Over the past two years, the Silver Glen Springs Working Group has begun to make a mark: the group developed a brochure and new signs for visitors so they can help protect the natural and cultural resources in the area. The Working Group has also greatly improved governmental coordination in removing derelict boats that had anchored long-term in the Springs. In 2014, the Working Group developed a joint vision and management plan to guide the future of Silver Glen Springs.

Silver Glen Springs is a magical place on the Ocala National Forest. With crystal-clear water and a safe harbor from the large and windy Lake George, visitors enjoy boating, swimming, wildlife and bird watching, and fishing. Manatees use the Springs as a warm water refugia in the winter, and alligators and turtles are frequently seen patrolling the shallows.

The Ocala National Forest is home to one of the National Forest Foundation’s 14Treasured Landscapes, Unforgettable Experiences restoration sites . As part of our work there, we convened a collaborative group that has for the first time brought together local landowners, private boating businesses, recreationists, conservation interests, and the many government agencies that have a role in managing the Springs.

Starting this winter, the NFF is partnering with the Sea to Shore Alliance to gather monitoring data on submerged aquatic vegetation. The data will provide information to the Forest Service about whether management actions are having the intended effect in protecting eelgrass and other native species.

This fall, Liz Agpaoa, Southern Regional Forester, recognized the Silver Glen Springs Working Group with a Natural Resources Leadership Group Award. We are excited about this award and believe it is well deserved, as group members have worked hard to overcome conflicts.

We thank all of the members of the Silver Glen Springs Working Group, as well as theFlorida Gas Transmission Company and the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund for supporting our coordination of the collaborative efforts!

National Forest Foundation