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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Silver Springs Park closing. State to take over.

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Wills250psd

walnutcove NC

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Posted: 01/24/13 06:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is my favorite park that I have ever been to. I went when I was 5YO and again at 23 YO and again last feb at 41 YO I love the water,and everything about it. I also got to see it from a different point of veiw as we camped down stream and rented a pontoon boat and went up stream 4-5 miles to the mouth of the springs. It is one of my earliest memories as a child and I cant think of florida without silver springs crossing my mind. I am all for preserving them but Ihope we will still have access to it. Will

nineoaks2004

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Posted: 01/24/13 08:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JesLookin wrote:

Silver Springs Nature Theme Park is a zoological park located in Silver Springs, Florida, USA, east of Ocala. Although not truly a theme park, Silver Springs is a nature and zoological park occupying land owned by the state of Florida as part of the Silver River State Park.

The property for the park was bought by the state of Florida as part of Silver River State Park and management of the parks was then leased to Palace Entertainment, who was later purchased by Parques Reunidos.



Silver Springs was /is owned by the state of Florida, it was leased out to a private firm to run several years ago.


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NanciL

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Posted: 01/25/13 03:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As a canoe /kayak paddler who has paddled the Silver river for the past fifteen years, I don't know where some of you get your information, but the river and springs themselves are just as pristene as they always have been. The park at the head spring has always been an eye sore to me and I for one would be glad to see it gone.
The river has some drier years than others, but overall it has not changed and is as clear as it always was, and after a dry year it is usually back to normal
I just hope the state doesn't do like they did at Weekeewachee and do tourist kayak rental/shuttles where they drop a zillion tourists at the head spring and let them float down the river, dumping their trash as they go.

Jack L


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fla-gypsy

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Posted: 01/25/13 06:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

nineoaks2004 wrote:

JesLookin wrote:

Silver Springs Nature Theme Park is a zoological park located in Silver Springs, Florida, USA, east of Ocala. Although not truly a theme park, Silver Springs is a nature and zoological park occupying land owned by the state of Florida as part of the Silver River State Park.

The property for the park was bought by the state of Florida as part of Silver River State Park and management of the parks was then leased to Palace Entertainment, who was later purchased by Parques Reunidos.



Silver Springs was /is owned by the state of Florida, it was leased out to a private firm to run several years ago.


While technically true, the state had never taken any active role in managing the site and the different business concerns running the attraction since the 70's had no clue how to market it over the last 40 years. From it's inception through the 60's and before the "rat invasion" it was the ultimate tourist theme park and personified Florida to a large degree. As a child (a long, long time ago) I went there many times and it was a magical place.


This member is not responsible for opinions that are inaccurate due to faulty information provided by the original poster. Use them at your own discretion.

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fla-gypsy

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Posted: 01/25/13 06:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NanciL wrote:

As a canoe /kayak paddler who has paddled the Silver river for the past fifteen years, I don't know where some of you get your information, but the river and springs themselves are just as pristene as they always have been. The park at the head spring has always been an eye sore to me and I for one would be glad to see it gone.
The river has some drier years than others, but overall it has not changed and is as clear as it always was, and after a dry year it is usually back to normal
I just hope the state doesn't do like they did at Weekeewachee and do tourist kayak rental/shuttles where they drop a zillion tourists at the head spring and let them float down the river, dumping their trash as they go.

Jack L


The damage to the springs may not be so evident to the naked eye. The infiltration of nitrates into the system from fertilizer run off leads to changes in the vegetation and to the aquatic life. The flow of Silver Spgs and most of the 1st magnitude springs in Florida is down considerably from the high points recorded in the 70's because Florida will not impose reasonable limits on large commercial enterprises that pump gazillions of gallons a year from the aquifer that feeds the springs coupled with a few years of drought and development in the recharge areas that causes the water to run off rather than recharge the source. There are also many other factors involved in this and I am no expert but my simplistic overview gives you an idea of how the springs are impacted.

The fact is all of Floridas springs are being choked out and changes and action is needed to control it. I despise enviro wackos who claim we are murdering the earth but I applaud and support the state taking control of all of the springs and making efforts to limit damage and make long term changes to stabilize and remediate the degradation. I think real conservation can be acheived and is desirable to native Floridians who are old enough to remember a time when Florida was more about wild natural beauty rather than mega theme parks.

I spend my summers camping at various springs and beaches here and I hope the state can continue to set aside these places and preserve them for future generations and still provide reasonable access to them.

beemerphile1

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Posted: 01/25/13 06:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Where did information come from? Well, here are a few sources;

"Except for a few patches, the bottom of Silver Springs and Silver River are no longer visible, covered by invasive weeds coated with algae.

The springs scarcely bubble up. Its flow rate has dropped by a third over 10 years."
NY Times article

"...Silver Springs Attraction where tons of sewage from the Ross Allen Zoo is liquified and discharged into the lagoon feeding our threatened Silver Springs.

Just up stream and down stream Millions of Gallons of sewer effluent at hundreds of times the 1.0 parts per million level are discharged daily into the waters feeding the springs.

