Springs Outing: Remarkable Karst Features Near High Springs

The May 2019 FSI outing explored three distinct and impressive karst features all located within five miles of the Florida Springs Institute High Springs office, including:  the Santa Fe River Rise in O’Leno State Park; Scrubtown Sink, a giant sinkhole used as a dump; and a little known Ichetucknee-like karst valley with an extinct headspring, rocky walls, caves, and park-quality forest. We started the day at the rather unspectacular River Rise, which is the second largest dark…

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Springs Outing Recap: Saving Wakulla Springs Overland Tour with Jim Stevenson

Just over one month ago, the Florida Springs Institute teamed up with Palmetto Expeditions to host a special tour of the Wakulla Springs basin with FSI Board Member and former Florida State Parks Chief Biologist, Jim Stevenson. In the environmental community Jim is affectionately known as the grandfather of springs protection due to his leadership as Chairman of the Florida Springs Task Force and his advocacy efforts with local groups such as the Wakulla Springs Alliance and…

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Springs Outing: ONF Springs Fish Study
Photo Copyright Sami Kattan. All Rights Reserved.

Springs Outing: ONF Springs Fish Study

Dr. Steve Walsh, a research biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, led 22 intrepid adventurers to the Ocala National Forest to observe fish up-close.  The Springs Outing began with everyone meeting at Salt Springs Recreation Area, where Dr. Walsh provided a brief introduction to fish identification for species typically seen in the north Florida springs.  Despite overcast skies on a chilly fall day, most everyone donned masks and snorkels and jumped into the 72-degree water to view…

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Springs Outing – Sweetwater Wetlands Park

Sweetwater Wetlands provides an interesting combination of both engineering innovations and wildlife benefits.  Bob Knight began the outing by discussing the design aspects of the project.  His initial remarks included comments on the challenges, the cost, the effectiveness, and the benefits of the design. The challenges included the 20-30 years it took to convince the City fathers that the project was worthy of the $25 million cost.  The project was given a boost when a $45 million…

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Springs Outing – Seminole State Forest

On this hike, the Florida Springs Institute combined with St. Johns Riverkeeper for a day hike through Seminole State Forest.  Led by Jane Durocher of Riverkeeper, Heather Obara of FSI, and Ranger Ralph Risch we hopped from a conversation with a scrub jay to three small unknown (to most of us) springs. The first stop was a mile or so along the appropriately named Sand Road, where Ralph called a nesting pair of scrub jays to welcome us…

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