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 Front Cover
 Introduction
 Table of Contents
 Frontispiece
 Main














Group Title: Bulletin. New series
Title: The parks and playgrounds of Florida
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00003083/00001
 Material Information
Title: The parks and playgrounds of Florida
Series Title: Bulletin. New series
Physical Description: 29 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Douglas, Marjory Stoneman
Stoutamire, Ralph
Florida -- Dept. of Agriculture
Publisher: State of Florida, Department of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee Florida
Publication Date: 1932
 Subjects
Subject: Parks -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Playgrounds -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Recreation areas -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Ralph Stoutamire.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "Dec., 1932."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00003083
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA3635
ltuf - AKD9463
oclc - 11102883
alephbibnum - 001962786
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Introduction
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
    Frontispiece
        Page 6
    Main
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
Full Text








0je ]parks

an6 Paygrounbs

Of Sloriba


Marjory Stoneman Douglas
and
Ralph Stoutamire


State of Florida
Department of Agriculture
Nathan Mayo, Commissioner
Tallahassee









)0e 1?arks an6 ?j3layroun65

of JFLori6a


By
MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS
And
RALPH STOUTAMIRE


In a very large sense the entire state of Florida is
a park and playground. The whole immense sweep of
coast line from Fernandina, down the east coast and the
keys to Key West, up the west coast through the Ten Thous-
and Islands, along the curving lucid watrs of the Gulf of
Mexico to Penacola, the hundreds of miles of beaches, all
together constitutes an area being devoted in a large
measure to the pleasures of a whole nation of people. Fish-
ing, sailing, swimming are freely possible, to everybody
everywhere. In fact, almost all outdoor sports are. Strik-
ing evidence of this are the facts that most of the major
baseball teams of the country come to Florida for spring
training and that the world's largest circus winters here.
And to those who love to study raw nature, this land is
indeed a glorious haven.
Inland there are enormous reaches of open country, pine
land, lake regions, and highlands. In the northern coun-
ties there are red clay and sand hills. In much of the
south are vast stretches of open or tangled Everglades in-
to which good roads penetrate and where camping is al-
ways possible. Hundreds and thousands of acres, state-
owned, clean and empty to the still horizon, offer to all
the calm of the great sun-filled sky and the peace and
freedom of unpolluted winds. Nowhere in the United
States, unless in the western prairies, is there an area so
comparatively untouched and unrestricted. Ask any
Florida resident where are the parks and playgrounds of
FTrida and he will hesitate in surprise. Because to every
Floridian all of Florida is one enormous place of rest and
recreation.



























+ Golf, Tennis, Baseball, Rocque, etc-----10 I
+


+ +














+ National or State Reservations--.-.--------11 +

+ The Indians and Their Reservations...12 1
+ +
+ +















SThree National Forests -....-....------1---------16

+ Some Beautiful Springs .............-------... 19

: The Proposed Everglades National +
:: +























t ::
T+ Fs Park the1 Recrea--.tin..-..l..i;Iilll -I -- ------------20+









+

THE HUNTER PRESS, RALLAHASSEE
+ Park------------------------2 ...... 0 +






+;
+:T reN to a o et .............1
+







6 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


tT~~'
i't:c:
P .'

'~ r~Ld
~Y


Fig. 1.-Camping in a Florida hammock where the trees are covered
with ferns, orchids and air plants of many varieties.


'r;

~-' E~
;?
':u~
(
]iFP
.;C
~J~





PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS OF FLORIDA 7

But in any state so comparatively unsettled there are
many areas almost unknown, aside from those regularly
restricted places which the federal government or city or
county or state, has set aside for specific park or forestry
purposes.

