Published September 8th, 2012
GILCHRIST COUNTY - This isn't just the beginning of a 3 month cleaning spree for the Suwannee River but the start of something new. Gilchrist residents are joining in and adding to their chores list one more thing, the Santa Fe River Park.
The Executive Director of "Current Problems," the organization driving the "Great Suwannee River Clean-Up," says she cares about conserving the environment. She adds, "It's important, it's important for the wildfire and wildlife, it's important for the quality of our drinking water." But the Suwannee river isn't the only river getting a face lift, so is the Santa Fe.
Gary Miller a retired teacher from Marion County helped start the Santa Fe River Park Improvements Task Force. Miller says he would cross this bridge daily, with his wife and looking down at a park that didn't look its best, urged him to do something about it. Vandalized picnic tables have been removed and the pavilion's roof was painted and repaired. Miller says, "We decided to work together, the citizens and county commission to see what we could do about improving this facility and as you can see, there already has been quite a bit done."
Gilchrist County Commissioner, Thomas Langford who's taken a role in this task force says projects like these pull the community together. Langford say, "But it's just a nice social activity, where you can have a family picnic or a county event or whatever you want to have and this is what this park is all about and this is the purpose for it."
The county has a grant proposal and they hope to change the entrance of the park and add a resident security guard on site. Miller adds, "Once our dream is accomplished we will have a gem of a park believe me people will come from fort white just to be here in this park." The pavilion in Santa Fe still needs a second coat of paint, so if you wish to get involved, swing by the park at 7am on Monday, September 17th. The Santa Fe Clean-Up is a 5 year long project, so this "Gem of a Park" like Miller said will be finalized then.
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