The Silver River Museum and Environmental Education Center is a program of Marion County Public Schools. The museum is located within the Silver Springs State Park in Ocala, Florida, and works in close cooperation with the Florida Park Service.
The museum serves school groups Monday through Friday so we are closed to the public on weekdays. However, we welcome and encourage the public to visit the Museum on Saturdays and Sundays between 10 am and 4 pm and invite you to join us for one of our special educational events during the year.
In 1987 a Christa McAullife Fellowship was awarded to then science teacher Guy Marwick to research the development of a museum and environmental education center within the public school system.
The concept was met with strong support from citizens, businesses, civic groups, the Marion County School Board, the Florida Legislature, the St. Johns River Water Management District and various state agencies. In 1991, the Silver River Museum and Environmental Education Center opened its doors to the students of Marion County.
The initial complex consisted of the museum main gallery and classrooms. Later additions include several exhibit wings to the museum, a lunch pavilion, a research library, a collection of pioneer “cracker” cabins, a one-room schoolhouse used by African-American students during segregation and a wood-fired pottery kiln.
The Silver River Museum provides unique hands-on learning opportunities for Marion County Public Schools students, staff and the general public. Visitors learn about the cultural and natural history of Florida, and the importance of protecting and conserving cultural and natural resources. Our primary mission is to educate Marion County Public School students about Florida history and science, and assist them in achieving the highest scholastic standards possible. Furthermore, we strive to promote good stewardship of our environment with the hope of providing a better tomorrow.