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The Making of the Glass Bottom Boat Model  

Like Minded Friends Become Friends 

by Mary & Craig Baggs

Friends Dale Shannon and Walter Nickerson show off their collaboration and creation, a new model Glass Bottom Boat which is being used at the FSSSP table to collect donations.

The Friends of Silver Springs State Park has a way of providing like-minded individuals with opportunities to meet each other, and that is exactly what happened with volunteers Dale Shannon and Walter Nickerson when they met in the park’s woodworking shop.

Prior to meeting, Walter had put his creative woodworking mind into action, with plans to build a wooden glass bottom boat replacing the plastic one. Like most boats, building begins from the bottom up, with the hull. Soon Walter’s attention was diverted to other projects, leaving the hull to rest in the shop. Along came fellow hobbyist Dale Shannon who was looking for a project and offered to finish building the model. Dale had fun gathering repurposed items from around his home for the boats dock lines, to the paper used to look just like the boat’s wooden floors. When we met with Walter and Dale to hear their story and capture this moment in a photo of the two of them, we were delighted to see the clever detail of the captain’s chair and bell, the manatee peering up from the river below through the glass bottom hull. As Dale finished the details, Walter designed a folding wooden table to exhibit the boat, with a sign including QR code providing more information on the Friends and how to donate. The next time you see Walter and/or Dale, make sure you thank them for building the model, providing the Friends with another way to connect with our guests, while accepting donations to protect, support and enhance our State Park.

About us

Friends of Silver Springs State Park is a Citizen Support Organization (CSO), a non-profit volunteer organization, dedicated to preserving and enhancing Silver Springs State Park. We support Silver Springs State Park by providing volunteers, educating visitors, hosting events and raising funds for specific park projects.

Become a member

Check out our Membership Page and join the Friends of Silver Springs State Park in its mission to enhance and preserve this natural treasure.  Member Meetings will be announced.

Contact us


1425 NE 58th Ave, Ocala, FL, 34470

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