FISHING LEADS THE RECREATIONS

Probably the greatest single recreation which the
whole state offers is fishing. Even heads of nations have
testified to this by making long trips and spending many
days here for that purpose. Fishing seems to be, here, one
of the greatest sports of the entire American people, from
owners of great white yachts to little boys with stick fishing
rods. Fish by the millions teem in all the salt waters which
bound Florida and all its 30,000 fresh water lakes and
many thousands of miles of rivers. Game fish of all des-
criptions abound. Tarpon and sailfish in the Gulf Stream
and among the Ten Thousand Islands, bonefish on the
reefs, all sorts of snapper in the salty shallows, amberjack
and kingfish and barracuda and shark and porpoise, shoals
of mullet and pompano, together they furnish a wide
variety for the Issac Waltonian. Not the sea, not the bays,
nor the mangrove mud banks of the south, nor the many
reefs and inlets and bayous will ever be fished out. Surf
casting, fishing from humble bridges and trestles and
rowboats or from elaborately equipped fishing boats, are
possible to everyone.

Inland, especially in the northwest and central parts of
Florida, fresh water fishing is not less plentiful. And
the discovery of almost unknown fishing holes, the penetra-
tion of semi-tropic rivers, of swampy trails and rough
country roads, add a wider touch of exploration, adven-
ture and sport than even the seacoasts can present.

Northwest Florida, for example, was described by the
late Frank Whitman, a veteran fisherman and enthusiast
of out-of-the-way-trails, as "a land of rushing rivers,
brawling between and over rocks, of red clay hills, dense
growths of tall trees, of fruit and plum and pecan, blue-
berries and Satsuma oranges." a fisherman's paradise.
The SantaFe and Suwannee Rivers, reached from Branford
or Old Town, are ideal for fishing expeditions in small
boats, for anything from black bass to sturgeon in the






8 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

tidewaters near the Gulf of Mexico. There is the Kiss-
immee valley, a stretch of semi-prairie country between
the Kissimmee River and the upper reaches of St. Johns,
wild country, difficult to get to because even the railroads
are abandoned. Reached from Okeechobee and the little
hidden town of Fort Bessenger, there is the almost un-
known Blue Cypress Lake, an unrivalled fishing and
hunting and camping country, for the adventures and the
discoverers.


Fig. 2.-Florida deer become very tame quickly, and they make most
lovable pets, particularly the female. The mafe often
has a nasty disposition.
There is a paradise amid the several hundred exquis-
itely clear lakes of Lake County, ringed with tall cypress
and moss-draped water oaks. Marion County has wonder-
ful Ocklawaha River, Lake Weir and Orange Lake.
Sumpter County has Pansoffkee Lake and River and the






PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS OF FLORIDA


fish-haunted depths of the Withlachoochee River, which
can be followed by fish boat to salt water. Citrus County
has Lake Tsala, Apopka and Crystal River. In old Leon
County are Lakes Jackson, lamonia, Lafayette and the
new artificial Talquin.
In Pasco County there are myriads of lakes aswirl with
fish, where the bass run to record size. Weekiwachee
Springs and Weekiwachee River, west of Brooksville, are
full of bass and salt water fish at Alligator Hole and Fish
Hospital, near Bayport. There is the Miakka River at
Sarasota. There is Lake Apopka ringed with famous fish-
ing and resort cities, Orlando, Winter Garden and Mont-
verde. There is Lake Caloosa at Babson Park and Lake
Walk-in-the-water, all very fishy.
And finally we mention Lake Okeechobee itself, the
largest body of fresh water wholly within the confines of
the United States. It is bordered by sugarcane and vege-
table-growing towns-Okeechobee, Belle Glade, South Bay,
Clewiston. There is fishing enough anywhere here, or in
the streams which feed it, such as Fish-Eating Creek, to
last hundreds of campers for eons of years. Fish are there
to be had for the price of a fishing license, with the long
days in the half-wild open, under the soft winds and the
immense sun. So much for fishing which goes on every-
where, though only a few high spots have been mentioned.





f"of


9




10 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

GOLF, TENNIS, BASEBALL, ROCQUE, ETC.

