Future features to include canoe dock, boardwalks, picnic pavilions
The Northwest Florida Water Management District, along with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), along with State and local elected officials, broke ground on the Williford Spring restoration project on June 26, 2014.
The $1.5 million project located in southern Washington County will improve water quality and protect the shoreline of Williford Spring. The project also includes recreational enhancements that will improve public access to the spring in a way that protects the health of the spring and surrounding habitats.
Click here to download PDF for better viewing: Site development illustration
Funding for the project includes more than $377,000 in funding from the nearly $37 million in springs funding proposed by Governor Scott and appropriated by DEP during the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year. The project also includes funding from FWC.
The area is closed to the public, and will remain closed while the restoration activities are conducted. The District anticipates re-opening the area in the summer of 2016. The District’s recreation sites at nearby Pitt and Sylvan springs will remain open. Although the amenities are anticipated to be complete in less than 12 months, it could take up to two years for the new vegetation to become established.
Recreational improvements will include spring entry steps, patio terrace, spring view deck, canoe dock, boardwalks, composting toilets, picnic pavilions, parking area, a connector trail to Pitt and Sylvan springs, as well as interpretative trails and native landscaping throughout the site.
Williford Spring is located in the Econfina Creek Water Management Area between SR 77 and U.S. 231 off of Herman Strickland/Porter Pond Road.
About Williford spring:
Williford Spring has a circular spring pool in a conical depression whose sand bottom is rippled by issuing spring currents. The pool measures 57 ft. in diameter. The vent is under a limestone ledge roughly in the center of the pool, and the depth measured over the vent is 10.1 ft. There is a sizeable boil over the vent, and the color of the water is light blue-green. There is no aquatic vegetation in the pool, and a thin layer of algae covers less than half of the limestone and sand substrates. Williford Spring discharges through a swiftly flowing spring run that travels south for approximately 443 ft.into Econfina Creek.
There are numerous other smaller springs that feed into Williford Spring run immediately downstream. Some of these springs are small trickles from limestone fissures exposed along the banks of the run. To the north and west of Williford Spring, high ground rises to approximately 15 feet above the water surface. A lowland forest of hardwoods, cypress and palms hug the spring and its run. The surrounding rolling sand hills terrain supports mixed hardwood and pine uplands.