The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service has installed new interpretative kiosks at each of the 20 state parks with freshwater springs. The panels share information about the threats to springs – groundwater pollution, erosion and invasive plants – and what visitors can do to reduce that threat.
Florida has one of the highest concentrations of springs in the world. Twenty of those springs are the main attraction at some of Florida’s most popular state parks. Water quality and water quantity is a priority for the Department, as is providing access to Florida’s state parks. The kiosk provides the opportunity to touch and learn about limestone, the building block of the Floridan Aquifer and the springs.
The kiosk teaches the reader how to help by eliminating contributions to groundwater pollution to keep the water clean, placing all trash in garbage cans to keep the spring litter free, avoiding stepping on plants growing on the river bottom to keep them healthy, entering the water from designated areas to prevent eroding the banks and admiring wildlife from a distance.
The new kiosks can be seen at the following state parks:
- Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, Wakulla Springs
- Ponce de Leon Springs State Park, Ponce de Leon
- Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Homosassa
- Fanning Springs State Park, Fanning Springs
- Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Fort White
- Lafayette Blue Springs State Park, Mayo
- Madison Blue Spring State Park, Lee
- Manatee Springs State Park, Chiefland
- O’Leno State Park, High Springs
- Rainbow Springs State Park, Dunnellon
- Stephen Foster Cultural Center State Park, White Springs
- Suwannee River State Park, Live Oak
- Troy Spring State Park, Branford
- Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park, Luraville
- Blue Springs State Park, Orange Park
- De Leon Springs State Park, De Leon Springs
- Silver Springs State Park, Ocala
- Wekiwa Springs State Park, Apopka
In an effort to include the use of technology and the opportunities SMART phones present, a QR code on the interpretive sign directs visitors to more information. Visitors are encouraged to post photos of springs to social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #savingFLSprings. Follow the Florida Park Service on Twitter and Facebook, as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on Twitter.