More sophisticated recreations of all kinds are offered
by all Florida cities of any size. There are golf courses
everywhere, from the elaborate ones of Miami Beach where
national tournaments are held, to little sunny nine-hole
ones of towns of a single hotel. Baseball in summer (fre-
quently in winter) and football in fall are of predominate
interest as in any state. Tennis courts are everywhere,
hidden by jungles or facing boulevards or within sight of
the purple sea.
Lesser games of all kinds, rocque and shuffle board and
horseshoes, are maintained in almost every city park. There
is horseback riding in unexpected places, from the cultivat-
ed bridle paths of Coral Gables to the open cattle country
around Brighton or among the lovely red clay roads under
Spanish moss-clad oaks among the old plantations of Tal-
lahassee.





a






PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS OF FLORIDA 11


NATIONAL OR STATE RESERVATIONS

All these things, along with horse racing and dog racing,
are consistent with the general idea that Florida is essen-
tially a recreation and play state. But in a more special
sense they do not touch upon the real questions of parks.
And parks can be of many kinds. Federal reservations,
either parks or forests, county parks, state and national
monuments and some privately maintained but publicly of-
fered memorials may be considered under this general
term. Florida has some of all.
The Bok Singing Tower and Bird Sanctuary, near Lake
Wales, is probably the finest example in America of a pri-
vately conceived, created and maintained memorial dedi-
cated to and given over to the inspiration and pleasure of
the people. Surrounded by a beautifully cultivated park
which is the bird sanctuary, reflected in ornamental wa-
ter, the Bok Tower lifts its marvelous carillon of bells
from what is known as the highest land in Florida. It is a
perfect example of beauty created of natural loveliness and
fine architecture.
Then there is Natural Bridge Memorial Park near Wa-
kulla south of Tallahassee, and Dade Memorial Park which
commemorates the massacre of General Dade by the Semi-
noles in the Indian wars. It is in the lake region south of
of Lake Apopka. The city of St. Augustine, the oldest city
in the United States, is itself one continuous historical
monument, focussing its tiny streets and old Spanish build-
ings, including the quaint old post office and slave market,
about the government-owned reservation of Fort Marion.
There is the Harding Memorial at Kissimmee Bridge and
the park at Brooksville given to the state by Colonel Ray-
mond Robbins, known as Chinsegut Park.
Of county parks, there is the St. Lucie County Park,
which includes the county home, on an interesting rim of
coral rock, or rather oolitic limestone, which, like the rim
of a saucer, holds in the Everglades' brackish water and
keeps out the ocean's briny water. The Dade County Reser-
vation, at the north end of the peninsula of Miami Beach,
is a true sea-beach park, facing the amazing 'lime-greeness
of the along-shore water and the blazing purple of the Gulf
Stream at the horizon. And farther south, on the mainland
below Miami, is Matheson Park, which preserves for pub-
lic study one of the finest and most untouched examples of
a true tropic jungle on this continent.






12 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


THE INDIANS AND THEIR
RESERVATIONS

Of very special interest to the winter visitor, but offer-
ing no facilities for camping or recreation for white men,
are the Seminole Indian Reservations in Florida, main-
tained by the United States Department of the Interior.
Headquarters for Seminole Indian work is at Dania. There
the Indian agent has his office and there a school and hos-
pital and a series of small houses offer to these Indians,
who of all the American aborigines were the only ones


Fig. 3.-Sand hill crane, a very large bird, found only in nearby in-
accessable areas. It once was numerous over Florida.






PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS OF FLORIDA 13

never to be conquered, some sort of help and opportunity
for development. In the depths of the Everglades fifty
thousand acres are maintained as a hunting reservation
for these people. This is not open to white men at any
time. But at Dania and at the reservation on the shores of
Lake Okeechobee, these fascinating original Americans add
a very special touch of color to the Florida scene.
These Seminoles were originally Cherokees, the most
stout-hearted and independent of the Five Creek Nations
of Georgia and Alabama. At the close of the Indian wars
some of the Cherokees fled to Florida, choosing an un-
certain freedom in the Everglades to a restricted life in
Indian Territory. Joining with the Florida Indians, they
became known as Seminoles, the men-who-secceeded, the
men-who-go-free. For years the United States troops tried
to track down and subdue them, but over five hundred were
never conquered. It is the descendents of these Seminoles
whom one sees on the reservations.
The men still wear the brilliant Seminole shirts, if their
trousers are cheap American goods. And the delicate-faced
brown women are interesting with their glossy black pom-
padours and their often thirty pounds of green beads stif-
fening their chins, trailing in the dust their voluminous
skirts of red and yellow and blue stripe calico. They are as
picturesque and as little known as any people in America.
Their reservation life, their secret tribal councils in the
depths of the Everglades, afford an unlimited opportunity
for study by ethnologists, anthropologists, students of na-
tive music and folk-lore.
At the very end of the Florida Keys, so much the end
that it is only a forgotten dot in the southern waters of the
Gulf of Mexico, an outpost toward Cuba, lies one of the
most interesting and unknown of all the national monu-
ments in the South. Up from the sandy wastes of the Dry
Tortugas lifts the grim stone walls of Fort Jefferson.
Abandoned as a fort after the Civil War, its moats are
given over to alligators, its ramparts and walls to hundreds
and hundreds of sea birds, gulls, pelicans, and the amazing
frigate birds of those waters. Its very woodwork is being
taken away for firewood by passing Cuban fishermen.
Once a very important fort, considered as a great strong-
hold, it is a strange and ghostly place now.
Hundreds of Civil War prisoners died of yellow fever in
its dungeons below sea level. And here Dr. Mudd, innocent





14 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


SU./ed ,tates.,atio.rk.ar ,ysteA

-- -- *


I- M P --.SED. -,..
I TRoPIC EVERLADE
./ NATIONALPARK
c$'CldeXa -.Rmm ~ Cave -nenyzdoi.

L .. .. ... . . ._ -G i G ;CE p e i
Fig. 4.--Showing where America's parks are located. The proposed
Everglades park will be the only one in mainland
America within the tropics.






PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS OF FLORIDA 15

physician to Booth who assassinated President Lincoln,
served a long sentence, ministering unto yellow fever vic-
tims and at last dying himself. The fort now comes under
th jurisdiction of the lighthouse service which maintains
a beacon here. It is also listed as the Dry Tortugas Bird
Reservation of the United States Department of Agricul-
ture. which also tries to preserve the turtles and shellfish
of its beaches and the sponges along its reefs. It can be
reached only by boat or seaplane from Key West. Yacht-
ing parties occasionally stop to study its myriads of sea
birds and the evidences of human tragedy and suffering
which mark its masonry. But it is a voyage of discovery,
also, because it has been so completely forgotten.


Fig. 5.-Ferns with fronds 15 and 18 feet ong in the Everglades fast-
nesses. Many orchids and air plants adorn the jungle trees.





16 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


THREE NATIONAL FORESTS

The foregoing are some of the lesser and more sporadic
of the federal and state reservations in Florida. But our
rapidly increasing population has warned our park-minded
that special areas, much greater than any of the above,
must be set aside and cared for. Only in that way can we
preserve for future generations the beauties of our fast
vanishing tree, floral, animal and bird life. A few park and
forest areas, not yet widely known even in this state, have
been created. These parks and forests are of very many


Fig. 6.-Royal palms on the rim of the Everglades. This palm is gener-
ally regarded as the most beautiful and graceful of trees.






PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS OF FLORIDA 17

types. There are at present three in northwest and central
parts of the state, maintained by the federal forestry
service.
Th first of the present forests is the Choctawhatchee
National Forest, lying between Pensacola and Choctawhat-
chee Bay, in Walton, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa Counties,
including in its area 248,510 acres of government-owned
land. The Old Spanish Trail runs along its northern boun-
dary and the new Gulf Coast Highway to the south. This
national forset is intended first of all as a forestry pre-
serve, so that its fine areas of long-leaf southern pine,
which originally covered all this part of Florida and which
was rapidly being destroyed by ruthless cutting and burn-
ing, might be preserved. All over it, therefore, except along
the gulf coast itself, hundreds and thousands of young
pine trees are growing, set out among the great older
pines. The region is one of open, rolling sand hills, not
higher than three hundred feet. The roads maintained by
the forest reserve transverse it. It is simple country, pos-
sessing no vast spectacular features, but sunny and open
and pine-sweet. To the man who has seen nothing but sub-
ways and pavements, the orderly ranks of the pine forests
have something to say and give in restfulness and quiet
delight, which knows no comparison.
The southern part of the Choctawhatchee National For-
est is the bayou country, where the clear salt waters of
the gulf penetrate. Here herons stalk among the moss-hung
cypress and cedar and thousands of little yellow-legged
sandpipers run along the sandy beaches and millions of
fish play. Along its borders there are a number of small
towns, hotels and fishing camps, not spoiled by over-adver-
tising, quiet little places with quaint names-Florosa, Mary
Esther, Valparaiso, Niceville and Villa Tasso. There are
golf courses and surf bathing, and deer and turkey and
other game hunting in the wilder back country in season,
and fishing without end.
Osceola National Forest contains more than 150,000
acres and lies between Lake City and McClenny in Colum-
bia and Baker Counties. This forset is flat, like all that
part of the country, and is largely pine and swamp lands.
It has nothing particularly beautiful about it. But it is in-
teresting, not so much from the point of view of recreation
or of scenery, but as a practical demonstration of the best
possible reforestation and government-maintained timber





18 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
and turpentine workings. The tall long-leaf pines grow
vigorously in the sand and muck soils and in the warm air
and more than a quarter of a million trees are now being
worked. The naval stores branch of the Bureau of Chemis-
try and Soils has a station here. The methods of forest
ranging for fire control are particularly valuable. This
forest is like a great out-of-doors laboratory, of interest
to practical-minded Americans as an example of the right
development, for practical results, of natural resources. If
recreation can include such study, then the Osceola reser-
vation affords a typically American sort.
Of far more real interest from the point of view of ac-
tual recreation is the Ocala National Forest which lies in
the north center of the state, mainly in Maripn but partly
in Putnam and Lake Counties. It is practically surrounded
by two of the most famous and interesting rivers in Flor-
ida, the St. Johns and the Ocklawaha. All the old school
geographies used to carry pictures of scenes of the cypress-
bordered, moss-hung, alligator-haunted Ocklawaha River,
so that tourists began to think that all of Florida should
look like that. But here the Ocklawaha is even more jungly
and dense and green and southern than any of its old pic-
tures, a lovely curving stream with beauty in every ripple
and shadow. The forest area here includes over 183,806
acres. For the most part it is open, rolling, sand hill coun-
try, covered with sand pine and with acre after acre of
fragrant long-leaf pine, by some miracle never cut. There
are hundreds of clear, sand-bottomed fresh water lakes,
alive with big-mouth black bass, where fishing is permitted
throughout the year. Above all other forest areas in Flor-
ida this is great deer hunting country, a nationally main-
tained game refuge, with its open season for hunters. Over
a thousand deer are killed every year and over five thous-
and of the charming animals make up the present free-
roaming hrd. They are fair game for photographers always.
The high, dry sand hills, with their sage brush, sand
pine and live oaks, offer the finest sort of camping. Sites
may be leased from the government and there are very
many well-maintained public camping grounds. The lovely
rivers and the lakes are there for canoeing and sailing and
swimming and fishing. New areas about this, areas which
in the past have been cruelly devastated by timber men
and by fires, are being reforested rapidly, so that here also
the work of the forest service can be studied. Nothing
could more clearly illustrate the enormous value of such
forest preserves, with their excellent system of fire con-
trol and their intelligent replanting, than the Ocala Na'-
tional Forest.





PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS OF FLORIDA 19


SOME BEAUTIFUL SPRINGS

All through the middle parts of Florida, as well as else-
where, there are a number of lovely springs. Some are not
government or state parks in the strict sense of the word.
Some are merely included in town or county limits and are
commercially owned and operated. But no discussion of
the recreational facilities of Florida would be complete
without them. Beautiful Silver Springs near Ocala is the
most famous of these, bubbling up in crystal effervescence
from the clean boiling sand at the bottom of a lake so clear
that the shadow of a boat moves on the bottom and the
boat itself seems to hang in liquid air.
Salt Springs, north of Lake George and quite a bit south
of Palatka on the St. Johns River, is perhaps the best
known in all that charming, cypress-hung, lake and river
country, all so deep and green and shadowy under the dense
trees, so brilliant with dancing water in the open sun.
Then in Wakulla County is Wakulla Springs, more wide-
ly known perhaps for its ploitical gatherings than for its
wonderous and virgin beauty. However, during recent
years it has become more generally known for its truer and
finer worth. It is very similar to Silver Springs, though
not so large.





