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The following is a recount by OSFR board member Kristin Rubin of the recent trip down the Santa Fe sponsored by OSFR as part of RiverFest. Thanks to Kristin for the story and the photos of this fun event.
Do you ever pass by something in nature and not really see it? Do you ever hear words but don’t use them or think of them in the context of your world?
Saturday, there were at least thirty people who went on a paddle, down the Santa Fe River from the boat ramp on SR 27 to SR 47, guided by Lars Andersen, who has seen these rivers ebb and flow over time.
Listening to Lars tell us about the beavers, the otters, the turtles and answer oh, so many questions was a feast. I heard the word “swallets;” they are on the river where the river flows downward. I saw a kite –they fly close to the trees so you don’t usually see them over the water.
This was all because someone wanted to share the incredible life this river will afford us if we take the time to listen and care. All this and more through Lars’ lenses. I see the river go by my house, but on Saturday I saw it through a different lense.
This river hasn’t always been here, it happened when our planet was going through changes — the Ice Age, the land of Florida being pushed out of the ocean, the rains filling the lime rock, the creatures that made their way and stayed, the birds that flocked and mankind that has lived and used this water for ages.
All of that took time, thousands of years. But all of that can disappear and is disappearing in front of our eyes, and in just decades. The great thing about this is that we can help it from disappearing. We can be diligent about waste, about how much water we use, and we can join conservation groups to give a voice to our concerns. We can nurture and be caregivers.
There was a river in Colorado that I read about recently, it is gone now. We don’t have to let that happen in Florida, do we? All we have to do is take care of the springs that feed so many of our rivers and sustain life here.