In January we voted in 12 board members, and then approved new officers in February. Karen Kellerman is now our President. She was born in Connecticut and is a 2013 transplant to Florida. Karen is a realtor and has served on the boards and advisory committees of several affiliated realtor organizations. In 2017 Karen joined the Friends of Blue Spring State Park and has been an active member, serving on many committees.
New Officers for 2022 are: Karen Kellerman - President, Heather Murphy - Vice President, Cora Berchem - Secretary, and Sally Andrews - Treasurer.
After a year’s pandemic hiatus Blue Spring State Park welcomed festival visitors back to celebrate these special mammals and enjoy the many educational booths set up along the boardwalk. The weather was chilly, but those temperatures brought hundreds of manatees into the run.
(c) Rich Hatton 2022
This year the CSO had an assortment of merchandise available for purchase at our booth, and sales were great. Our Friends of Blue Spring t-shirts are also on sale in the Blue Spring Gift Shop and make great souvenirs or gifts for friends & family.
Our photo board was very popular with families to commemorate their visit to the festival, however this year we had not only adults and children posing, family pets also took turns!
Riverwalk Pizzeria & Brewery Bingo Nights – 1070 S. Volusia Ave., Orange City, FL 32763
Do you enjoy playing bingo? Join us Wednesday nights from 6:30-8, enjoy some excellent pizza and support our park. You might even win your own stuffed manatee!
The manatee rescue and release ramp is still our top fundraising priority. The goal is to have the project completed in time for the fall 2023 start of the manatee season, after the final stage of restoration of the headspring is completed next year. The cost of the project is likely to be well over $100,000, but with many fundraising partners involved, we are confident that the goal will be met. The Friends are well on our way to achieving our share of the costs thanks to all the people who gave big and those who gave a little. You can help us reach our goal by making a tax-deductible donation here
Lights at Night (Fireflies!)
Keep an eye on our Facebook page for information on this event. We never know exactly when the fireflies will start getting active, but it is usually around the 3rd week in March. Once we can see that the fireflies are starting to flash, we will set the dates and make announcements. Lights at Night will run for about two weeks. Visitors must arrive at the park before closing, and in addition to standard park admission, there is a $10 fee for an after-hours pass. You will be able to either pay for the after-hours pass with the CSO next to the Ranger Station before park closure or at the Thursby House. Once the park officially closes, or reaches maximum capacity, no more visitors can be accepted for the night, so plan to be there early! Lights at Night is a self-guided tour restricted to the boardwalk only and lasts for an hour after park closure.
Species of the Month
The park is home to a pair of Red Shouldered Hawks. They are a medium-sized bird with black rust-tone feathers. Their major identifying mark is a crescent-shaped row of red feathers on their shoulders. Most people will hear their screeches before ever seeing them. Their food source includes amphibians, reptiles, birds, and small mammals. In our area crayfish are also an essential part of their diet, and so you may see the hawks perched close to the water, looking for a snack.
(c) Richard Hatton 2022