Area Florida State Parks make improvements during shutdown

June 2, 2020

While Florida State Parks were temporary closed to the public, park staff at Falling Waters State Park, Ponce De Leon Springs, and Camp Helen State Parks have been able to complete several projects.

During the temporary shutdown, staff at Falling Waters State Park were able to do several improvements. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

At Falling Waters State Park, park staff:

  • Remodeled the campground bathhouse, including replacing mirrors, entry doors, hand dryers and shower rods and curtains, and painting the exterior.
  • Performed maintenance to all the power pedestals in each campsite, including replacing breakers and receptacles as needed, and replaced site signs with new and updated numbering.
  • Leveled and stabilized each site with rock and added erosion controls to aid in the event of heavy rain.
  • Filled potholes that were developing in the campground road.
  • Pressure washed all picnic tables, sidewalks and buildings.
  • Replaced and added new signage throughout the park trails, and cleared debris from sinkholes. Click here to learn more about Falling Waters State Park.

At Ponce de Leon Springs State Park, park staff:

  • Planted grass seed in the picnic areas near the spring to reduce runoff.
  • Pressured washed all picnic tables pressure washed and performed repairs
  • Removed trees and debris from the spring run to better allow access down the waterway.
  • Cleared trees and debris left from storms damage from trails.
  • Removed several dead or dying trees around the entrance to the park.

Work has begun on the South End Trails to extend the current trail’s length and to make the trail loop back to trailhead. This boardwalk will enhance visitor experience while walking the Ponce de Leon Springs State Park trail system. Click here to learn more about Ponce de Leon Springs State Park.

During the closure, park staff at Falling Waters and Ponce De Leon Springs Parks were able to complete its planned prescribed burn goals for the year.  Falling Waters State Park conducted a burn for the first time on a newly established wiregrass and Longleaf pine restoration project. By burning this area in April, the seed production of native plants will improve later in the year.  Also, Falling Waters sent two staff members along with its type 6 brush truck to assist with the 5 Mile Swamp Wildfire in Santa Rosa county.

During the temporary shutdown, staff at Ponce De Leon Springs State Park were able to make improvements to park. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

At Camp Helen State Park, staff

  • Rebuilt the wooden marsh bridge
  • Restriped the parking lot
  • Replaced the decking at the lodge.

Also, staff has been able to work on pressure washing, painting, trimming and general upkeep.

All of the work was able to be done while in compliance with CDC recommendations for social distancing to protect the staff.

Click here to learn more about Camp Helen State Park.