Tag Archives: White Springs

Ockolocoochee, Little River 1889-01-29

Who knows the Ockolocoochee River? No, not the Ochlockonee River; that’s a bit to the west.

[Withlacoochee River labeled Suwanee R. in 1823 Irwin and 1834 Lowndes County maps; current WWALS Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail map]
Withlacoochee River labeled Suwanee R. in 1823 Irwin and 1834 Lowndes County maps; current WWALS Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail map

You do know the Ockolocoochee River as the Little River, of the Withlacoochee, of the Suwannee.

Here is news from 1889 that also includes the boat that didn’t survive from Troupville to Ellaville, which was apparently not a paddlewheel steamer. Continue reading

Winners: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2023-09-22

Hahira, GA, September 25, 2023 — Hahira, Georgia, September 25, 2023 — Ten musicians wrote songs and seven sang them, about the delights of the waters of the Suwannee River Basin and the need to preserve them against numerous threats. Jane Fallon came all the way from Dunedin, Florida, to the Turner Arts Center in Valdosta, Georgia, to sing a story about legendary Sun Daughters reflecting on a proposed mine near the Okefenokee Swamp, the headwaters of the Suwannee River. The three judges marked her high on storytelling and presenting the value of the waters, on originality of lyrics and music, and on performance, with extra credit for naming waterways. She took home First Prize in the Sixth Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

[Winners: Suwannee Riverkeeper; Cindy Bear and Franc Robert, Best Folk; Jane Fallon, First Prize; Bacon James, Best from Outside; Kyle Bird Chamberlain and David Rodock, tie for Best from Inside; Chamberlain, Best Blues; Rodock, Best AmeriKinda; Keven Stephenson, Best Country --Chuck Roberts]
Suwannee Riverkeeper with the Winners: Cindy Bear and Franc Robert, Best Folk; Jane Fallon, First Prize; Bacon James, Best from Outside; Kyle Bird Chamberlain and David Rodock, tie for Best from Inside; Chamberlain, Best Blues; Rodock, Best AmeriKinda; Kevin Stephenson, Best Country; and Robert Thatcher (not pictured). Photo: Chuck Roberts

Jane Fallon said, “Thank you for the honor in recognizing my song ‘Chant For The Okefenokee’ in your contest. It is always a special feeling to sing a song for an audience that truly understands its meaning. Thank you also for the work you do in trying to preserve the waterways. It is so important.”

Here is the first half of her lyrics: Continue reading

Nutrien phosphate mine on the ground 2023-05-12

Update 2023-06-11: Crossings under CR 6 by Nutrien Phosphate Mine 2023-06-10.

A little birdie dropped these pictures, which were taken near Fivemile Still Road off of Woodpecker Route (CR 135), in Hamilton County, Florida, northeast of White Springs.

The locations are all less than a mile up Fivemile Still Road, which was closed above that.

[Inside the Nutrien phosphate mine, Hamilton County, Florida]
Inside the Nutrien phosphate mine, Hamilton County, Florida

Fivemile Still Road parallels Long Branch, which runs into the Suwannee River above Big Shoals Tract Launch.

Or did. Hard to say where Long Branch runs after all this mining. Continue reading

No phosphate mine waste into recreational lakes, and more transparency –WWALS to Hamilton County BOCC 2023-04-17

You can send your own comments to the addresses in the WWALS letter. If you prefer to telephone, see https://hamiltoncountyfl.com/board-of-county-commissioners/.

The Public Hearing is tomorrow, Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at 6 PM, at 207 NE First Street Jasper, Florida 32052.

WWALS letter to Hamilton BOCC 2023-04-17

See also PDF.

[Letter and mine]
Letter and mine

Continue reading

More materials: Hamilton County Planning Commission on Nutrien phosphate mine permit renewal 2023-03-28

Update 2023-04-17: No phosphate mine waste into recreational lakes, and more transparency –WWALS to Hamilton County BOCC 2023-04-17.

See also, from five years ago: Pictures: PCS Phosphate mine permit Public Hearings, Jasper, FL 2018-01-23.

Here are 78 more documents related to the Public Hearing at 6 PM this Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at the Hamilton County Commission in Jasper, Florida, about Nutrien’s phosphate mining permit renewal.

[Mining location, reclamation, flow, and areas]
Mining location, reclamation, flow, and areas

These documents, from a USB stick I picked up from Hamilton County today, are in addition to the documents I posted yesterday.

Ordinarily I would read everything first and post some analysis, but in the interests of time, here are the documents. Continue reading

Hamilton County Planning Commission wants conditions on Nutrien phosphate mine permit renewal 2023-03-28

Update 2023-04-13: More materials: Hamilton County Planning Commission on Nutrien phosphate mine permit renewal 2023-03-28.

Update 2023-04-12: The County Commission meeting will be April 18th.

The Nutrien Phosphate Mine in Hamilton County, Florida, is up for renewal by the Hamilton Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, April 28 18, 2023, at 6 PM. There will be a Public Hearing. Since time to speak will be limited, best to send written comments in advance.

The renewal request has already been reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Board (PNZ), on March 28, 2023. PNZ recommends renewal with some conditions.

Private landowners, a number of whose property is inside the mine boundary, object that some of Nutrien’s plans for disposal of waste such as clay will adversely affect those landowners’ businesses as well as wildlife and waters.

Dennis J. Price, P.G., of Hamilton County filed a page of questions.

Bienville Outdoors filed a a request to find other options for settling areas.

Maybe you would like to comment on effects of this mine on the Suwannee River, Swift Creek, the Floridan Aquifer, or public health.

[Private landowners, Clay flows, aerial: Nutrien Phosphate Mine, Hamilton County, FL]
Private landowners, Clay flows, aerial: Nutrien Phosphate Mine, Hamilton County, FL

On the WWALS website are Continue reading

WWALS Aid Booth @ Ididahike, Wayside Park, Suwannee River 2023-03-18

WWALS will have an aid station at Wayside Park in White Springs, Florida, near the end of the 2023 Suwannee River Ididahike.

North Florida Trailblazers support WWALS, so we support them.

[Ididahike, Suwannee River Wayside Park Ramp]
Ididahike, Suwannee River Wayside Park Ramp

If you want to volunteer at the WWALS booth, or just come see us, that’s Wayside Park is on the south (downstream) side of the US 41 bridge over the Suwannee River. The entrance is off of eastbound US 41 before the bridge. GPS 30.3255, -82.739167

[NFTB Postcard Ididahike]
NFTB Postcard Ididahike

Thanks to Sara Jay for organizing the table.

To go on the hike, you need to Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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)

Continue reading

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