20 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


THE PROPOSED EVERGLADES
NATIONAL PARK

The last to be discussed and in every way the greatest
park area in Florida (though it is not legally a park) is
that tremendous region, thousands and thousands of acres,
covering most of the southern end of the Florida peninsu-
la, which is known as the proposed Everglades Tropic Na-
tional Park. Bills to make it a national park have been
pending in Congress for some months and have actually
passed the Senate. An enabling act, which provides for the
immediate transfer of state-owned lands to the National
Park Department, has already passed the Florida legisla-
ture. And with the widespread popularity of the project.
and all the weight of public approval behind it, it is reason-
able to expect that before very long this enormous area
will become one of the most unique among the list of great
national parks, the one to preserve for the American peo-
ple forever the only truly tropical region within the con-
fines of the United States. Though legally it is not a park,
it has much that grasps and holds the interest and love
of out-of-doors people.
Many fine things have been spoken and written about
this Everglade area, in explanation and as argument (in
some instances) why our national government should ac-
cede to the popular demand to place it within our national
park family. As it is impossible to give even a summary
here of what our most eminent authorities have said, we
are going to single out a few paragraphs from a speech
by a famed botanist of the United States Department of
Agriculture, Dr. David Fairchild, delivered in 1929 before
the American Forestry Association. These are quoted below
..... Speaking of mangroves, I went to
Java and saw the mangroves there. I visited Siam
and Ceylon and traveled out to New Guiena. I
have been twice on the coast of Sumatra and I
have coasted along the islands of the Fiji and Sa-
moa and the Hawaiian groups, but nowhere have
I seen such magnificent mangrove vegetation as
that which characterizes the southern Everglades
of Florida. Some years ago there visited me in
Miami a noted Japanese botanist from the Liu
Chu Islands off Formosa. He had been all over





PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS OF FLORIDA 21

the Oriental tropics, and when I took him into
some of our mangrove swamps here he literally
gasped, for he had never seen anything approach-
ing the tall sixty and eighty feet avicennia trees
that made up a part of the mangrove vegetation
on Biscayne Key-now a thing of the past ....
"....... I once collected vandas in the moun-
tains of Java and with them decorated a house for
Christmas. I botanized with the great orchid col-
lector Andre in the coastal plains of Columbia. I
have just returned from the table lands of North
Sumatra, but nowhere in all my experience have
I seen greater numbers of orchids, or more mag-
nificent specimens, than abound in the hammocks
of southern Florida . .


Fig. 7.-Brassia caudata, a very rare orchid, recently discovered in the
area proposed as the Everglades Tropic National Park.
. . I once took that veteran tree man,
Prof. Charles Sprague Sargent of the Arnold Ar-
boretum, out under some forty-year old cocoa-
nut palms in southern Florida and he stood there
for minutes with his hands behind his back and
then he remarked: 'Fairchild, after all, it is the






22 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

most beautiful of all trees.' This, from a man who
was undoubtedly the best informed man on trees,
who has ever lived, I consider substantial praise ...
. . To those who live in the shadow
of northern forests it may come as a surprise that
Florida has a larger tree flora than has any other
area of similar size in North America north of
the Tropic of Cancer, and in fact, as Dr. Small
remarks, 'nearly one-half of the trees known to
occur naturally in North America, north of Mexi-
co and the West Indies, grow naturally in the
relatively small area of Florida' ....

