The President’s Corner
by Ed Lattin
I recently had the pleasure of accompanying Horizon Academy on a tour of Crystal River and Homosassa. Kings Bay in Crystal River has become world famous for the amazing number of Manatees that winter here each year and we saw an astounding number of the gentle giants on our tour.
We were given an excellent orientation by one our boat Captains prior to departure and then were divided up into four groups and headed out on four pontoon tour boats, each with their own Captain. Information was shared about the local ecology of the area and we saw a lot of wildlife on our narrated boat tour. We learned much about Manatees and the importance that Kings Bay plays in there lives during the winter months. And did we ever see Manatees. Wow!
Homosassa Springs State Park was next on our agenda and what a great stop it was. We learned about ongoing efforts at the Park to rehabilitate injured manatees and participated in a wildlife show that featured an informative discussion on turtles and gophers. And this was a hands on demonstration!
Students also saw a real Florida Panther and all kinds of animals (gators, otters, eagles, wolfs and a huge variety of animals indigenous to Florida) at the park. They also got to walk down the famous Fish Bowl, which allowed students to see hundreds of fish close up in the main spring.
It was a great day to explore the natural wonders of our State!