Thursday, July 18, 2024
Michael Stone Online

Saving Florida’s Water: As struggles deepen, opportunities abound to ensure future for our rivers and springs

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When Getzen Fowler started working maintenance at Poe Springs in 1951 for 23 cents an hour, it was vastly different than today.

The park, then privately owned, had a boardwalk, a concession stand, changing houses and diving boards, said 75-year-old Fowler, who has lived in and around the nearby city of High Springs his whole life.

With these features long gone and the park now under Alachua County Parks and Recreation, Poe had another unique feature back then not present today: Visitors could navigate the whole waterway that connects the spring to the Santa Fe River without ever touching a rock or the bottom.

“You use to could swim right on out into the river from Poe Springs,” Fowler recalled, estimating the water level was about 3 or 4 feet deeper in the early ’50s. “The water was deep enough that you could swim — not super deep, but it was deep enough that you could swim.”

Read my full story in Our Town magazine.

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