Jackson County administration held an employee appreciation picnic Saturday at Blue Springs Recreation Area in Marianna and, since they were already there, the county team also informally dedicated the recent upgrades to the park.
“We are excited to share the upgrades to Blue Springs with the community,” said County Administrator Wilanne Daniels in a press release. “We hope that our citizens and visitors enjoy the new amenities to one of our most valuable resources.”
Blue Springs has been in operation and managed by Jackson County for decades for generations of Jackson County locals and visitors to experience. Along the way, particularly in recent years, the park has been refreshed from time to time.
“While staying true to the natural beauty of the First Magnitude Spring, the County has made upgrades to the park including improvements to the headwall, beach, benches, playground, docks, and much more,” the release stated.
“We are really happy to be able to work with the State of Florida on this spring restoration project. Public Works Director Rett Daniels added. “The improvements that have been made are phase one of two to significantly reduce the introduction of upland pollutants into the head spring of Merritt’s Millpond. We were lucky enough to be able to work with the engineering team at DHM to provide not only a bank restoration and storm water mitigation project, but also able to work in some features that make the park more user friendly to the public.
“One of my favorite additions is the ramp by the beach that people can use to enter and exit the water with a lot less effort than trying to get up steps. We hope to continue making improvements that will include relocating the ADA parking lot and creating a new curb and sidewalk to help catch and divert storm water before it can reach the water’s edge.”
The employee appreciation event included the presentation of several light-hearted awards to staffers, including “Best Dressed,” which went to Wilanne Daniels.