December 2021

Posted by Blue Spring State Park CSO on

Meet the Board – President Missy Gibbs          

     Missy has been on the board of the Friends of Blue Spring State Park since its inception in 2005; serving as general board member, secretary, vice-president, and president. She is a Biology professor at Stetson University and has conducted her research in Blue Spring on native spring fish and invasive armored catfish since 1999. Her favorite thing about being a member of the Friends of Blue Spring is being able to actively help out the park she loves, through fundraising and educating the public. Her favorite Friends event is the Firefly Extravaganza.


What’s New?

     The Friends has a new tent for the events we participate in. If you see us, please be sure to stop by and say “Hi”. We would love to shake your hand and thank you for supporting the park. We will be in the park doing meet & greets January 8th and participating in the Manatee Festival January 22-23rd.

We also have a brand-new website with all sorts of new functions. Check it out

                The first two stages of the Bank Stabilization Project have been completed. The banks along the spring run have been shored up, as has the east side of the headspring. The west side of the headspring will be stabilized in 2023. Are you interested in learning more about restoration projects and how you can help protect the springs? keep an eye out for some new signage early next year funded by a $5500 grant awarded to the Friends from the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida. We are still focusing most of our fundraising efforts on the manatee rescue & release ramp, with an observation area for visitors. The ramp will be completed once the third phase of the restoration project is complete.

Event Calendar

            Please send us an email if you would like to participate in any of the events listed below.

             The Friends of Blue Spring State Park runs the Wednesday Bingo at the Riverwalk Pizzeria in Orange City. Do you love bingo? Come out and play. All proceeds go to the Friends. Are you interested in helping out at Bingo Night? We need volunteers to help with calling and selling bingo cards to patrons. If you’d like to help, please email Karen at

             Look for us on December 11th at the Orange City Christmas Parade. All members are welcome to join us and walk alongside the giant inflatable manatee.

Friends of Blue Spring State Park Annual Meeting - January 8th at 9 a.m.

            Come out to the Valentine Park pavilion - we are holding a meeting of all members of the Friends to elect board members. If you would like to get more involved in helping out the park, please come to the meeting and learn more about how you can get involved (e.g. serving on the Events, Fundraising, or Membership Committees, volunteering at upcoming events (Manatee Festival, Firefly Extravaganza, etc.)

 Manatee Festival – January 22nd-23rd.

            We will need volunteers to help out in Valentine Park where we load busses, and in Blue Spring State Park to help staff our tent, interact with the public, and load busses.

 Firefly Extravaganza – TBD – Late March

            As soon as the fireflies start showing up in mid to late March, we will schedule the Firefly Extravaganza. We will need help staffing each night for 2-3 weeks.

Species of the Month

            This is a juvenile Florida Gar resting in the sun on the spring benthos. Blue Springs has two species of gar: Longnose Gar (longer, narrower snout, and few spots) and Florida Gar (shorter, wider snout, and lots of spots). Juveniles are especially spotty.

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  • Awesome Gar photo!

    Florida Dive Company on

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