Tag Archives: White Springs

Hike: Bell Springs to Big Shoals, Suwannee River 2022-03-19

Due to high water, we have rescheduled the Saturday paddle to become a 2-hour easy hike from Bell Springs to Big Shoals on the Suwannee River, led by Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price of Hamilton County, Florida. Here’s a way to see Florida’s only Class III rapids with no need for a boat.

When: Gather 8 AM, caravan 9 AM, hike 9:30 AM, end 12 PM, Saturday, March 19, 2022

Put In: Nature & Heritage Tourism Center, 10499 Spring St, White Springs, FL 32096, at the corner of Bridge and Spring Street.

GPS: 30.32947, -82.759426

Take Out: Meet at the Tourism Center, sign in, and Dennis will lead a caravan to Bell Springs, where the hike begins and ends.

Bring: hiking boots and clothes, drinking water, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. You can pay the $10 at the outing, or online:
https://wwals.net/outings

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/#join

Event: facebook, meetup

[Map: Bell-Springs to Big Shoals]
Map: Bell-Springs to Big Shoals

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WWALS at Wild Azalea Festival, White Springs, FL 2022-03-19

A very congenial festival next to the Suwannee River in White Springs, Florida.

When: 10 AM – 4 PM, Saturday, March 19, 2022

Put In: Nature & Heritage Tourism Center, 10499 Spring St, White Springs, FL 32096, at the corner of Bridge and Spring Street.

GPS: 30.329470, -82.759426

Take Out: Same as Put In.

Free: No charge.

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/#join

Volunteer: WWALS members, we could use you at the WWALS booth.

What: according to the Town of White Springs:

The Town of White Springs and the Stephen Foster State Folk Culture Center are pleased to present the 🌺 20th Annual Wild Azalea Festival on Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm, at the Nature & Heritage Tourism Center in historic White Springs, Florida. Come out and enjoy live entertainment, craft and food vendors, raffles, duck race, cornhole tournament, kids’ area, and more! 😍

Event: facebook, meetup

[Wild Azalea Festival, WWALS Booth]
Wild Azalea Festival, WWALS Booth (2019)

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Bridge to Bridge Suwannee River paddle for White Springs Wild Azalea Festival 2022-03-19

Update 2022-03-15: Due to high water, replaced by Hike: Bell Springs to Big Shoals, Suwannee River 2022-03-19.

Join us for a geologic education paddle through millions of years, on a scenic two-mile stretch of the Suwannee River. Led by Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price of Hamilton County, Florida, we will pass White Sulphur Spring, the first Floridan Aquifer Spring encountered on the Suwannee River.

Once you land, you can go on up to the Wild Azalea Festival! The festival is conveniently located at the corner of Spring and Bridge Street, 10499 Spring St, White Springs, FL 32096.

[US 41 Bridge past FL 136 Bridge, Suwannee River, White Springs, Florida]
US 41 Bridge past FL 136 Bridge, Suwannee River, White Springs, Florida

Dennis Price explains, “For millions of years, Florida was a limestone platform not connected to the now North American continent. For eons the limestone bed would emerge, the bed surface would erode then sink again, several times. Each time the limestone would build again with a different set of fossils. The last limestone bed to deposit was the Suwannee Limestone. Florida thru this time was separated from the continent by the Suwannee Straits, similar to the Florida straits separating Florida from Cuba. Erosional sediments from the continent was slowly filling the Straits and when finally filled, sediments began covering the limestone that was Florida. These sediments are known as the Hawthorne formation today.”

When: Gather 8 AM, launch 8:30 AM, end 10 AM, Saturday, March 19, 2022

Put In: Suwannee River Wayside Park Ramp @ US 41. From White Springs, travel south on US 41 to the river; the ramp is on the south side in the town park, in Hamilton County.
This is where the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail officially starts, although the WWALS web pages and map include the entire river up into Georgia and the Okefenokee Swamp.

GPS: 30.3255, -82.739167 ,

Take Out: Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park Launch, 11016 Lillian Saunders Drive/U.S. Highway 41, White Springs FL 32096.
$5.00 per vehicle (up to 8 people) State Park entry fee.

