The construction of this large multi-use pavilion was made possible in 1997 through a matching grant to the Friends of Rainbow Springs (FORS) by the Felburn Foundation for Environmental Education. The Friends of Rainbow Springs (FORS) provided funding in 2009 for roll-down side panels to extend the use of the pavilion. Its great location overlooking the Rainbow River makes it a popular rental for weddings, parties or meetings.
Reservations for the rental of the Felburn Pavilion can be made through Rainbow Springs State Park at 352-465-8555.
In 1999 the Friends of Rainbow Springs (FORS) began a long-term "Partnership in Parks" (PIP) Project with the Florida Park Service to renovate the existing historic garden areas of the park. This PIP project provided a 60/40 matching grant of funds to the Friends of Rainbow Springs. The first phase of the project involved developing a master garden plan. With the plan approved, FORS moved forward to the second phase of the project and the actual renovation began.
The renovation's goal was to help address the decline of water quality and the impact of fertilizers and pesticides on the Rainbow River by demonstrating how native plants along with non-invasive ornamentals (such as the existing azaleas and camellias) can provide an attractive garden area that attracts wildlife. The garden renovation was completed in 2009 with the construction of two garden kiosks, one along the entrance walkway to the park and the second at the entrance to the gardens. In total, $300,000 in state grant funds and matching funds from the Friends of Rainbow Springs made this project possible.
Fundraising for the gardens continues today as we strive to keep these areas from "being reclaimed by Mother Nature." The invasive vines and unwelcome exotic plants are a continuing problem and require a regular maintenance schedule. The Friends of Rainbow Springs (FORS) helps support the maintenance through the funding of a landscape contract.
Other significant projects funded by the Friends of Rainbow Springs (FORS) include the Radio Communications Tower and Radios for the Park; computers, cameras and other equipment; educational materials; and exhibits.