WUFT News

Silver Springs absorbed into state park system

By on January 24th, 2013

Palace Entertainment announced Wednesday that Florida’s oldest theme park, Silver Springs, in Ocala, will be absorbed into the state park system.

Palace Entertainment will come out of the lease agreement and pay $4 million toward work on the park to help restore it back to a more natural state, said Patrick Gillespie, public information officer for the Department of Environmental Protection.

The animals in the park could be a cause for the high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous in the spring’s basin, Gillespie said.

“What animals do in nature, they do at the park,” he said.

Eliminating some of the animal exhibits, especially those near the spring, may help the health of the spring. Some of the amusement rides may also be removed, he said.

Don Koepnick, a tourist from North Carolina, said he began coming to the springs when he was 15 and enjoys the rides out on the glass bottom boats the most. Right now, the prices are “a little steep,” he said, it may be better for families when the state takes it over because it will likely be a lot less expensive.

Gainesville resident Frances Lapinsky used to come when she was a child and liked the jungle-ride to see the animals and the petting zoo.

“I hope they don’t do away with that,” Lapinsky said, “Because they had that when I was here, and that was neat.”

Palace will continue to operate the park until Oct. 1. The state would like to keep as many vendors and employees as possible, Gillepsie said, but not all the decisions have yet been made.

Rachel Jones edited this story online.


This entry was posted in Environment and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Environment

Swallowtail_one

Food Safety Guidelines Could Alter Sustainable Farm

A new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) by the FDA may pose a challenge to farmers who are using an alternative fertilizer.


Onna Maya Meyer, of Alachua, hoops at the 
Swallowtail Farm Country Fair Saturday evening.

GALLERY: Swallowtail Farm Hosts County Fair

Swallowtail Farm held its 5th annual country fair at its farm just north of Alachua on Saturday.


The FWC restocked the lake’s depleted largemouth bass population with 100,000 bass fingerlings, but it’ll take at least a year or two before the fish mature and the depleted population is
restored.

Orange Lake Levels Rising for First Time in More Than a Decade

After years of drought, this year’s rainfall has restored Orange Lake’s water levels.


Little River Springs County Park, located 3.5 miles north of Branford, Fla., is one of the springs protection and restoration projects recently approved by the Suwannee River Management District Governing Board. The refurbishments will repair the eroding shoreline damaged by river floods over the years.

Little River Springs County Park Will Receive More Than $100,000 In Restorations

The Suwannee River Water Management District has formed a partnership with the county for large repairs to take place in Little River Springs County Park near Branford. After river flooding, the park needs refurbishments to bank failures and damage to the spring bed.


A Florida gopher tortoise in its natural habitat. A new app by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will receive geographic locations of the threatened species through user-generated images.

Florida Aims to Protect Gopher Tortoises with App

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission developed an app that will help scientists gather data on the locations of gopher tortoises. The app could help better track the threatened species.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments