Springs Field School
By: Kyle Grammatica
Remember a time when you struggled to understand a concept? Maybe the information wasn’t explained well, or you needed more hands-on experience. This is often a challenge when communicating ecological challenges facing our springs. To help, we’re working with the Florida Springs Institute (FSI) to bring high-quality, hands-on springs education to north-central Florida.
Springs Field School is the most advanced springs education program offered by FSI. The course is designed to teach attendees everything from hydrogeology, biology, and chemistry to water quality testing methods and state water management regulations. Thanks to a $10,555 grant from the Foundation, the school was able to provide springs education to a record number of 42 participants in 2021.
Participants attended nine online lectures and responded overwhelmingly positively. One student shared that they enjoyed “being made aware of present conditions and how to improve them. I wish I had understood and appreciated these natural resources more back in the 60s and 70s when they were in better condition.”
After the lectures, 23 attendees joined guided excursions in the Santa Fe River and Springs Paddle and the Ichetucknee Spring Run Paddle. They participated in water sampling, field technique demonstrations, and a surprise manatee sighting! Participants walked away with a deeper appreciation for Florida’s springs.
Help us conserve Florida’s springs and fund educational programs like this one by purchasing our Protect Florida Springs license plate here!