Pictures of high school student photography contest winners, Serenity at Lime Run Spring


Live Oak, June 4rd 2016 — The photographers of these inspirational pictures were themselves photographed by a local photographer. l-r: Jessica Bowman, Third Place, Branford High School; Second Place, Ben Bowman; First Place, Randall Petty; Mallory Stevens, Honorable Mention, Branford High School

“It’s so important to engage young people in respecting and appreciating nature. Hopefully they will want to protect it.” said Deanna Mericle, WWALS member from Hamilton County, who organized this contest along with Eileen Box of Suwannee County and the Live Oak Woman’s Club, two weeks ago in Live Oak, Florida.

l-r: Jessica Bowman, Third Place, Branford High School; Second Place, Ben Bowman, Branford High School; Randall Petty, First Place, Hamilton High School; Mallory Stevens, Honorable Mention, Branford High School
Left to right: Jessica Bowman, Third Place, Branford High School;
Second Place, Ben Bowman, Branford High School;
Randall Petty, First Place, Hamilton High School;
Mallory Stevens, Honorable Mention, Branford High School

Honorable Mention, Mallory Stevens, Branford High School, 11th grade
Photograph winning Honorable Mention by Mallory Stevens, 11th grade, Branford High School

Third place: Jessica Bowman, Branford High School, 12 grade
Photograph winning $25 and Third Place by Jessica Bowman, 12th grade, Branford High School

The judges for the contest were Edwin McCook and Rob Wolfe. Rob Wolfe, a free lance photographer retired from Occidental (now PCS), took the pictures of the student winners. He was also a judge, along with Edwin McCook.

Second Place, Ben Bowman from Branford High School
Second Place by Ben Bowman, Branford High School

Second place: Ben Bowman, Branford High School, 10th grade
Photograph winning $50 and Second place by Ben Bowman, 10th grade, Branford High School

Sponsors for the contest, contributing funds or materials, included First Federal Bank of Florida, The Frame Shop of Live Oak, Ceclie Scofield, Deanna Mericle, and Eileen Box. Those three indviduals are all WWALS members, and Ms. Box is also with the Live Oak Woman’s Club.

First Place, Randall Petty from Hamilton High School
First Place, Randall Petty from Hamilton High School

First Place: Randall Petty, Hamilton High School, 10th grade
Photograph winning $100 and First Place by Randall Petty, 10th grade, Hamilton High School

The idea for this contest came from Cecile Scofield of Martin County, Florida, who said:

“Because we serve to protect that which we own, I wanted to give students a vested interest in the precious land called Lime Run Spring. I believed a photography contest would achieve that goal. Ultimately, I hoped that the photographs would send a powerful message to those who are empowered to protect our earth and, moreover, to those who seek to destroy it. Was the goal achieved? I think the inspirational photographs speak for themselves.”

Winners were announced and prizes awarded: during an award ceremony at the Live Oak Woman’s Club, 1308 11th St. SW, Live Oak, FL 32064 on Monday, May 23, 2016 at 6:00 pm. Thanks especially to Eileen Box of Live Oak Woman’s Club and Deanna Mericle of WWALS for organizing this event, and to WWALS member and contest sponsor Cecille Stoddard for the idea.

Sabal Trail aimed at Lime Run Spring water source

Yes, this is the same Lime Run Spring across the water source of which Sabal Trail proposes to gouge its 36-inch fracked methane pipeline. As the sign at the entrance to Falmouth Spring and Sink says:

September 14, 2014 the District and Florida Geological Survey conducted a dye trace and with days the dye appeared in Suwannachooche[e] Springs on the Withlacoochee River and Ellaville Spring, Lime Run Spring, and Lime Sink Spring in Suwannee River State Park.

That’s part of the Falmouth Cathedral Cave System that Practicing Geologist Dennis Price reported Sabal Trail wants to cross.

Our worry is that excavation for pipe lying across the Falmouth cave system and the boring depth under US 90 will result in collapse into the cave system. The karst mitigation plan describes how sinkhole features that appear during construction will be restored. When caverns are encountered, they propose completely filling the void with cement and then filling the hole.

They cannot plug the cave system because it is a cultural and natural resource in the county. divers depend on being able to reach the end. Filling the cavern will slow flow at the spring discharge point in the SRSP. something they are not allowed to do

Sabal Trail does not have a karst mitigation plan that describes how they will address a collapse into the cave system.

This information has been sent to FERC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for example in the letter from U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-02) asking the Corps for a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, and the WWALS invitation to the Corps to come see for themselves.

WWALS and many other organizations conducted a hike for elected and appointed officials May 15th 2016 so they could see and hear this information. We look forward to all those officials and others asking the Corps for a Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement, like Rep. Bishop has already done.

Meanwhile, thanks to all the high school contestants and winners for the fine photographs of Lime Run Spring, one of the jewels of the Florida Springs Heartland!

About the Organizers

The Woman’s Club of Live Oak and WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. organized a photo contest for high school students to capture the beauty and serenity at Lime Run Spring.

About Live Oak Woman’s Club:

Conservation Chairman: Eileen Box
Beautification, Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental education

Our Department encourages our members to go to County Board Meetings and become involved in the environmental issues affecting our community. We live in beautiful rural Suwannee County. One of our greatest resources is our water. We stay up-to-date on water management/use issues and inform our Club of things they can do to protect our environment. We are currently working to change land use laws to include a county hearing before any industrial waste or companies are able to locate in our county.

About WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.:

WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) is the WATERKEEPER® Affiliate for the upper Suwannee River basin. WWALS advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, and Upper Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through awareness,environmental monitoring, and citizen activities.


Eileen Box (386) 362-2507,

Deanna Mericle (386) 938-5943,

John S. Quarterman, President, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc., 229-242-0102,



You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!