Your help is needed to secure the purchase of Gilchrist Blue Springs by the state in order to insure its preservation and protection for the enjoyment of all citizens. Our last post went off the charts because of all the enthusiasm expressed, so we know that a huge amount of people feel as we do, that this remaining Florida treasure is best maintained for posterity as a state park. Thanks to all for your support.
On June 19 in Tallahassee, the Acquisition and Restoration Council will meet to consider this issue. The Council invites public input and welcomes your comments.
A live speaker in front of the Council is worth a pile of letters, so if you can possibly make the trip, please go to:
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard,
Conference Room A, first floor
June 19, 2015, 9 am
Not to say the pile of letters is unimportant, since it certainly is important. If you would like to write your opinion, but are unsure what to say, simply tell them you want the springs protected as a park. Or, you can use the sample letter below. Just cut and paste with your information, and send to the address following.
Mr. Hank Vinson, Staff Director
Acquisition and Restoration Council
Office of Environmental Services, Division of State Lands, Department of Environmental Protection 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard, M.S. 140 Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000
Mr. Gary Clark, Deputy Secretary for Land and Recreation Designee for Secretary Jonathon Steverson
Chair DEP Council Members Acquisition and Restoration Council
3900 Commonwealth Blvd., M.S. 44 Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000
Your council will soon meet to determine the fate of one of Florida’s finest remaining natural resources and a prime example of what our state can boast as a unique treasure. Gilchrist Blue Springs seems made to order for what the people of Florida had in mind when they voted in Amendment 1.
This spring is categorized as a second magnitude, just short of a first magnitude producing approximately 40 million gallons of fresh clean water each day, and as such is one of Florida’s major springs. There are 4 large springs and 2 smaller springs on the property, which has multiple buildings and 25 campsites with electric and water. In addition there are 100+ primitive campsites, nature trails, and a long boardwalk to the Santa Fe River.
Wildlife is abundant on the property and especially important for two reasons: it boasts ten species of turtles, second only to the Ichetucknee in the Santa Fe basin, and it has a very high populations of snails, one of which, Elimia sp., is important for controlling nuisance algae.
The surrounding land totals nearly 400 acres, which would then be protected from development and would further enhance the overall designation of the Santa Fe as an Outstanding Florida Waterway, ecological greenway, and paddling trail.
The venue is already a park and has recreational facilities for swimming, camping and picnicking.
The availability of the Gilchrist Blue Springs property comes at an opportune moment, when Amendment 1 funds have been assured by law. Our Santa Fe River encourages your council to grasp this opportunity to preserve this beautiful and invaluable part of the pristine Florida for which it is renowned.
This post rendered with LFS