Gourd Neck Springs Report


Dublin Core


Gourd Neck Springs Report

Alternative Title

Gourd Neck Springs Report


Lake Apopka (Fla.)
Environmental protection--Florida


This report by Gary I. Sharp lists information related to the Gourd Neck Springs area of Lake Apopka and a potential purchase of the area by the State of Florida through the Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program. The report aims to show why the area is suitable for a public park, describing physical and environmental characteristics of the area, as well as summarizing the economic issues related to a public purchase of the area, including zoning information from the Lake County Zoning Department and appraisal values from Danny L. Dulgar. The report also discusses an inspection of the area by the Environmentally Endangered Lands Committee, which rejected the site due to the polluted quality of the lake surrounding the area, as well as its small size. Finally, the report includes hydrological data related to the springs.

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.

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.


Sharp, Gary


Original 10-page typewritten report: Sharp, Gary I. Gourd Neck Springs. Winter Park, FL: 1975: binder 1975, Friends of Lake Apopka Archives, Ginn Museum, Oakland Nature Preserve, Oakland, Florida.

Date Created


Date Copyrighted


Date Issued


Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original 10-page typewritten report: Sharp, Gary I. Gourd Neck Springs. Winter Park, FL: 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.




1.32 MB


10-page typewritten report






Gourd Neck Springs, Florida
Lake Apopka, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher
Science Teacher


Originally created by Gary I. Sharp.

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 Orlando Sentinel, 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.


Sharp, Gary, “Gourd Neck Springs Report,” RICHES, accessed May 24, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/7836.