Update June 14, 2017: On Wednesday morning the Florida Cabinet approved purchasing Blue Springs Park in Gilchrist County. The state has agreed to pay $5.25 million dollars for the 407-acre property which includes frontage along the Santa Fe River. Real estate sites indicate the value of the property is closer to $10 million dollars. Environmental organizations are praising the purchase decision and have described Blue Springs Park, which has been privately owned since the late 50’s, as an environmental jewel and a win-win for the state.
The park, like many springs in North Central Florida, is packed on a typical summer weekend with swimmers, snorkelers, kayakers, tubers and picnickers.
The video below depicts a typical summer weekend at Blue Springs Park.
(videography by Donna Green-Townsend. Song Blue Springs Swing by Lauren Heintz. Wildwood Flower performed by Sam Pacetti and Gabriel Valla)
Earlier post: June 19, 2015: Friday morning in Tallahassee, Florida’s Acquisition and Restoration Council unanimously voted to add Blue Springs and the 405-acre property on the Santa Fe River near High Springs to the list of first-magnitude springs the state is seeking to buy with Florida Forever funds.
On June 19th, the state’s Acquisition and Restoration Council will decide whether to add Blue Springs to its larger “First Magnitude Springs” aquisition project. Hundreds of people have signed a petition urging the state to purchase Blue Springs Park in Gilchrist County and turn it into a state park. Environmental groups like, “Our Santa Fe River,” and others point out the purchase would protect the spring from future development and make it available to the general public. They point out how the park already has campsites, parking, boardwalks and other infrastructure which would make the transition to a state park easier.
The 405-acre property along the Santa Fe River in Florida has been privately owned by Kimberly David and Matt Barr since the late 1950s. Blue Springs has been a very popular recreation destination for years. Environmentalists say Blue Springs is a unique treasure and protecting the popular water body is what Floridians had in mind when they voted for Amendment 1, the land conservation constitutional amendment that voters overwhelmingly approved in November.