springs eternal projects
Our Water, Our Future
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The Springs Eternal Project is an evolving series of creative partnerships initiated by Lesley Gamble, John Moran and Rick Kilby in collaboration with a diverse community of springs scientists, researchers, artists and advocates. Our goal is to work across institutional and cultural divides in order to understand why the health of our springs is in rapid decline, and to inspire Floridians to work together to ensure timely and effective solutions that benefit everyone, including our children.
The Springs Eternal Project is a celebration of the springs we were given, a meditation on the springs we could lose, and an invitation to the people of Florida to fall in love with our springs all over again, mindful that the choices we make today foretell the Florida of tomorrow.
Please click on links for more information on these projects.
Lesley Gamble’s Springs Ambassadors Camp begins with the premise that Florida is home to the largest concentration of freshwater springs in the world. As premier places for recreation, springs are fundamental to Florida’s identity and global tourism economy. More importantly, they are windows into the Floridan Aquifer, which feeds the lakes, rivers and wetlands that support diverse and thriving ecosystems of plants, animals and people, while supplying drinking water for 90% of the state.
Although many Floridians consider the faucet or plastic bottle the source of their water, our campers discover otherwise. For six days Springs Ambassadors campers swim and snorkel in this magnificent aquifer, kayak on it, and camp above it, taking photos, writing and making art, eating locally grown food and conducting science experiments with leading springs experts. Click on the link for more information.
Springs Eternal: Florida’s Fragile Fountains of Youth documents thirty years of acclaimed Florida nature photographer John Moran’s forays to the springs, chronicling their beauty, the diversity of people who love them, and the changes many of us have seen. Springs Eternal opened at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, Florida, and is now traveling to other venues statewide. Contact us for bookings.
Reaching out to people who may never visit a museum or a spring, Lesley Gamble’s Urban Aquifer: Vehicles to Think With is a year-long performance artwork and public service event that “daylights” the aquifer under our feet. Wrapped in large-scale photographs of the springs, Regional Transit System buses flow through our urban conduits as a metaphoric aquifer, the lifeblood of our region.
QR barcodes on the buses link viewers directly to the Springs Eternal website, which offers a wealth of information about springs featured in the exhibition, including news, science, history and public policy, as well as resources and organizations involved in springs research, education, advocacy and restoration.
Lesley Gamble’s video, Swimming Through Air, is a joyful, humorous and deeply affectionate underwater tour through some of the splendid flora and fauna of Florida’s marvelous springs. Commissioned by the Gainesville Orchestra for their season finale concert “Nature’s Eden,” it underscores the mission of the Springs Eternal Project: To inspire Floridans to value, conserve and restore our precious waters.
Providing opportunities for insight, wonder and delight, the Springs Eternal Project transports the springs to the forefront of daily public consciousness, empowering Floridians to make good choices for our water— and our future.
Rick Kilby’s Finding the Fountain of Youth: Exploring the Myth of Florida’s Magical Waters examines how the legend of Ponce de León’s quest for restorative waters shaped the Sunshine State’s image as a land of fantasy, rejuvenation, and magical spring-fed waters. Rich in images, this exhibition is based on the book by Rick Kilby, published by the University Press of Florida. It shows how the myths surrounding the discovery of “La Florida” influenced perceptions of the state that still echo today.