Spring is Trying to Be Sprung

Spring is really trying to be sprung here in north Florida. In the last 7 days we have had almost 90 degree weather and highs in the 60’s. We have had mostly sunny days and mostly rainy and cloudy days. Nothing really seems to faze our visitors here at Alligator Lake Recreation Area in beautiful Lake City, Florida though. They come every single day to walk to trails, ride their bikes, play on the playground, picnic at one of the pavilions and every single weekend their are lots of birthday parties. Generally, the big screened in pavilion is only rented on the weekends and is reserved all the way into August, I think. So we have lots of trash cans to empty on Saturday and Sunday. The other smaller open but covered picnic pavilions are first-come-first-serve so we get quite a few people here first thing in the morning to stake out their favorite ones. Other than picking little pieces of confetti string and candy wrappers the visitors have been fairly good about cleaning up after themselves by putting their trash in the cans. We still have to chase down the occasional piece of tissue paper or paper bag that ends up the surrounding wooded areas.
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Welcome to Troy Springs

The springs when the river is down
The springs when the river was down
We made it to Troy Springs State Park just fine. We have worked a couple of hours opening and closing the front gate and cleaning the bathrooms once. Then we are off the the next several days. It’s pretty quiet around here as the river is still pretty high and our park ranger, Tina, cannot open the springs up to swimming and diving until the water recedes enough. 🙁 That is both good and bad. Good because we don’t have many visitors so we don’t have to do much in the way of cleaning and bad because we are not getting many visitors to the park so the park is not making much money. We are catching up on some cleaning, posting to our social media pages and writing articles. Hopefully, I will have enough time to add some of our craft items that we have made over the last several weeks on to our online store pages.

This park has two residential park host sites. One is located directly behind the ranger’s office next to the springs area and the other is located on the back of the property in front of the barn. When the park ranger told us we could use the camp site next to the barn I was picturing one of those big red buildings with hay, farm equipment and stuff. Well, it turns out this property had a large horse barn on it when it was purchased by the state. It is in great shape and the park personnel and volunteers have kept it really nice. Sadly, the park cannot allow horses in the park. Which is a great shame as it would bring in more money for this park. They have to get some kind of property easement agreement from one of the local private land owners that are between this park and the Ruth Springs Suwannee River Water Management land area.
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Winding Down Here at Stephen Foster

AntiquesVillageWhiteSpringsFL (5) (Copy)We are winding down here at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. The campground is looking better as we, and our fellow volunteers, slowly rake, sweep, clip and blow the leaves and trim the bushes in and around the campground area. We finally found a hand blower that I can start myself and I try to use it every day on the campsites. In the mean time another volunteer couple, Linda and J.T., are trimming the trees, bushes and along the roadways. They pay to stay on their campsite and work all day most of the week to whip the campground back into shape after a long fall and winter season. Our co-campground host couple, Dennis and Liz, are doing a great job as well as we learn to use the “automated” cleaning solutions station that was put into the storage areas of the bathhouses. This is suppose to help deliver the “right amounts” of cleaning solution with water ratios for proper cleaning and to help the park save money in the long run. We are still having to use a watered down bleach solution on the shower areas though as it stays so damp in the bathhouses between the rain and humidity. But, we do our best with what we are given and we are still receiving compliments from our fellow campers about how clean the bathhouses are and how nice the campsites are being kept.
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