Letter from John R. Squire to Mrs. Jerry Boyd (October 12, 1976)


Dublin Core


Letter from John R. Squire to Mrs. Jerry Boyd (October 12, 1976)

Alternative Title

Letter from Squire to Boyd (Oct. 12, 1976)


Environmental protection--Florida


A letter from John R. Squire, the Recreation Planner Supervisor for the Bureau of Plans, Programs, and Services of the Florida Division of Recreation and Parks to Mrs. Jerry Boyd, dated October 12, 1976. In the letter, Squires clarifies the Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program's definitions of land types. Squires quotes the program's definition of "tropical" and "semi-tropical" hammocks, and explains that the Gourd Neck Springs area of Lake Apopka does not meet the qualifications for a tropical hammock.

The Environmentally Endangered Lands Program 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 over-see 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 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.


Squires, John R.


Photocopy of original 2-page typewritten letter from John R. Squires to Mrs. Jerry Boyd, October 12, 1976: binder 1976, Friends of Lake Apopka Archives, Ginn Museum, Oakland Nature Preserve, Oakland, Florida.

Date Created


Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of photocopied original 2-page typewritten letter from John R. Squires to Mrs. Jerry Boyd, October 12, 1976.

Is Part Of

Binder 1976, Friends of Lake Apopka Archives, Ginn Museum, Oakland Nature Preserve, Oakland, Florida.
Friends of Lake Apopka Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.




299 KB


2-page typewritten letter on Florida Department of Natural Resources letterhead






Gourd Neck Springs, Florida
Lake Apopka, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher


Originally created by John R. Squires.

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.


Squires, John R., “Letter from John R. Squire to Mrs. Jerry Boyd (October 12, 1976),” RICHES, accessed May 28, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/7955.