Friends of the Wekiva River Logo
Wekiva River
Wekiva River, Florida

The Wekiva River is a National treasure. This river boasts beautiful vistas and unique ecosystems.

enjoying-the-wekiva-river
Enjoying the River

Help us protect this amazing river so we can all enjoy the river for many more years to come!

Open Space
Navtive Plants

The Wekiva Basin is filled with gorgeous flora and fauna.

Orchids
Otter frolicking

Join us for one of our monthly field trips!

Volunteer FOWR-Volunteers


Links


Upcoming Events

  • AIR POTATO MEGA-RAID!
    Saturday, January 24th, 2015
    9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • SPRING 2015 LAKE
    RESTORATION EVENTS

    Save the dates! Saturday mornings.
    March - May
  • FYN/FFL WINTER CLASSES
    New FREE classes offered through
    Florida Friendly Landscaping

 

 

 

 

Welcome Note

Since 1982 the Friends of the Wekiva River have worked to protect, preserve, and restore the natural functions and beauty of the Wekiva River system. As a result of our leadership and the cooperation of our river partners, the Wekiva is designated a Florida Outstanding Water, a Florida Canoe Trail, a Florida Wild and Scenic River, and a National Wild and Scenic River with over 70,000 acres of state-protected lands in the basin. Despite this ample recognition, the Wekiva River and its fragile ecosystem face numerous threats.

These include the fragmentation and loss of habitat, declines in spring flow, degradation in water quality, and wildlife mortality on the roads. read more.


HIDDEN SPRINGS OF THE WEKIVA

Several of Florida’s most remote freshwater springs will be the subject of a Friends of the Wekiva River field trip at 9 a.m. Saturday, January 31. Nature writer and FOWR board member Bill Belleville will lead the trip in the Seminole State Forest. Forest Ranger Mike Martin will explain more about the state forest and its habitats and wildlife. Participants will learn about the role these springs play in enhancing the biological diversity of the Wekiva region. Some of these spring are off of trails. Others exist deeper in the subtropical woods and swamps of the state forest. The springs include Mocassin, Sharks Tooth, Boulder and Helene as well as the restored Palm Springs. All of the springs feed into the Blackwater Creek, a major tributary of the Wekiva. Many of them come to life at the base of the massive two-square mile tract of scrub mapped as Sulphur Island. Of some 1,000 springs in Florida, there are at least 35 within the Wekiva Basin. Many contain endemic animals, such as snails. Others are repositories for prehistoric fossils.

The trip is limited to 50 participants. The springs “walkers” are to meet in the parking lot just to the west of the entrance road to the state forest on the north side of State Road 46, just west of the Wekiva bridge. The trip will last about three hours. Comfortable walking shoes, insect repellant, and drinking water are recommended. There is no charge, except for the state’s $2 entrance fee. For more information, contact Carole Hinshaw 407-804-0368. Glad we are underway with this!


Field Trip to Twin Mounds

Twin Mounds

Twin Mounds

In spite of a gloomy weather prediction, 45 eager hikers of all ages turned out to reach this prehistoric Native American site. The site, largely created by freshwater snail shells which were consumed over a period of 3,500 years, is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the larger Wekiva River Basin. When we came upon the first mound, it just looked like a rise in the earth, covered by leaves, vines, and snail shells. As we gathered around, Bill Belleville, FOWR Board member and author, began revealing its fascinating history. He transported us back in time to when the ocean waters covered Florida, and then described the gradual evolution of life in the Wekiva Basin. By holding a large piece of a fossilized mastodon bone Bill had brought along, we were able to gain a more realistic picture of the hairy beast’s massive size and of the tenacity of the Native Americans of the Paleocene era who hunted the mastodons, giant sloths, and other now-extinct animals who once lived here. Some 12,000-14,000 years ago, the Paleo-Indians roamed a peninsula that was cool, arid and twice as large as it is today. As the last Ice Age ended, and more water went into the sea, the peninsula was closer to the size it is now. More rain fell, more rivers and swamps were created, and more springs came to life. The renewed water cycle sparked the biological diversity of plants and animals in Florida, and particularly within the Wekiva. As a result, the Native Americans here didn’t have to constantly roam for food and water. With more time to consider their place in the cosmos, they began to ponder spirituality and myth---and their once-plain pottery begin was incised with more intricate designs that reflected that more complex culture. Of the two dozen shell midden sites on public land in the Wekiva Basin, Twin Mounds and “Shell Island” upstream near the Wekiva Landing, have received most of the attention by archaeologists such as Dr. Brent Weisman of USF and Dr. Marilyn Stewart of Rollins College. As we walked to the second mound nearby, the sun broke out giving us a spectacular view of autumn at the edge of the Wekiva River. Except for the first-growth cypress that has since been logged, the subtropical wilderness around the Mounds looked much as it did when it was occupied several thousand years ago. The trek back to our cars, by foot and tram, allowed time to reflect on the significance of the shell middens-- and to appreciate the value in preserving and protecting this ancient site where our geographical ancestors once lived. - Weegie Henry

The Wekiva River

Get to know it!

Events & Programs

Next Board Meeting:
December 4th, 2014 at 6 p.m .
SPECIAL PROGRAM
See events

The Friends of Wekiva River have been working closely with the Rotary Club of Seminole County South to form the Wekiva River Promise. The project is to educate on the effects of nitrates and promote personal stewardship to ensure the enjoyment of the River for years to come!
Copyright 2011 © Friends of Wekiva River. All rights reserved.