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Everglades National Park

November 30, 2011 by staff 

Everglades National Park, It took a lot of people a lot of years to make the case to save the Everglades. But it took a Polk Countian — or two — to make a national park reality.
The Everglades, of course, are the vast wetlands that cover Florida’s lower peninsula. Often characterized as a swamp, the Everglades actually encompass a large number of different ecosystems, providing homes to thousands of birds, animals and reptiles.

“All told, there is no landscape on earth quite like the Everglades,” states the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Public interest in preserving the Everglades began in the early 1900s, according to a history published by The Miami Herald in 1997.

“The slaughter of millions of birds — egrets, spoonbills and ibis for plumes to decorate ladies’ hats — energized the National Audubon Society to push for anti-poaching laws, eventually adopted by the Florida Legislature,” the Herald reported.

The Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs were the first to take up the cause of creating a wilderness preserve, creating the 1,920-acre Royal Palm State Park in 1916, the Herald history states.

Landscape architect Ernest Coe continued the charge, creating the Tropical Everglades Park Association. For more than 20 years, the transplant from Connecticut was an outspoken advocate of the Everglades, promoting Florida’s “tropical Eden” and the need to preserve it.

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