by Ichetucknee Alliance
The Ichetucknee Alliance has launched a new website, “Ichetucknee: Beloved Blue River,” that documents what the springs and river have meant to people over the years. The site may be viewed at: https://belovedblueriver.org/.
“The new site includes articles by experts on geology, hydrogeology, and springs ecosystems; stories and memories from people who have spent time at the Ichetucknee; and art, photography, poems, and music that have been inspired by the springs and the river,” explained Ichetucknee Alliance President John Jopling. “We hope that when you visit the site, you’ll come away not only having learned something new, but also entertained and inspired.”
“We wanted this site to encourage people to think about the different personal relationshipswe havewith the Ichetucknee, and we wanted to feature a variety of opinions and information you wouldn’t normally find on a water advocacy site,” said Communications Coordinator Lu Merritt. “For example, there’s a great article by Charles Barrett, who works at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center-Suwannee Valley, about agricultural innovations in our area coupled with his own personal account of why he loves our springs and rivers.”
Other highlights of the site include:
A virtual “story map” tour of the Ichetucknee Springshed and Ichetucknee Trace, the area of land that feeds water to the springs and the historic route that the Ichetucknee River took from Lake City’s Alligator Lake to what is now the Ichetucknee headspring near Fort White.
An interview with Trini Johannesen and Valerie Thomas, who run the Ichetucknee Parknership Program at Fort White Middle and High schools.
Video and written interviews with Jim Stevenson, who was instrumental in developing the management plan for Ichetucknee Springs State Park.
Suggestions and encouragement for how people and groups may become leaders for the Ichetucknee—by taking specific, immediate actions that help to prevent pollution and to restore lost flow, and by modeling those actions for others in the community.
“We will be accepting submittals for material to include on ‘Beloved Blue River’ throughout this year,” Merritt added. “In particular, we need stories, memories, artwork, and articles from groups that are still underrepresented on the site—for example, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinx and Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans.” Merritt encouraged people who have questions or who would like to submit something to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding for the creation of “Ichetucknee: Beloved Blue River” was provided by Three Rivers FNPC, the Felburn Foundation, and the Ichetucknee Alliance. For more information, use the email above to reach Jopling or Merritt.