White Sulphur Springs is after the second bridge but before the takeout. It was one of the first tourist attractions in Florida. Nowadays you can visit the empty bathhouse, see the trickle of water coming out, and read what Dennis wrote: The NFRWSP’s job is to figure out how to increase water levels in the aquifer. –Dennis J. Price 2016-12-12.

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat, paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup. Mosquitoes can be bad at dusk so come prepared.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. You can pay the $10 at the outing, or online:
https://wwals.net/outings

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/#join

Continue reading

Flooding on the Suwannee River at Suwannee Springs –SRWMD 2021-09-23

Like me, you may be wondering what is going on at Suwannee Springs since I first reported on the debris there after the July 2020 flooding. In January 2021, the answer was SRWMD would finishing removing the debris “in a few weeks, not months.”

Unfortunately, then there was repeated flooding, and in between floods the COVID-19 pandemic interfered.

So yesterday I asked again, and today Edwin McCook took this picture:

[Flooding on the Suwannee River at Suwannee Springs on 9/23/2021. Suwannee; Springs gauge 53.86'. Photo: Edwin McCook, SRWMD]
Flooding on the Suwannee River at Suwannee Springs on 9/23/2021. Suwannee; Springs gauge 53.86′. Photo: Edwin McCook, SRWMD

As you can see, the river water is close to the top of the spring wall.

Edwin says once the water recedes, the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) will continue planning to remove the debris. They had already reviewed options back in January, so they have a leg up on that planning.

More when I know more.

Meanwhile, the Suwannee Springs USGS gauge reads 53.86′.

That’s well below flood stage, which is 60′. However, you can see by the picture that working inside the spring wall would be difficult with the water that high. Continue reading

The NFRWSP’s job is to figure out how to increase water levels in the aquifer. –Dennis J. Price 2016-12-12

This is a letter Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price wrote for publication.

December 12, 2016

RE: North Florida Regional Water Supply Partnership

About 5 years ago, a report prepared for the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) indicated that under North Columbia County, East Hamilton County and Baker County, ground water levels in the Floridan aquifer (the aquifer the majority of us citizens get our water from) had dropped about 20 feet, more or less. The effects of the loss of that 20 feet was first felt and is very obvious in White Springs, 13 miles north of Lake City. The spring quit flowing for all intents and purposes. Tourism and the Towns economy plummeted.

[2019-04-03 White Sulfur Spring Flowing]
2019-04-03 White Sulfur Spring Flowing, so unusual an event it was reported for SRWMD by their Senior Hydrologist Fay Baird.

The report placed the greatest blame for the drawdown on water use by the coastal communities of South Georgia and North Florida. Scientists from the St. John’s River Water Management District (SJRWMD) at first concurred with this assessment. After objections from the Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) and the removal of several key employees at the SJRWMD, the SJRWMD said they weren’t sure anymore and a study needed to be done.

So, you guessed it, a committee was formed, The North Florida Regional Water Supply Partnership (NFRWSP). Don’t get me wrong regarding this committee, it is probably the single most important committee ever formed in our area. Their plans will affect the continued growth of North Florida communities along with the economy and recreational opportunities in our lakes and rivers.

Figure C3: Aquifer surface change due to withdrawals in north Florida and south Georgia

The NFRWSP’s job Continue reading

Adel agenda and WWALS letter 2020-09-08

Update 2020-09-11: Wood pellet plant: speakers and documents @ Adel City Council 2020-09-08.

Here is the agenda for tonight’s Adel City Council meeting:

[Agenda, Adel City Council 2020-09-08]
Agenda, Adel City Council 2020-09-08
PDF

Since it can’t be any of the other items, apparently the wood pellet plant is:
5.B. ANNEXATION AND ZONING OF INDUSTRIAL AUTHORITY PROPERTY

I don’t see anything about any previous hearings, nor any of the maps, plans, etc. that usually accompany a rezoning.

You can still use the Dogwood Alliance Action Alert to send in a comment before tonight’s meeting.

