By: Robert Knight
As of November 1st, 2022, the Florida Springs Institute has moved to a new location. Our new home is at 18645 Main Street in downtown High Springs and will be the public’s full service stop for springs information, gifts, and gear.
After seven years at our old location across from the High Springs City Hall, we have moved a short distance east to Main Street, into the old “Estate Solutions” building. While we are sorry to leave our “Gateway to the Springs” mural of a young girl snorkeling, our new location is a great improvement in terms of space for our critical efforts to protect and restore springs. We will be able to host much larger events, offer office and meeting space for other springs-related non-profits, expand our springs educational exhibits, offer springs gear and gifts for sale, and accommodate additional scientists to continually assess springs health.
Florida is dubbed “The Land of a Thousand Springs”. North Florida has important artesian springs from the western Panhandle, through the Suwannee River Basin, southwest to the Citrus County “Springs Coast”, east to mighty Silver Springs, and southeast to the St. Johns River Basin and Wekiva River. High Springs has been labeled as “The Gateway to the Springs” with more than a million visitors passing through town to the springs each year. High Springs is the prime location for FSI because of its central location in this geographic springs cornucopia, allowing us to continuously gather springs health data.
While FSI has been documenting the ecological decline of Florida’s 1000+ springs over the past 12 years, our vision for the future is much more optimistic. We believe that by raising the public’s awareness of human-caused threats to springs health, there will soon be a groundswell of outrage against those who are most culpable for these declines. When 1,000s of angry springs lovers show up at meetings of the water management districts, the environmental protection department, and the Florida legislature, a tidal wave of fervor will wash the current apathic crowd aside and new leaders will be found who embrace the need for a healthy environment and a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.
Our message is simple – healthy springs are easily attainable. Capping groundwater withdrawals and nitrogen loading at protective levels will allow rapid normalization of spring flows and water quality. The science is clear. We must protect the Floridan Aquifer’s groundwater quantity and quality to avoid disaster and to return north Florida to the springs paradise we had a mere 50 years ago.
We look forward to expanding our capacity for springs protection with our new and improved location. Stay tuned. We hope that you will join us in celebration when we are settled in and open the doors of the “Florida Springs Welcome Center” to the public.