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The Friends of the Wekiva River, Inc. is a citizen action group.
The founders began meeting informally in 1978, and the organization was chartered in 1982. Our objectives are:

  • to promote and protect the aesthetic and recreational values of the Wekiva River system.
  • to protect the integrity of the Wekiva River Basin.
  • to work toward restoration and continuation of the river and its tributaries.
  • to carry out educational activities to the same end.

Our mission has never been to oppose growth per se, but to insist that growth is well planned and considers the long-term future of the basin, its resources, and the quality of life for future generations. We are opposed to growth that seeks only to satisfy the few with no consideration of the long-term impacts on the ecology of the river basin, its resources, and the citizens of the region as a whole.

The Wekiva River together with Wekiwa Springs Run, Rock Springs Run and Black Water Creek were designated by the United States Congress as a National Wild and Scenic River in October 2000. Five Outstandingly Remarkable Values (ORVs) have been identified for the river system: scenic, recreation, wildlife and habitat, historic and cultural, and water quality and quantity. In accordance with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, these ORVs, the river system’s free flow characteristics, and its immediate environment “shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations” (section 1(b) Wild and Scenic Rivers Act). Unlike most rivers in the National Wild and Scenic River System that are managed exclusively by either a federal or state agency, the Wekiva River System is considered a “Partnership Wild and Scenic River.” This means that it is jointly managed by a consortium of local stakeholder groups, referred to as the Wekiva River System Advisory Management Committee (AMC) with oversight and coordination provided by the National Park Service (NPS). For more information, visit: http://www.wekivawildandscenicriversystem.com/.

Mission Statement

The Friends of the Wekiva River (FOWR) is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to preserve the beauty and natural functions of the Wekiva River system.

We cooperate with government officials and agencies, other environmental groups, and the community of artists and educators to promote an understanding
of the magnificent legacy the river represents for central Florida, the nation, and indeed the world.

Hundreds of thousands come every year from near and far to see one of the few National Wild and Scenic Rivers in the east. Our organization is largely scientific and from the beginning we have tried to bring the facts to the table of discussion wherever decisions are being made or permits granted that affect the river and its quality of life. We are pro-development and expect land to be productive of many values.

However, we always favor sustainable development and stand to insist that our children and grandchildren will grow up to experience the river and its wildlife as we have. We make no enemies in our pursuits, but recognize that the issue today may divide us, but the issue tomorrow may bring us together. We don’t always win, but we never give up. Our organization is grass-roots. We live on a shoe-string budget, pay no employees, seek donations and sponsors for all our needs, and enjoy working together to create a better community at many levels. Most of our board members are on many other organizational teams.

Occasionally when we are unable to get a viable compromise, we have to seek legal action that requires funds beyond our normal budget. In this rare circumstance, we have small fundraising activities and ask for donations. For the most part, we’d much rather have your help as a volunteer than the money out of your pocket. You don’t have to become a member to lend a hand. If you just consult this web site regularly, we will post volunteer opportunities associated with each single event. If you prefer to make donations.

Officers (2018-2019) 

    
President – John Pottinger    
Vice President – Jim Adamski    
Secretary – Mike Cliburn    
Treasurer – Faith Jones  

   

Board Members     
Bill Belleville       
Bill Eggers 

Janet Courtney      
Jay Exum      
Weegie Henry      
Carole Hinshaw
Greg Mudd
John Parker
Nancy Prine
Debbie Salamone     
Burt Sellers       
Deede Sharpe

Deborah Shelley

Emeritus Board Members
Arlen Charters
Eleanor Fisher
Julie Fisher
Bob Giguere
Fred Harden
Pat Harden
Mary McKey
Katie Moncrief
Steve Phelan

Technical Advisors

Robert Brooks
Barbara Howell
Mike Martin

President John Pottinger

John Pottinger is a two-term President of the Board of Directors and has been a FOWR member for seven years. He learned about FOWR through his neighbor and good friend Jay Exum, a biologist who is a long-time member of FOWR and who is also on the Board. John was drawn to become a member of FOWR as a long-time outdoor enthusiast and was attracted to do work to help protect the Wekiva River and ecosystem as well as to help with the education and preservation activities for which FOWR is so well known. John is a real estate broker and Director of Commercial Development for Tavistock Development Company and brings his organizational skills and love of the outdoors to help the Board of Directors keep moving forward in meeting its goals

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Board member Nancy Prine

Nancy Prine has been a member of FOWR since 1984 and a Board member since 1986. Nancy also served as President of the FOWR Board of Directors from 1989-1990.

Nancy’s love of nature began at a young age. Her grandparents were ranchers and farmers in Florida and she developed an early interest in birds, bugs and plants from spending so much time outdoors as a child. She graduated from the University of Florida in 1962 with a degree in landscape architecture and eventually began working in the Central Florida area with various firms, opening her own company in 1992. The substantive expertise she derived from her work in the area of landscape architecture including soils, water quality, native plants and Wildlife, among other things, has been very valuable to the contributions she has made toward protection of the Wekiva river and its ecosystem while a member of FOWR.

Nancy is also a long-time member of Orange Audubon Society, the Florida Native Plant Society, National and Florida Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy. She volunteers much of her time on the weekends surveying birds and butterflies.

She learned about FOWR back in 1984 from its founders who were fellow members of the Orange Audubon Society, and she has been a committed and valuable contributor to FOWR ever since. Some of the FOWR projects Nancy has worked on over the years include providing input to the draft legislation for the Wekiva River Protection Act and serving as part of the environmental technical group that provided commentary on proposed alignments for the Wekiva Parkway.

Nancy is currently monitoring and participating in meetings and workshops related to land uses changes, water quality and quantity issues, management practices of the publicly owned lands in the basin and wildlife corridors in the Wekiva basin.

Nancy represents the Friends on the Advisory Management committee of the Wekiva Wild and Scenic River System, currently serving as the chair of the Committee

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