If Silver Springs Becomes A State Park, This Is What It Could Look Like

Jan 11, 2013

Silver Springs site plans are displayed at the Florida State Park Service's last public meeting in December in Ocala.
Credit Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

After taking public input, the Florida Park Service has released a draft plan for managing the Central Florida Silver Springs attraction as a state park. That’s if the private manager gets out of its lease early. The state will present its plan and gather input at a meeting on Monday.

The state is suggesting that it would manage Silver Springs as part of the adjoining Silver River State Park. Donald Forgione, who heads the Park Service, says the plan includes partnerships with private vendors, who’d provide things like kayak rentals, concerts and running the water slide attraction that’s already there.

“And we’ve been using the private sector, engaging with them, for about 50 years, and it becomes a seamless part of our operation," he said.

Forgione said, about 85 vendors currently work with the park system.

The state has successfully managed transitions from private to public ownership at Weeki Wachee and Rainbow Springs. He said, if the state takes over at Silver Springs, it would focus on improving water quality there.

Monday’s public meeting to gather input on the plan will be at 7 p.m. at Vanguard High School in Ocala.