“Lost Springs,” Presentation by Margaret Tolbert

LSpanel In: "Lost Springs,"  Presentation by Margaret Tolbert | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Panelists Lisa Rinaman, Margaret Tolbert and Karen Chadwick

“Lost Springs:  An Artist’s Journey into Florida’s Abandoned Springs” viewing and panel discussion with Karen Chadwick, Matt Keene, Lisa Rinaman and Margaret Tolbert.  Gainesville, June 23, 2017

The artist is the extraordinary Margaret Tolbert, and the springs are not so much abandoned as intentionally flooded and covered with many feet of water.  Because some decades ago some men wanted money more than they wanted the springs, and since they were in power, they got their way.  Sounds quite familiar, because that is still happening today in Florida.

An overflowing crowd with people standing along the walls was treated to a superb  documentary film by Matt Keene which gave the tragic history of the  George Kirkpatrick Dam, which created the Rodman Reservoir which essentially destroyed the Ocklawaha River.

crawler crusher In: "Lost Springs,"  Presentation by Margaret Tolbert | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Crawler Crusher machine invented by Brown Gregg of Leesburg to topple trees along the Ocklawaha

At least one employee of the St. Johns River Water Management District was in attendance, but he slipped out immediately after the film and did not stay for the additional information or panel speakers.

There has been an on-going struggle to remove this dam for decades, spearheaded by Florida Defenders of the Environment, represented at this showing by Executive Director and ex-water manager, and OSFR Advisor Jim Gross.  We have posted on this (“Removing Dam Would Revitalize Economy”)    and it is a sad story.

LSmargaret2 In: "Lost Springs,"  Presentation by Margaret Tolbert | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Margaret Tolbert shared with us her love, appreciation and understanding of the springs hidden beneath the dam waters.  This is reflected not only in her words, but in her unique artwork and by her physical interaction with the cold, clear waters emerging from our aquifer.  No one else can capture the beauty and essence of these unique Florida phenomena as does she.

LSmargaret1 In: "Lost Springs,"  Presentation by Margaret Tolbert | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida                    LSkaren In: "Lost Springs,"  Presentation by Margaret Tolbert | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Program creator Margaret Tolbert                    Karen Chadwick

LSjim In: "Lost Springs,"  Presentation by Margaret Tolbert | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida     LSmatt In: "Lost Springs,"  Presentation by Margaret Tolbert | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida       LSlisa In: "Lost Springs,"  Presentation by Margaret Tolbert | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Jim Gross                                              Matt Keene                          Lisa Rinaman

Captain Karen Chadwick, artist in her own right (soon to have an exhibition of her sculptures along with Margaret Tolbert in Jacksonville) piloted the boat in the film and gave a rundown on the state of disrepair of the dam.   Tireless water advocate and St Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman spoke of restoration of the river.  Others who spoke were Jim Gross, mentioned above, and film creator Matt Keene, who had words of poetry to describe the river.

Thanks to Margaret Tolbert, panel and crew for an extraordinary evening.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life:  once taken, it cannot be brought back-


 

 

 

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