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Environmental Postcards

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Map showing location of Ichetucknee Springs State ParkFlorida’s springs rival its beaches as the state’s most spectacular natural feature. Geologists estimate that there are nearly 600 springs in Florida, perhaps the largest concentration of freshwater springs on earth.

A spring is an opening from which millions of gallons of water bubbles to the surface from underground forming a natural pool. Springs are unique. The water is pure and crystal clear, and looks like it is boiling up out of the earth. Springs form a stream, or run, that flows into a nearby water body, usually a river. Nicknamed "Liquid Bowls of Light," springs average 72 degrees Fahrenheit year round. Archaeological evidence shows that humans have been fascinated with Florida’s springs for thousands of years. Besides their beauty, springs were thought to have healing powers.

A series of springs discharging 233 million gallons of water daily gives rise to the clear sparkling Ichetucknee River, which flows for six miles through hammock and swamp before it joins the Santa Fe River. A sandhill community upland of the river supports an abundance of wildlife. Ichetucknee's head spring was declared a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1972.

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Ichetucknee Springs post card