State Park Renamed to Honor Ruth B. Kirby

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State Park Renamed to Honor Ruth B. Kirby

Ruth B. Kirby

HIGH SPRINGS, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service recently held a ceremony to celebrate the official renaming of Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park to Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park in honor of the former property owner.

Ruth B. Kirby, who enjoyed visiting the springs to relax and unwind, believed in preserving the natural beauty of the property and springs. She formerly owned Troy Springs, thus playing a role in the creation of two Florida State Parks. She was given Blue Springs as a gift long ago, and since then passed the springs property down to other family members. Since 1958, the family managed it as a private park and campground, known as Blue Springs Park. Guests who visit the popular state park today can enjoy amenities such as paddling, snorkeling and swimming in the springs.

“The renaming recognizes how the stewardship of Ms. Kirby and her family benefited Gilchrist Blue,” Florida Park Service Director Eric Draper said. “We’re excited to continue that legacy of protection and offer visitors a terrific resource for recreation and learning about Florida’s springs.”

The 407-acre property contains six natural springs and includes approximately one mile of frontage along the Santa Fe River. Among the natural springs on the property is a second-magnitude spring that produces an average of 44 million gallons of water per day. This spring, known as Gilchrist Blue, discharges water through a shallow spring run about one-quarter mile to the Santa Fe River. The other named springs on-site are Little Blue Spring, Naked Spring, Kiefer Spring and Johnson Spring.