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The second workshop allowing public input regarding the operational policies at the new Gilchrist Blue Springs state park took place at the Trenton library on Thursday. Compared to the High Springs meeting, this one was staffed with different personnel and was a bit more formal, because there was a presentation outlining future meetings. The park System will compile and review the public input from the two workshops, and will return in March to Gilchrist County to reveal its recommendations. At this time the public will once more have input at these meetings.
On the sheets provided for individual comments, it was obvious that environment-minded people were in attendance. Comments included concerns for nitrates from dairies and agriculture, other chemicals and toxins, over-use, and over-commercialization. Many put down as the single most important issue the protection of the spring and its health.
Park personnel were visible and helpful and indicated an interest in the public’s comments. Sine Murray (white blouse in picture) Senior Planner of the Office of Park Planning of the DEP explained the process of establishing operational policy for the new park. George “Gabby” Paxton, park manager, (not in picture) indicated no plans for a large expanded camping facility, nor any cabins.
OSFR will report back when more has been determined next March.
Among those in the picture are environmentalists Bob Ulanowicz, Pete Butt and SRWMD Executive Director Hugh Thomas.