The Eyes of A Child

By Meredith Rhein |

The eyes of a child notice things adults don’t. Children see every new day as an opportunity for new sights and adventures.

Only an hour away from Orlando attractions such as Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, lies a piece of old Florida that is almost forgotten. Wekiwa Springs State Park, located in Apopka, Fla. is a secret among many Floridians. Forty-two million gallons of fresh, clear water flow from the spring and down the Wekiva River daily.

When 2-year-old Avery Grace woke up, she had no idea that a trip to the “spring of water” was in her immediate future. This specific Saturday, Avery Grace canoes down the flowing river in hopes of seeing some of Florida’s most famous wildlife.

Along the way, she points out turtles sunbathing on fallen logs, birds drying their wings off in hopes of heading back to the water for their next meal and a few of Florida’s most famous alligators. Avery is quick to point out the Florida alligators and shows some of her Gator team loyalty by singing the fight song.

The Wekiva River is home to many hardwood trees such as the tupelo, red maple, bald cypress and an abundance of wildlife, including several endangered or threatened animals. The little blue heron and several other protected animals call this river home.

Once Avery had seen all of the alligators and turtles Wekiva Springs State Park had to offer, she spent her time running up and down the stairs. She also got to meet a new animal friend, this one of the furry variety.

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