why we love this spring
I first experienced the magic of Silver Springs when I was four years old while on vacation with my mother, sister, aunt and grandmother. My mother was always up for an adventure so we would pack up and “do the loop”, to see the sights along Tamiami Trail and A1A. From the Carolinas to the Keys we stopped at what seemed like every lighthouse, gator farm, fountain of youth and orange shop we came across. We took to the back roads to see the Suwannee by boat, rode ferries across rivers, swam in springs and ran barefoot down vast stretches of isolated white sand beach.
We blinded our eyes from the chlorine in Howard Johnsons and Mom and Pop motel pools and lived on pecan logs, Hojo clam strips, soggy sandwiches and luke warm Coca Cola from some sort of container in the trunk. We had grand adventures and a few near misses but we always made it home safely. Out of all of our travels our visit to Silver Springs made the greatest impression on me. I remember it well. Fish swirled around rocky outcrops as the brilliant clear, crisp spring water flowed silently between the shores of the dark, muddy, swamp forest as birds called out in alarm and gators suddenly lurched into the water to hide from our view. It was timeless and primal. Because of tireless conservation efforts by dedicated citizens, Silver Springs has managed to retain those qualities.
In 1987 Guy Marwick, a Marion County science teacher was awarded a Christa McAullife Fellowship to pursue the development of a museum and environmental education center for the Silver River State Park. After much determination and dedication by those involved in the project the museum opened in 1991. The museum informs the visitor about the geology, palentology, flora, fauna and human habitation spanning more that 10,000 years. I had the good fortune to receive contracts to work on many of the exhibits for the museum. This gave me the opportunity to gain detailed knowledge about the history and make up of Silver Springs which furthered my particular appreciation for this special site.