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Florida's Land Grant University

Visit this exhibit for free from September 29th, 2012 through January 2nd, 2013 at:

Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida Cultural Plaza
3215 Hull Road
Gainesville, FL 32611-2710

Hours: Mon-Sat 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun 1-5 p.m.

Florida Museum of Natural History

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View the Smithsonian Folklife Festival site for more about the exhibit

Recreation: Immerse Yourself in Water

Nature-based Recreation - Extremely Valuable but Hard to Pull Off

Nature-based recreation has the potential to benefit nature and people through the diversity of ways it integrates people and the environment. For example, by attracting people to a freshwater spring to swim and kayak, the spring and its surrounding habitat is more valuable in its natural state than it would be if it was developed for other purposes. Therefore, nature-based recreation opportunities should be able to provide visitors to natural areas with unique and valuable experiences while conserving the natural ecosystem and improving a high quality of life for local people. However, allowing people to use natural areas for recreation takes a thorough understanding of people, nature, and their interactions to ensure a wealth of benefits are produced - as opposed to costly impacts. Nature-based recreation requires extensive research and well-trained practitioners to plan and manage the recreational and natural resources visitors demand.

  • Spend a weekend out on the water with the family
  • Take a friend canoeing, kayaking, fishing or snorkeling!
  • Florida is home to tons of springs with unique wildlife


  1. Ecotourism Extension Program (YouTube)
  2. Boating Ecotourism Extension Program (YouTube)

You can help!

  • Keep our water and environment clean by throwing away your trash
  • Be careful not to harm the sensitive plant life that surrounds bodies of water
  • Respect the wildlife that share the same environment
  • To learn more about appropriate ways to use natural resources through recreation, understand the important Leave No Trace principles. See Leave No Trace to learn more.

Extra Resources