Apr 17, 2020 - From the moment we read you could consume a beer or two while floating down the lazy river we were sold ' Ginnie Springs Tubing in Florida had officially made it on our Florida bucket list!
Dec 22, 2017 - The past year has been a mixed blessing for Florida's springs. Mother Nature started the year with an extended drought that nearly depleted the flow in many intermediate-sized springs and promoted an explosion of filamentous algae in many larger ones.
Jan 14, 2017 - Our state parks are Florida's highest quality natural treasures; think Wakulla Springs, Payne's Prairie, Florida Caverns in Marianna...irreplaceable natural and cultural resources. We are fortunate to have such a well-managed system of state parks.
Dec 21, 2016 - Last week, with no explanation, the longtime boss of the award-winning Florida State Parks system was abruptly demoted. Donald Forgione was reassigned to run one single park in Gainesville instead of all 171.
Oct 7, 2016 - The Florida Springs Council, an alliance of 37 organizations representing more than 150,000 members, hosted the Florida Springs Restoration Summit at the College of Central Florida in Ocala.
Sep 26, 2016 - OCALA - At Silver Springs State Park the water's surface is serene even as millions of gallons gurgle up from the caverns beneath. The quiet park continues to be the subject of disagreement concerning what the visitor experience should include.
Jun 24, 2016 - Florida wildlife officials voted to hold off on future bear hunts in the state until they can gather more information. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted 4-3 not to hold a bear hunt this year.
May 18, 2016 - Florida is home to over 900 freshwater springs. Many of them are just a day trip away from Tallahassee. So, if you find yourself bored in the sweltering heat on campus this summer, here's the solution. Below are just some of the springs I got to adventure to last summer.
May 17, 2016 - Jackson Blue Springs draws in visitors both near and far. It is the main source of water for Merritt's Mill Pond. State agencies want to keep those bodies of waters clean with a restoration plan.
May 16, 2016 - Mermaids -- half woman, half fish -- are not supposed to exist. But for almost 70 years, mermaids have been swimming in the southeastern state of Florida. VOA recently visited the Weeki Wachee freshwater spring to learn about these mermaids.
Mar 28, 2016 - Visit Florida, a public-private group that will get $78 million in state money next year, says its spending is legal and crucial to its mission to boost tourism, which has helped set records each of the past five years, including more than 100 million visitors in 2015.
Feb 11, 2016 - To help raise awareness of what they say are short-sighted, special interest-pandering environmental policies at the state level, environmental activists are planning demonstrations in state parks throughout Florida, including Hillsborough River State Park.
Feb 8, 2016 - There's a new concessionaire at Ichetucknee Springs State Park, with state officials going with an established South Florida company over a newly formed partnership of local business people who have made their livelihood off the iconic swimming hole and tubing run for decades.
Feb 8, 2016 - The assault on Florida's park and conservation lands continues in Tallahassee, as a new bill introduced under the guise of improving management of state lands proposes using Amendment 1 money for massive water transfer projects.
Feb 8, 2016 - Millions of people flock to Central Florida each year, and then never leave Disney property the entire time they're here. The middle of our state has some of the best attractions Florida has to offer, so all these folks are really missing out.
Feb 2, 2016 - SILVER SPRINGS STATE PARK ' The Florida Department of Environmental Protection plan that outlines how to repair the polluted Silver Springs presented the local environmental community with an interesting quandary...
Dec 30, 2015 - If you talk to a true Floridian, they will tell you one of the biggest benefits of living in Florida is the incredible wildlife. Florida has over 160 state parks, so this is sure to be an incomplete list, but here's some of our favorites.
Dec 7, 2015 - A natural spring ecosystem sickens when its flow is depleted and polluted. The damage to the springs in the Suwannee River basin is apparent to anyone who has a long-term perspective. The spring water is more likely to be green or brown than blue.
Dec 7, 2015 - If anyone can save Florida's parks now under serious assault by politicians and bureaucrats, it may be the state's women, who have proved time and time again to be the most fervent and persistent protectors of our unique natural places.
Nov 29, 2015 - Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Jim Steverson has come up with some elaborate and controversial methods for making state parks financially self-sustaining. He and his predecessor have proposed cattle leases, hunting, commercial RV parks
Nov 18, 2015 - Now the weeds largely are gone and the nitrate-nitrogen that was feeding the growth has been cut in half. State environmental officials point to Wakulla Springs as a success symbol for springs protection. Some environmentalists say otherwise.