Meanwhile, I sent Adel this letter, mostly about water trails:

[WWALS to Adel, Water Trails and pellet plant 2020-09-08]
WWALS to Adel, Water Trails and pellet plant 2020-09-08
PDF

For background, see Adel wood pellet plant sourcing radius: entire Suwannee River basin in Georgia 2020-09-08.

See you in Adel in about an hour and a half.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Adel wood pellet plant sourcing radius: entire Suwannee River basin in Georgia 2020-09-08

Update 2020-09-11: Wood pellet plant: speakers and documents @ Adel City Council 2020-09-08.

Update 2020-09-08: Adel agenda and WWALS letter 2020-09-08

If a company from Houston, Texas, gets its rezoning Tuesday at the Adel, Georgia, City Council, it could take trees from 75 miles around to turn into wood pellets to ship to Europe for burning for electricity. It takes 50 to 100 years for natural forest to regenerate completely. Meanwhile, rain on land without forest runs off faster, carries more sediment and pollution (pesticides, E. coli, etc.), damaging fishing and wildlife. Floods also become more likely.

You can help stop this biomass plant. Before 5:30 PM Tuesday, please, which is when the Adel City Council has this rezoning on its agenda.

[Adel, GA, pellet plant sourcing radius]
Adel, GA, pellet plant sourcing radius (PDF)

That 75-mile sourcing radius around Adel would reach Tallahassee, Florida, and Albany, Georgia, as well as all of the Red Hills longleaf area around Thomasville. It would include all the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia: the Suwannee, Alapaha, Little, Withlacoochee, and Okapilco Rivers, from Fargo and most of the Okefenokee Swamp to Cordele in the north and Moultrie, Quitman, and Valdosta. As well as much of the Suwannee River Basin in Florida, include White Springs, Live Oak, Mayo, Jasper, and Madison. Plus the Ochlockonee and Aucilla Rivers and much of the Flint River on the west, and on the east most of the Satilla River and a bend of the Altamaha River.

This is an environmental justice issue because the plant will go in an African-American part of town and poor people are typically most adversely affected by deforestation.

When a local activist alerted me a few months ago to a proposed biomass plant in Adel, I pointed them to Vicki Weeks of the Dogwood Alliance. She has put together an Action Alert. Please follow that link to send your comment to the entire Adel City Council.

According to K.K. Synder, Georgia Trend, 31 July 2020, Adel | Cook County: Community in Motion,

Houston-based Renewable Biomass Group will construct Continue reading

No WWALS booth at festivals rest of March 2020 due to virus

Due to the many health considerations of our volunteers and their families, WWALS, exercising an abundance of caution, will not send the information booth to festivals for the rest of March 2020.

Preparing for Community Mass Gatherings --GA-DPH

This means we are cancelling our appearances at:

While we are sorry to have to do that, the risk is beyond simple infection of our booth volunteers, which would be bad enough. The novel coronavirus is airborne, causes a disease that Continue reading

WWALS Booth at Wild Azalea Festival, White Springs, FL 2020-03-21

Update 2020-03-13: No WWALS booth at festivals rest of March 2020 due to virus. No, we will not be at Wild Azalea Festival.

Music, dance, arts and crafts, foods and contests, in historic White Springs, Florida. You can volunteer to help WWALS talk about our outings and advocacy, including, yes, E. coli in the rivers, plus the Earth Day Cleanup on the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers, the Eighth Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race on Georgia’s Little River end of April, and the Third Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest coming up in August in Valdosta. We’ll have the froggy toss game, the EnviroScape, and a kayak raffle.

People, Talking
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS of WWALS at Wild Azalea Festival 2019.

When: 10AM-4PM, Saturday, March 21, 2019

Where: Bailey F Ogburn Recreational Facility
Adams Memorial Circle, White Springs, Florida 32096

Event: facebook by the festival

What: Continue reading

SRWMD supports Troupville River Camp 2019-12-04

The Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) “is excited to provide this letter of support for the development of the Troupville River Camp. This project will increase tourism and recreational opportunities for local communities in our area.”

[This project will increase tourism and recreational opportunities for local communities in our area.]
This project will increase tourism and recreational opportunities for local communities in our area.
PDF

Thank you, SRWMD Executive Director Hugh Thomas and Edwin McCook for this support letter. Continue reading