WAKULLA SPRINGS, Fla. 3-4-13
Two men credited with helping protect Wakulla Springs were recognized Monday evening.
"If I got people coming here to Wakulla county to visit, first place I take them is here," said former Wakulla County commissioner Murray McLaughlin about Wakulla Springs.
McLaughlin and Billy Porter were Wakulla County commissioners in 1985 when they voted to support the purchase of Wakulla Springs by the state of Florida. Now they're being recognized by the current commissioners for protecting the springs and the land around it.
"You don't see this anymore," said Porter. "It's one-of-a-kind."
Since becoming a state park, Wakulla Springs has already brought in more than four million tourists and it remains a crown-jewel of the county.
Al Johnson, a tourist from Oregon, was at the springs Monday. It's his second time visiting the park.
"It's a very special place," said Johnson. "It just seems to be a lot fresher in some ways than other parts of the south."
"I guess if I was going to have a legacy for my term on the commission and they said this is going to be it, I couldn't be prouder," added McLaughlin.
It's a legacy they hope more residents can enjoy for years to come. Minnie Cronin was also recognized Monday as well.