".. No other area in the United States has a
climate like it. During winter it remains practical-
ly frostless, with infrequent sudden dips in tem-
perature to a few degrees below freezing. These
winter months are months of almost continual
sunshine and freedom from rain, but with a rela-
0 tive humidity of the atmosphere of about 80 de-
grees. It is the balmiest winter climate that I am
familiar with after thirty years of travel and study
of climates throughout the world. It is a bit of
Caribbean climate near enough to the cold waves
which sweep our southern states to get some of
the invigorating character which is lacking in
the coastal regions of Cuba or Jamaica, and it has
none of the unpleasant chilliness of the Mediter-
ranean climate nor the harshness of the desert
climates, nor the cold dampness and early morn-
ing haze of the mountain climates in the tropics.
This area of southern Florida possesses one of the
most remarkable winter climates in the entire
world ...
"...... It includes about forty species of land
animals, among which are the opossum, raccoon,
bear, weasel, otter, gray fox, wolf; wildcat; two
skunks, panther, several bats, three squirrels,
salamander, nine or ten native mice and rats, two
rabbits and a deer ....
"...... Some of these have already become so
rare they may be entirely extinct. Then there are
the manatees or sea cows, those amazing sea
mammals whose formless bodies at one time start-





PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS OF FLORIDA 23

ed the myth of the mermaids and which in early
Florida days formed an article of food among the
crackers; and dolphins, of course, porpoises are
seen more or less frequently in the sea along the
coast and in the estuaries. I do not need to men-
tion sharks and even whales and that strange
sea monster (a species of whale) with bones en-
tirely devoid of lime. Then there are the largest
proportion of the seven hundred species of bril-
liant and fascinating fishes which inhabit the
coastal waters of the region, creating, together
with the tropical sea algae, undersea gardens
which rival in beauty any that are to be seen in
the Java Sea or Bermuda, and the myriads of gar
pike, that old gavoid specie which swarm in the
fresh water streams ....














Fig. 8.-Canoeing through a mangrove forest in Florida; these forests
are regarded with a great deal of wonder and admiration.


". ... One thinks of snakes when one sees
the water-covered swamps of the Everglades, but
these regions are, as a rule, too wet for the true
rattlers, and one sees there generally only the
black snake, the king snake, the large tree snake
and the water moccasin. It is true that in the
hammocks and drier regions, not only the rattler
but the coral snake live, and the former is not in-
frequently found, but their presence is just suf-
ficient to xive a touch of possible danger to a
visit to the wilder parts of the Glades ....





24 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

"The hammock trees of this region are the
homes of the most gorgeously beautiful and in-
teresting legumes or tree snails to be found any-
where in the world ....
"....... There are about 125 species of birds
which butid nests in southern Florida, and this
represents about half of all the species which in-
habit the whole state. Of these birds, the most in-
teresting groups are the cranes, bitterns, herons,
egrets, rails, doves, owls, woodpeckers, whippor-
wills, jays and terns. The ducks, geese, sandpip-
ers, swallows, warblers and thrushes, while visit-
ing the area, do not nest in it ....
















Pig. 9.-Eastern side of Ten Thousand Islands where they gradually
merge into the mainland. Note the Indian canoe
trail from one pool to another.
"....... This would be the only national park
which is open to the tourist and weary city dwel-
lers throughout those dreary winter months when
snows and rains shut them out of the other parks.
Today 175,000 people gather in the Miami region
every winter; some day this number may reach a
half million, and of these, many thousands will
make the tour of the Tropic Everglades and in
proportion to the imagination they possess and the
success with which the proposed park develops car-
ry north with them lasting sensation from its great





PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS OF FLORIDA 25

broad stretches of saw grass and its strange man-
grove-lined beaches and. its cocoanut-planted
shores, of a strange and fascinating region filled
with wonderful wild life utterly unlike any other
within the confines of the United States."
Indeed, as Dr. Fairchild has said, this area would be
the strangest of all national parks. Not very many roads
would run through its jungles, only a few trails well and
wisely cut. Access is largely by boat, along the thousand
wandering miles of coast, or by canoe through the net
work of canals. Hotels maintained by the park service
might be situated on the lovely outer beaches, along the


