The Everglades: A Florida Treasure

By: Gary McKechnie

ADD TO FAVORITES

It’s hard to capture Everglades National Park has to offer in a single blog, so my advice would be to follow my pal, Outdoors and Nature Insider Kevin Mims… and then go and see it.

Or a portion of it. Because it’s huge – and was once huger. In fact, it was so large that not so very long ago people didn’t even know what it was. But what it was – and still is – is a massive network of forests and prairies and wetlands – a ‘river of grass’ – that flows from near Kissimmee all the way down to Florida Bay.

Thanks to environmentalists such as land developer Ernest F. Coe who in the 1920s pitched the idea of the Everglades as a national park (which it became in 1934), and Marjory Stoneman Douglas (who wrote ‘River of Grass’ in 1947), and President Harry Truman (who dedicated the Everglades as a national park in 1947), it’s better off than it might have been had the land been reclaimed for development.

So come here and walk the boardwalk and hike the trails and join a ranger as they deliver talks on foot on tram tours.

Take a look around from the tower at Shark Valley.

Rent a bike or a boat and as you travel amid the sawgrass and try to comprehend the intricate nature that creates the Everglades and you’ll start to understand our responsibilities to make sure it remains alive and well in Florida, naturally.

And here’s something else about the Everglades: It’s an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site, and a Wetland of International Importance – one of only three locations on earth to appear on all three lists.

To see Florida how it was before there were people or roads or cities, there’s hardly a better place to experience it in its natural state than Everglades National Park.


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