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Friends of Wakulla Springs State Park is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Wakulla Springs Drive, Wakulla Springs, FL 32327

CD Release Party: River of the Crying Bird

  • Saturday, September 11, 2021
  • 8:30 PM - 9:45 PM
  • The Lodge At Wakulla Springs

Park Ranger Collin Johnson is the Troubadour of Wakulla Springs. With the support of colleagues, he has completed a collection of 12 songs that embrace and detail the natural wonders of the park. Thanks to the initiative and support of The Friends of Wakulla Springs State Park, a CD of these songs is now available. Please join The Friends in the Lodge Lobby as Collin entertains and delights. Drinks will be for sale along with free snacks.  


“Collin Johnson was born in middle Tennessee within earshot of Nashville. He grew up in the country and has always enjoyed being in the woods. By age 12, Collin began learning how to play guitar on a big bluegrass guitar that his mother had built. Today, 25 years later, this is still the guitar he primarily plays.

Collin lived and played music in Nashville for 8 years, but eventually he and his wife Emily decided it was time for a change. They traveled a bit and eventually found a mysterious place that became dear to their hearts, Wakulla County. 

After stepping foot in Wakulla Springs State Park, Collin immediately decided he wanted to be a park ranger here. Luckily, Collin got his dream job. The beautiful park has provided musical inspiration for Collin and he has written several songs about the wildlife here. His job has wedded his love of being in the woods and playing music.”


“Collin Johnson has travelled life’s river experiencing plenty of bends and turns. He grew up a country boy about an hour south of Nashville, TN. He always loved music.  But, his first dream was to be a screenwriter. As a result, he began studying communications. During his classes, he ended up taking an anthropology course. Of that course and his professor Collin related, “It changed my world view”. He eventually acquired his degree in cultural anthropology.

Prior to earning his degree, he worked at Old Stone Fort Archaeological Park in Tennessee as a park ranger. The beautiful park with its waterfalls, hiking trails, and Native American heritage were a cathartic fit for Collin. After college, he continued working there for a year. But music continued to tug at his heart strings.

Serendipitously, Collin met two other musicians at a party and together they embarked on creating a rock ‘n’ roll band named StarShot Black. Collin played guitar, sang, and wrote the original songs for the band.

After a few years, the dream needed to change. Being a stand out rock ’n’roll band in Nashville was no small order. Collin and his “brilliant and very supportive” wife made time to do some travelling. In the course of their travels, they visited Crawfordville and in particular, Wakulla Springs State Park. They decided that this would be their piece of heaven on earth. And so, one day before Hurricane Hermine hit in 2016, they moved into their home in Crawfordville.

All along, Collin knew he wanted to be a park ranger at Wakulla Springs. He got another job locally but kept his eye out for openings at the park. After several attempts, he succeeded. He unabashedly admits, “This is my dream job!”

Talk with Collin and he will tell you, “This is the happiest I’ve been in my adult life.” He loves interpreting the river on his boat tours. He is encouraged by his guests’ enthusiasm. He is awed by the importance this place has for peoples of the past and present. And he is concerned for its health and care for future generations.”

We are excited to bring this new music to you!  CDs will soon be available in the Lodge gift shop and in the WakullaSprings.org online store.

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