the Park concert will be produced in partnership with Our Santa Fe River to promote live local music and the preservation of our local waters.

Mar
24
Sat
2018
RiverFest Plant Hike – A Riverside Hammock with Colette Jacono, PhD @ Gilchrist County Santa Fe River Park
Mar 24 @ 9:00 am

lilies - Photo by Bob Kerckel
Photo by Bob Kerckel

azaleas - water - Photo by Bob Kerckel
Photo by Bob Kerckel

Explore a north Florida mesic hammock in a 1.5mi hike along a southwestern bluff overlooking the Santa Fe River. This north Florida community type contains the largest numbers of tree and shrub species per unit area in the continental US and its canopy is so dense that it admits sunlight to the ground only in the winter. Join us in searching for flowering herbs of early spring, in learning the common and uncommon hardwood trees, and in recognizing the diversity of flowering shrubs that flourish in this fire-free habitat.


Dr. Colette Jacono is a botanist and plant ecologist specializing in aquatic and wetland plants ears in Florida for twenty years. She believes that only through understanding and recognition of the ecosystem services provided by the Suwannee River in its entirety, can preservation of the Santa Fe be fully attained.

Mar
25
Sun
2018
RiverFest Music – 8th Annual OSFR Songwriters Contest @ Rum 138
Mar 25 @ 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
RiverFest Music - 8th Annual OSFR Songwriters Contest @ Rum 138 | Fort White | Florida | United States

Join us Sunday, March 25th for a local favorite!  Our competition of original songs written about the Santa Fe River brings great songwriters and river lovers together to celebrate and learn about our precious river.

The OSFR 8th Annual Songwriting Contest is a day-long competition of original songs written by local and regional songwriters about the Santa Fe River, located in north central Florida.  This year it will be held on Sunday, March 25th, 2018 at Rum 138, 2070 SW CR 138, Fort White, Florida.

The Contest begins in January with a call to songwriters who would like to participate.  In early March, OSFR will close the submission deadline and begin the process of reviewing the compositions.  Once the submissions have been reviewed, the Contest participants will be announced along with performance times at the Contest.  The Contest is served by three judges each year who score the songwriters on key areas of composition and performance. Through the Contest’s history, there have been more than 50 songs written about the Santa Fe River.  This year, we will showcase some of those past performances on Sunday, March 18th at the OSFR Songwriters’ Reunion at Music in the Park and the Great Outdoors restaurant.

Master of Ceremonies
Storm Roberts of 98.5 KTK
1pm – 7pm
Great food, drinks, beer, dessert bar
1pm – 2pm
“In the Moment” band
2pm – 4:00pm
Songwriter Contest
1pm – 4:30pm
Membership table
Silent Auction
50/50 raffle
4:00pm – 7pm
Crooked Counsel Band

Song Contest RulesSong Contest Entry Form

Mar
28
Wed
2018
RiverFest Lecture – The Science of Cave Diving w/Jill Heinerth @ Opera House, Great Outdoors Restaurant
Mar 28 all-day

A sport once tagged as the domain of adrenaline junkies, cave divers have become an important asset to scientists exploring global climate change, archaeology, water issues and unique biology. Jill Heinerth will share stories from expeditions to faraway caves around the world from Egypt to Antarctica and Bermuda to the springs of North Florida. She’ll offer a fast-paced multimedia show about tiny venomous creatures and ancient lofty stalagmites that tell the story of earth before man.

More people have walked on the moon, than have been to some of the places Jill Heinerth has explored on earth. From dangerous technical dives, deep inside giant Antarctic icebergs, to photographing miles of never-before-seen passages of dark, submerged caves, Jill’s curiosity and passion about our fragile planet is the driving force in her life. In recognition of a lifetime of achievement, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society awarded Jill the first ever Medal for Exploration. Jill Heinerth shares accolades such as the Wyland ICON award and the dive industry’s highest award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences with a remarkable cast of her own childhood heroes, including Dr. Sylvia Earle, Captain Jacques Cousteau, and Dr. Robert Ballard.

Cost: TBA, Includes Meet & Greet, Dinner, Q & A Dessert & Coffee Discussion of Local Issues

 

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