Sprucing Up the Springs
OCALA - One of Florida's first tourist attractions is undergoing a face-lift. Volunteers got together to spruce up the springs, despite the cold weather. The park's owner may have changed but the park's heart filled with native beauty remains the same.
The state got a hold of silver springs on October first of last year and park goers say that ever since. The theme of the park changed.
The park is now trying to get grounds ready for the new year in order to show off its nature-- all with the help of volunteers.
"Working out here we do a little bit of everything, I've built a shed out here, did some roofing, drilled a lot of holes," Norman Yeagle, a volunteer said.
Planting and weeding are some of the things volunteers help with here at Silver Springs State Park. The volunteer work is organized by Citizen Support Organization or CSO.
While they only maintained Silver River State Park, once Silver Springs became a state park as well, the organization took in both. "So everything is starting to look really nice. Before it was a little shabby and now it's starting to look great," Yeagle said.
Rachel Fonvielle a Park Services Specialist says the springs which used to run as a theme park has a different objective now. “As a kid, I loved coming to the theme park and I still love coming today. It's just a different focus; we just want to bring the focus back on the springs. Historically it was focused on the springs. We just want to make sure we're highlighting our beautiful natural communities," Fonvielle said.
Despite the unexpected low temperatures north central florida is experiencing, about twenty people are out here volunteering in the springs. All to conserve a little piece of our heritage is what Jane Kaufman the president of CSO tells me.
"The Native Americans settled here. I mean, what a perfect spot to live. And there are evidence all over of the fact that they were here and this is our history. This is a part of who we are," Kaufman said.
If you want to step in to spruce up the springs, CSO will be meeting to do volunteer work the 2nd Monday of every month.
For more information on the park, click here.
For more information on the organization, click here.
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