Sunday, January 1, 2012
Crystal Springs: 2012 FNPS Conference Venue
Our FNPS 2012 Conference "Saving the Heart of Florida" is well into its development phase. We have several exiting venues for our social events, but one of them, Crystal Springs, is special to me because of its beauty and history. We will have exclusive access to this site for our Saturday night social event.
Most people think of the Hillsborough River as a blackwater stream, one dark and tea colored due to tannins in the water. We say it begins in the Green Swamps. It does, as seepage and as an overflow from the Withlacoochee River. As such, it is usually a narrow creek that swells to substantial size only during periods of very high rainfall. But the upper river is also a spring-run stream. Crystal Spring, a second magnitude spring, provides most of the typical daily flow for the Upper Hillsborough River.
As the owner told me, they got tired of "picking up used diapers" and otherwise cleaning up after bathers. So the owners took on restoration of the spring and converting the former recreation area into an education center. They hired an environmentally oriented manager, and set off to clean up the weeds and plant the area around the spring back to Florida native plants. They also refurbished the boardwalk that crosses the outfall into the Hillsborough River.