Everglades National Park is a 1.5-million-acre wetlands preserve on the southern tip of the U.S. state of Florida. This park is home to hundreds of animal species including the endangered Florida panther, leather back turtle, and West Indian manatee. The history of this park rages from Native Americans whom existed and thrived in these waters to the preservation and restoration work that continues today. Many visitors come to this park for recreational activities such as biking, boating, fishing, and camping.
Flamingo Visitor Center offers informational brochures, educational displays, and backcountry permits. Everglades
National Park is a 1.5-million-acre wetlands preserve on the southern tip of
the U.S. state of Florida. This park is most often compared to a grassy,
slow-moving river that is made up of coastal mangroves, sawgrass marshes, and
pine flatwoods. This park is home to hundreds of animal species. Among the
Everglades' abundant wildlife are the endangered Florida panther, leatherback
turtle, and West Indian manatee.
history of the park goes back before the 1900s as water in south Florida once flowed freely from the Kissimmee River
to Lake Okeechobee. Then flowed southward over low-lying lands to the estuaries
of Biscayne Bay, the Ten Thousand Islands, and Florida Bay. The shallow, slow water
covered virtually 11,000 square miles in which created a mosaic of ponds, sawgrass
marshes, sloughs, hardwood hammock, and forested uplands.
For thousands of years, this complex system
evolved into a finely balanced ecosystem that formed the biological
infrastructure for the southern half of the state. However, the Everglades were
potential farm land and communities to early colonial settlers and developers. The
drainage process to transform wetland to land was underway by the early 1900s'.
The results of this process ended up being severely damaging to the ecosystem
and the species that it supported.
Everglades National Park was established in 1947
to conserve the natural landscape and prevent further degradation of its land,
plants, and animals by many early conservationists, scientists, and other
advocates. An alluring human story of the Everglades is deeply interwoven with
its endless marshes, dense mangroves, towering palms, alligator holes, and
tropical fauna, although the captivation of the Everglades has mostly stemmed
from its unique ecosystem. The history of this park rages from Native Americans
whom existed and thrived in these waters, agricultural development and drainage
of the Everglades, the individuals and groups who advocated for the
conservation of the area, the Everglades’ role in United States War efforts, and
the preservation and restoration work that continues today.