Two Florida Springs will soon be opened for public access
A deal to purchase privately owned land will soon mean two more springs available for people to enjoy in North Central Florida.
We'll show you who is buying the land and why they say it's all to improve the health of a Florida treasure.
The two springs are located on 245 acres of land along the Santa Fe River and come with a 1.4 million dollar price tag.
Melissa Hill is the project coordinator for the Santa Fe River basin who explained, "by purchasing this property, people will be able to view the spring, enjoy it, have a picnic by parking their car directly on-site and walking down and seeing this absolutely gorgeous Florida treasure."
Alachua Conservation Trust will be making the purchase but still need roughly 200-thousand dollars by mid-February to make them the owners of North Central Florida's newest attraction.
Hill explained, "we're still fundraising to make sure we have all the funds necessary to finish purchasing it as well as putting in infrastructure so people can enjoy it safely. Typically once we purchase a property it will be open in a year."
However, the main reason for the purchase is preservation said Hill.
"Being able to manage a spring as a preserve ensures that people are able to access it safely in a way that doesn't hurt the spring and more importantly the property around it doesn't pollute the water source itself."
TV20's Landon Harrar paddled upstream to see one of the springs and reported "you may have noticed this spring is very dark right now and that's partly because of how deep it is more than 80 feet. Also, the nutrient and water levels affect the clarity of it. However, I have been reassured there are definitely times during the year it will take on that crystal blue hue you are used to seeing in all of Florida's springs."
Stuart Alan, a self-proclaimed water conservation enthusiast also made the trip and said: "I will definitely come back and I will bring other people with me, this is a diamond in North Central Florida and we really need to preserve it. It's beautiful and it's a wonderful place to spend a few hours outside."
Hill says they also plan to mark hiking and birding trails on the land for the public to utilize and enjoy.