Archives – July

Sink Or Swim

On a hot Florida day there’s nothing as refreshing as cooling off in one of our area’s natural springs. Florida’s first tourist attraction, famous for its still-operating glass bottom boats, Silver Springs used to be one of Central Florida’s favorite swimming holes—until swimming there was banned in the late 1990s.

Once a theme park owned by Palace Entertainment, the state of Florida took over Silver Springs in 2013, combining it with Silver River State Park to create Silver Springs State Park, with a goal of restoring the more than 5,000 acres to a more natural state with improved waterways. Since then, local officials have been trying to bring back swimming in Silver Springs. There are 22 state parks in the state that feature natural springs, and all but two, Silver Springs and Homosassa Springs, allow swimming. The Marion County Board of County Commissioners decided last year to support an appropriations bill in the Florida legislature that backs the Department of Environmental Protection’s plan for the park, which includes swimming. We’ll be the first in line, towels in hand!

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