ADAP - Bringing Kids to the Park
Glass Bottom Boat rides, guided hikes, pizza, ice cream treats, Ranger presentations, and throw in goodie bags, and you’ve got some happy kids! And that’s exactly what transpired February 17 and again May 22 when we hosted groups from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Marion County through our “A Day at the Park” initiative.
The participants were greeted under the arch and welcomed and enjoyed a Ranger presentation before splitting into two smaller groups. While one group enjoyed the river on board a Glass Bottom Boat with Captain Oscar at the helm, the other group hiked from the Mammoth deck to the Sea Hunt deck and back stopping along the way to learn about the Park’s history, its wildlife, and its precious ecosystem. The groups switched activities, and then gathered together for lunch with the Park Ranger making another coveted appearance. Their souvenir bags in hand, the kids left the Park with smiles and grins on their faces.
You can’t beat a day when you’ve spotted alligators and manatees up close; got to see young anhingas and cormorants in their nests through a spotting scope; watched in disbelief as ‘Indie’ our resident indigo snake crawled out of the Ranger’s shirt; learned that just a mile downriver the skeletal remains of a Columbian mammoth had been found and was now housed in the Silver River Museum; and oh those ice cream sandwiches! Along with our generous partner, Cape Leisure Corporation, we sure hope these kids and their families will return to further explore Silver Springs State Park. They told us they would!
The Friends of Silver Springs State Park covers the cost of admission, the pizza and drinks while Cape Leisure donates the Glass Bottom Boat rides and ice cream treats. Should you wish to get involved with future ADAP programs, please reach out to Marianne Marcoux at firstname.lastname@example.org.