Nov 10, 2015 - How many times does it have to be said: Florida's parks are no place for hunting. That should be obvious to anybody. Yet the Department of Environmental Protection has left hunting on the table as another moneymaking scheme in pursuit of the misguided goal that the parks system pays for itself.
Oct 27, 2015 - TALLAHASSEE - A new bill in Tallahassee would waive admission fees to all 174 state parks beginning July 1, 2016. The idea behind the bill is to encourage more people to enjoy the beauty of the Sunshine State's outdoors.
Oct 23, 2015 - MANATEE - Europeans and other international travelers continue to boost tourism numbers in Manatee County. It's not only the area's beaches but evolving initiatives focused on arts, culture, Florida's other environmental assets and conservation that's bringing them here.
Oct 15, 2015 - WEST VOLUSIA, FL - When people think of Daytona Beach, the roar of engines and thundering surf most easily come to mind, but there's another side to Daytona that one might never discover.
Sep 15, 2015 - On hot summer days, let the current carry you under a cool canopy of trees. Refreshing and relaxing, river tubing is a low-tech, all-natural way to get out on the water. On most routes, you can stop to swim or picnic before floating on. Observe posted signs and rules of the river to stay safe and avoid trespassing.
Sep 10, 2015 - Northwest Florida is renowned for the pristine white beaches and emerald waters. While these two distinct features are treasures of the Panhandle, the state parks in Walton County are the hidden gems.
Sep 9, 2015 - We'll admit, Tallahasseeans reflexively get a little nervous when Florida officials start talking about running state government like a business. It's not a business. There are things in state administration that business can help with, and certainly business efficiencies can improve public services.
Aug 31, 2015 - The folks at Rum 138 Outfitters were great, taking the time to match us up to the right boat. Many of of our group choose tandem kayaks, a few went in canoes, and the rest of us went in single kayaks.
Aug 24, 2015 - Take this time this summer to explore some of Gainesville's most inviting natural wonders. With temperatures hovering around 72 degrees year-round, the area's refreshing springs make it easy to cool off during this sweltering season.
Aug 13, 2015 - Situated on the Gulf Coast is one of Florida's best hidden treasures. The rivers and beaches of Wakulla County provide an abundance relaxing and adventurous activities, including boating, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, scalloping, and snorkeling
Aug 11, 2015 - TALLHASSEE - Amid controversy over his plans to allow commercial use of state parks by private companies, Florida Department of Enivironmental Protection Secretary Jon Steverson was voted in as the department's chief on Wednesday after facing questions from Gov. Rick Scott and his cabinet.
Aug 5, 2015 - For the first time in 20 years, Florida wildlife officials are issuing permits to hunt bears. The hunt, which starts in October, is part of a plan to manage the growing black bear population. But environmentalists say it's a bad idea, and a lawsuit was filed last week to stop the hunt.
Jul 29, 2015 - Congrats to Weeki Wachee Springs. Launch yourself into the country's sexiest natural spots to cool off! From the aquamarine waters of Havasu Falls to a crystal-blue oasis in New Mexico, these places are hidden and hard to reach but well worth the adventure.
Jul 29, 2015 - As chief naturalist for the Florida Park Service, Jim Stevenson chaired a committee that wrote the management plan for Paynes Prairie when it was bought by the state. Now retired, Stevenson recently told The Sun, the group voted to remove cattle and fences from the former ranch as it made the transition to being the state's first preserve.
Jul 8, 2015 - An Alachua County-based coalition of springs advocacy groups says the state's current approach to springs restoration is flawed and relies too heavily on funding projects that should be the responsibility of private industry.
Jul 7, 2015 - TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Springs Council is preparing to hammer Florida's current process for doling out springs restoration funding, which it says helps 'the largest polluters,' according to a letter the group will send to top state environmental regulators.
Jun 29, 2015 - Marion County's springs protection efforts took an important step forward this month. On Friday, June 19, Marion County Parks and Recreation's application to add the Silver Springs Sandhill site to the 2016 Florida Forever project list was unanimously approved by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Acquisition and Restoration Council.
Jun 29, 2015 - In May, an Administrative Law Judge ruled against St. Johns Riverkeeper, Sierra Club Northeast Florida, Jeri Baldwin, and Karen Ahlers in a legal challenge of the permit for Sleepy Creek Lands (formerly known as Adena Springs Ranch).
Jun 26, 2015 - As The Sun reported last week, the state's Acquisition and Restoration Council unanimously voted to add the popular swimming hole in Gilchrist County to the list of springs slated to be bought with Florida Forever funds.
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