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Improvements at Morrison Springs

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Published Tuesday, March 18, 2008

When I visited Morrison Springs a few months ago it was under renovation.  It was difficult to understand what was taking place.  On my way to find other information I came across a good description of the planned project. While it will lose some of the charm and natural beauty, the improvements are planned to protect the enviroment, and it should be better for the boats to have a separate boat ramp other than going in from the sandy beach area where the swimmers, cavers, and paddlers are enjoying the springs.


"Walton County receives grant to preserve Morrison Springs

$500,000 from NW Fla. Water Management District in Florida Forever funds, and another $300,000 from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Boating Improvement Program"


"A concrete boat ramp and parking area for boat trailers and vehicles is planned south of the spring area with direct access to the Choctawhatchee River. The road to the parking area and boat ramp will include a timber bridge designed to reduce impact to the wetlands.

Parking will be built at the main entrance of the site with barriers to keep vehicles from driving directly to the edge of the spring. The spring itself will be a designated swimming and diving area. The parking areas will be paved with a material that will reduce run-off.

Barriers will also limit pedestrian traffic to designated areas. The project includes a raised, ADA-compliant timber boardwalk to the spring. The boardwalk will begin at the parking area and go to the swim area, around the wetlands adjacent to the spring and to an observation deck over the boiling spring. This boardwalk will allow access, but also protect the quality of the water and wetlands by preventing erosion and impacts to vegetation caused by foot traffic. All improvements are being designed to preserve and protect the natural habitat.

Walton County also received a Florida Boating Improvement Program grant from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for $300,000 to help build a concrete boat launch directly into the Choctawhatchee River. This grant will be incorporated into this project. The county has plans to pursue other funding through the Springs Initiative, Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Future improvements include plans for a new educational pavilion and new restrooms and showers, a playground and nature trails to make Morrison Springs one of the best parks in the State of Florida. According to Brannon, "this park will add to the outdoor recreational enjoyment for all our citizens and visitors alike, while protecting and preserving Morrison Springs' natural beauty for generations to come."




Last update Tuesday, March 18, 2008

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