Celebrating Florida's 175th State Park: Gilchrist Blue Springs
Community Conservation in Action
CTF's executive director Traci Deen was invited to speak at the Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service ribbon-cutting ceremony in February at Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park. It was a special opportunity to talk about the connection between conservation and the health of our springs.
Prior to its purchase and protection, this privately-owned property was for sale and was at risk of being closed to the public. Thanks to Florida Forever funding, it is now a new gem in our incredible state park system.
The 407-acre park contains six natural springs and includes approximately one mile of frontage along the Santa Fe River. As a state park, Gilchrist Blue Springs will continue to offer swimming, paddling, hiking and other recreation opportunities for our state’s residents and visitors.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein highlighted the enormous value of partnerships with members of local, regional, and state communities. As part of CTF's vision, we strive to serve as a trusted community partner to support statewide land conservation and we actively seek projects that help to replenish and safeguard Florida’s freshwater supply.
Special thanks goes to springs expert Jim Stevenson for sharing facts for this article from his paper “Ten Things Everyone Should Know about Florida’s Springs.”