Letter from Bob Entwistle to Gary I. Sharp (April 24, 1975)

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Letter from Bob Entwistle to Gary I. Sharp (April 24, 1975)

Alternative Title

Letter from Entwistle to Sharp (April 24, 1975)


Lake Apopka (Fla.)
Environmental protection--Florida


A letter from Bob Entwistle, chair of the Orlando Regional Group of the Sierra Club's Florida Chapter, to Gary I. Sharp, dated April 24, 1975. In this letter, Entwistle finds merit in Sharp's proposal to have the Gourd Neck Springs area considered for purchase through the state's Environmentally Endangered Lands Program (EEL). Sharp states that he considers the site to have value in light of future growth projections of Central Florida, and classifies the site as a "high category 2, or low category 1" area.

The Environmentally Endangered Lands Program (EEL) was formed in 1972 as part of the larger Land Conservation Act of 1972. The EEL program was initially funded through the sale of state bonds. The program was designed to help the state acquire lands considered environmentally sensitive and was not designed for creating areas for recreational use. Potential sites for acquisition could be suggested by citizens, county and state governments, and nonprofit organizations. After evaluation for environmental value, potential sites would be approved by the Executive Director of the Florida Department of Natural Resources and finalized by the Governor. In 1979, the former Executive Director, Harmon Shields, was indicted on corruption charges involving the lands-acquisition process. Following this scandal, the EEL program was replaced by Conservation and Recreation Lands Program. This change replaced the program's funding with tax revenues instead of bond sales, and formed the Land Acquisition Selection Committee, made up by six executive directors of Florida environmental agencies, to select sites for approval by the governor. The Division of State Lands was also created as a division of the Department of Natural Resources to oversee mapping and evaluation of potential sites for acquisition.

Gourd Neck Springs is a small spring located in the southwest portion of Lake Apopka, in a small cove called “Gourd Neck” due to its distinctive shape. This area of the lake was considered in the 1960s as a potential nursery for fish. The Lake Apopka Technical Committee explored damming the Gourd Neck, separating it from the lake and preventing polluted lake water from entering, but these plans did not materialize. Efforts were also made in the 1960s to have the Gourd Neck area purchased by the State of Florida for use as a public park. The Gourd Neck Springs Park Association was formed in 1961 to study the site’s potential for a park and lobby for support from legislators. The land bordering the area was privately-owned by various individuals. One of these, Gary I. Sharp, continued seeking support for a park into the 1970s. While the project received support from Florida legislators and environmentalists, the land was never purchased by the state.


Entwistle, Bob


Photocopy of original 1-page typewritten letter from Bob Entwistle to Gary I. Sharp, April 24, 1975: binder 1975, Friends of Lake Apopka Archives, Ginn Museum, Oakland Nature Preserve, Oakland, Florida.

Date Created


Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of photocopied 1-page typewritten letter from Bob Entwistle to Gary I. Sharp, April 24, 1975.

Is Part Of

Binder 1975, Friends of Lake Apopka Archives, Ginn Museum, Oakland Nature Preserve, Oakland, Florida.
Friends of Lake Apopka Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.




118 KB


1-page typewritten letter on Sierra Club Florida Chapter letterhead






Gourd Neck Springs, Lake Apopka, Florida

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History Teacher


Originally created by Bob Entwistle.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by the Friends of Lake Apopka and is provided here by RICHES of Central Florida for educational purposes only.

Contributing Project


King, Joshua

Digital Collection

Source Repository

External Reference

"Apopka Spring." Lake County Water Atlas. Accessed June 08, 2016. http://www.lake.wateratlas.usf.edu/resource.aspx?wbodyid=8500.
Campbell, Ramsey. "Source of Surprise: Crystal Clear Water from Lake Apopka." The Sentinel Star, April 23, 1995. Accessed June 8, 2016. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1995-04-23/news/9504220188_1_lake-apopka-spring-water-bottled-water.
"Letter from Arthur W. Sinclair to C. W. Sheffield (December 22, 1967)." RICHES of Central Florida. https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/6858.
"Harmon Shields Indicted." Boca Raton News, May 2, 1980. Accessed June 14, 2016. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1291&dat=19800502&id=IB5UAAAAIBAJ&sjid=mI0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=3814,204016&hl=en.
Farr, James A., and O. Greg Brock. "Florida's Landmark Programs for Conservation and Recreation Land Acquisition." Sustain 14 (2006). Accessed June 14, 2016. http://www.dep.state.fl.us/lands/files/Florida_LandAcquisition.pdf.



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