Kanapaha Sewer plant to the north discharges 6 million gallons daily into the aquifer, while to the south utilities in the Wekiva Springs area discharge 50 million gallons daily underground."
http://silverspringsworkinggroup.com/

"Part of the problem with the dwindling attendance is the spring itself, McClain said. Over the past decade, the sparkling white sand on the bottom that gave the spring its namesake sheen has been smothered by globs of toxic algae. Mats of the brown glop float on the surface, some of it so thick that alligators perch atop it."
www.theledger.com

"Storm Water Runoff directed into the Aquifer by City Drain Pipes, is causing algae to grow in Silver River and Silver Springs. Alachua County dumping into a Hugh Sewer Effluent drain pumping 6 million gallons of high nutrient sewer effluent into the aquifer just up stream from Silver Springs.

The Land lord (Florida) of the Attraction who should protect Silver Springs actually allows gross pollution, and is to blame for the direct dumping of untreated sewer and many acres of asphalt parking dumping pollutants into the springs and river."
http://cleanspringwater.com/


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Big Katuna

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Posted: 01/25/13 07:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the great quotes. I am somewhat astounded that people who live and play in Florida are not aware of our water quality issues. Springs along the Suwannee are routinely closed due to E. Coli. Gemini Springs in DeBary has been closed to swimming FOR YEARS! Next time you paddle on a spring run or river in FL look for the old high water mark on the Cypress Trees. It's a few feet above the surface. There are old marinas on lakes (Orange Lake for instance) where the old docks are a hundred yards from the shore. Been that way for years, even after the Hurricanes.


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Posted: 01/25/13 01:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm sorry to hear this historic site is going away. I grew up about 20 miles south of there and it was always nice to have a "theme park" that was close and a little more local. I spent many days at Wild Waters as a kid. I was hoping to take my kids back there someday to see the aligators and glass bottom boats.


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Eycom

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Posted: 01/25/13 01:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Assuming you are referring to Orange Lake in Alachua, Co. If so, I agree. Was in the area back in Oct. visiting an elderly family member with a recent debilitating health issue. Garbage pick-up hasn't caught up to many of those country residents, so I'm on my way to the county dump near Co. Rd. 318 and US 441. Took a ride around the southwest side of the lake heading north. Awful sight. It looked like they had dredged a canal from the boat ramp, 100+ yards out to the lake. Orange Lake, which is large (over 12,000 acres), has never been a deep lake, ranging from about 6 to 12 feet.

Some of the smaller lakes around Keystone Heights are nearly dried up. Many of the residents are trailering their boats, taking out docks, and buying a bush hog to mow their back yards. One large dried bog had ATV tracks running through puddles on what used to be lake bottom many years ago. The lake at Gold Head Branch SP is all but gone. Many of the lakes in N. Florida leak water through the limestone into the Florida aquifer which seemingly, hasn't been able to keep up with all the development and additional 16 million population over the past 60+ years. Add to that the droughts over the years and our lakes are drying up.

There was an article in the Times Union last March explaining the State's approach and tests. At my age, I doubt I'll see much improvement. Hell, I might not live through the test. But, I sure hope the State can reach a viable solution. Because our current situation clearly indicates that when we fail to plan, we plan to fail.


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NanciL

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Posted: 01/25/13 06:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

beemerphile1 wrote:

Where did information come from? Well, here are a few sources;

"Except for a few patches, the bottom of Silver Springs and Silver River are no longer visible, covered by invasive weeds coated with algae.

The springs scarcely bubble up. Its flow rate has dropped by a third over 10 years."
NY Times article

"...Silver Springs Attraction where tons of sewage from the Ross Allen Zoo is liquified and discharged into the lagoon feeding our threatened Silver Springs.

Just up stream and down stream Millions of Gallons of sewer effluent at hundreds of times the 1.0 parts per million level are discharged daily into the waters feeding the springs.

Kanapaha Sewer plant to the north discharges 6 million gallons daily into the aquifer, while to the south utilities in the Wekiva Springs area discharge 50 million gallons daily underground."
http://silverspringsworkinggroup.com/

"Part of the problem with the dwindling attendance is the spring itself, McClain said. Over the past decade, the sparkling white sand on the bottom that gave the spring its namesake sheen has been smothered by globs of toxic algae. Mats of the brown glop float on the surface, some of it so thick that alligators perch atop it."
www.theledger.com

"Storm Water Runoff directed into the Aquifer by City Drain Pipes, is causing algae to grow in Silver River and Silver Springs. Alachua County dumping into a Hugh Sewer Effluent drain pumping 6 million gallons of high nutrient sewer effluent into the aquifer just up stream from Silver Springs.

The Land lord (Florida) of the Attraction who should protect Silver Springs actually allows gross pollution, and is to blame for the direct dumping of untreated sewer and many acres of asphalt parking dumping pollutants into the springs and river."
http://cleanspringwater.com/


I can only respond with when was the last time you paddled it from Ray Wayside up to the head springs.

Naturally it has changed in the past 25 or 50 years, but there is absolutely no sign of algae, or the degradeation that your article claim
Please go paddle the river like I have several times a year for the past fifteen years and then come back and report what you see.

jack L

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