Jack Rudloe, founder of Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, was guest speaker at the Friends of Wakulla Springs’ annual meeting.

Special to The Sun

The Friends of Wakulla Springs held its annual meeting on Sunday, March 3rd with over 100 Friends in attendance.

The event was held in the historic terrace of the Lodge at Wakulla Springs.
All Friends members were invited. The event included a free entrance to the park, a complimentary lunch, and a boat tour. The guest speaker was Jack Rudloe from the Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory.
Rudloe spoke about his 60-plus years of working to protect various sea turtles and his work with commercial fishermen and other environmental groups. There were congratulatory remarks and appreciation of the volunteers who contributed to the Friends’ mission. Attendees engaged in lively conversations, discovering the various reasons that drew them to the Springs and ultimately motivated them to join the Friends. It was a beautiful day on the river and Friends saw mother alligators with their babies, manatees, and a lot of bird life.
In 2023, the Friends of Wakulla Springs achieved significant milestones, including the installation of an ADA Playground through 97 volunteer hours, saving $20,000, and garnering support from various entities.
The organization successfully hosted a double-header event featuring “Trunk or Treat” and a triple movie screening on a newly acquired outdoor projection screen.
Another highlight was the dedication ceremony of the hybrid-electric boat Great Blue Heron, funded by the Florida State Parks Foundation.
Additionally, the Friends conducted a fruitful Vintage Lodge Dining Chair Fundraiser, raising substantial funds. These endeavors reflect the Friends’ dedication to community engagement, park enhancement, and resource mobilization for Wakulla Springs State Park.
The Friends of Wakulla Springs, Inc. is the official Citizen Support Organization (CSO), a private, non-profit partner supporting the educational, interpretive, and historical and scientific research responsibilities of Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park.
Friends of Wakulla Springs (FOWS) State Park is an organization of volunteers committed to the preservation of the park with the largest and deepest freshwater spring in the world for the enjoyment of park visitors for generations to come. Please visit https://wakullasprings.org/ to see how you can become a member of the Friends.