Fig. 10.-Mother American egret and nest. Many of these delicate
locking birds are found in the southern Everglades.
keys, or at Cape Sable, facing the brilliant green Carib-
bean. It will always be a great primitive, mysterious, ex-
citing area. On first sight many people exclaim, "But there
is nothing here." See it from ground level or from the air
above: Prairie-like reaches of saw grass and swamp, lion-
colored under the sun, dotted with queer jungle islands of
cypress or palmetto or buttonwood or holly and tangling,





26 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

omnipresent vines. The Tamiami Trail, striking across it
like a great flung lance, allows people in automobiles to
camp, or just to sit and stare, impressed, in spite of them-
selves, by its sheer greatness.





















Fig. 11.-Pelican feeding its young, on the Gulf Coast among
the Ten Thousand Islands.
Along the miles and miles of straight-cut canals the
herons stride and peer and quantities of fish, even huge
tarpon, slide in the brown depths, and a snake's head curves
off in a ripple like an arrow and a Seminole canoe slips
along, silent and imperceptible. Beyond the tawny saw
grass country, there is a little cypress country, where tiny
dwarfed trees hundreds and hundreds of years old, stand
ghostly white in an inch or two of clear water over weedy
limestone, cross-hatched with a mist of fine green leaves.
The heron and the great white ibis hunt and build nests
here.
And south of all this, rimming the whole, except for oc-
casional white sand beaches, bordering all the wandering
streams and rivers and inlets that are only slow, tidal
reaches of the sea that pervades everything, is the vast,





PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS OF FLORIDA 27

green silence, the incredible, impressible country of the
mangrovs. This, the strangest tree in the world, as Dr.
Fairchild has said, strides into the mud on gray arched
roots and fastening there, anchored in clear water, until
the land becomes solid behind it. Then with slow steps the
mangrove pushes out again under its high crown of green,
building more earth. Toward the west coast and the Ten
Thousand Islands, with the myriad identations of the sea,
the mangrove is a great forest, the most remarkable on
this continent. On the gulf side it forms a rampart of al-
most impenetrable boughs and arched roots, which has





















marched into the face of the winds and sweeping tides
for a hundred thousand years. The trees reach from forty
to a hundred feet toward the sky, but it is the rare power-
ful mass of them, under their dark, oily sea of leaves, which
makes their trackless monotony unforgettable. Thousands
of visitors along the waterways through -them will pass
and wonder and leave no trace.
But next to the vastness and silence and sunbeaten
openness of this whole region, and the unforgettable man-
grove, this is the home and last stand of millions of birds.
All over Florida there are bird sanctuaries, maintained






28 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

by city or private interests or, chiefly, by the American
Association of Audubon Societies. But this region of the
Everglades is the greatest bird sanctuary of them all. Be-
cause it has for years been the last refuge, the hidden
breeding place of the million hosts of the air which gather
here now. More than any other shapes of living things,
more than the crowding myriads of fish or shy deer or
cunning alligator or tricky raccoon or any other thing or
beast, this is the final retreat of the birds.









----- l g c '-- IU--2- I l' tl








Tnergreait-uDalu-Imeincan eag i.

In the flats along the rivers of the open country, where
a little skin of water at high tide covers the grass for acre
after polished acre the little water birds by the thousands
darken the reflections with their wading bodies, and rise
in wheeling and crying hordes at some lonely sound of a
boat's nose pushing among the reeds. It is almost the last
stand of the birds, this silent and rare land, and the birds
dominate it, making the vast sunsets exquisite with the
passing of innumerable wings. They are the answer to its
isolation, the final inimitable touch of life.





PARKS AND PLAYGROUNDS OF FLORIDA 29

The impressiveness, the sheer greatness and power of
primeval earth which this region will hold forever intact,
will be felt inevitably by tens of thousands of visitors. Its
vast and untouched age has still the youth of the sea-ooze
in it, the youth of the great salt winds over it, and of the
imperial snow-bursts of the clouds which hang in airy
dazzling turrets at its horizons. A nation will come here
and be silent and go away and never forget.





Qf




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