On Thursday evening, February 13, over 40 Friends of Silver Springs State Park met for their membership meeting in the park’s Paradise Ballroom and were treated to a tasty array of Valentines day snacks and some exciting information on a new initiative by the City of Ocala that will provide great benefit to us all. Water Resources Coordinator, Rachel Slocumb, gave a fun and upbeat progress report on the construction of the Ocala Wetland Recharge Park. The new park, which will be located at the City-owned 60 acre parcel next to the former Pine Oaks Golf Course, will recharge over 3 million gallons of reclaimed water that passes through the City’s system for reuse everyday.
Construction of the new Park is well underway and will create a wetland habitat, improve water quality and boost groundwater supplies for the region by returning water to the Upper Floridan Aquifer and the Silver Springs system. The new Park will also provide recreational resources such as hiking trails and an educational center for both children and adults. Slocumb reported that after two years of construction, a variety of snakes and bird species such as kestrels have returned to the area. Plans toward completion include the planting of wetland cells (native species of water plants) and the construction of a pavilion pending receipt of grant monies. The former Pine Oaks Golf Restaurant will also be rehabilitated to serve the public.
Her invitation to participants to a tour and the soft opening of the new park at the end of May was met with lots of enthusiasm by our Friends. She ended her report with the most poignant of remarks which elicited many smiles from attendees: “This beautiful view of the Silver River through the window is the best visual aid I could ever asked for”.
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. Our members meet the 2nd Thursday of most months in the Paradise Ballroom off SR 40. Social time begins at 5:30 p.m. and meetings begin promptly at 6:00 p.m. often featuring a guest speaker.