Title: Peggy Carr
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This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

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Date: April 6, 1994

Interviewee: Margaret (Peggy) Hammond Carr

Interviewer: Tracey Abla

A: The interview is with Margaret Hammond Carr. The date is

Wednesday, April 6, 1994. We are having the interview in

Dr. Carr's office in the architecture building. The

interviewer is Tracey Abla. Would you state your name?

C: My legal name is Margaret Carr, but I go by Peggy.

A: Okay. And your date of birth?

C: I was born April 12, 1952.

A: Were you born here in Florida?

C: Yes, I was born in Gainesville at Alachua General


A: Did you go to school here?

C: Yes. I went to P. K. Yonge from kindergarten through the

twelfth grade, laboratory school. And then I

went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

for one year. [I] then came back and did my

undergraduate work here at the University of Florida.

You want a little history?

A: Yes.

C: I will run through this then. After I finished school

here, I married David Carr in December of that year and

then we moved to Ft. Lauderdale. I worked in Ft.

Lauderdale for the Broward County Planning Department

for about nine months. Then we moved to Tallahassee

and I worked for the state of Florida in the Division

of Recreational and Parks for about two years. We

[then] went to North Carolina and I worked there for

the state, again with recreation and parks. While I

was in North Carolina I got my master's degree at North

Carolina University. We lived in Central America for a

year and half in Costa Rica. Then from Costa Rica we

went back to Tallahassee and there I worked for a

multi-disciplinary planning and design firm, _

for almost six years. And then we came back here to

Gainesville. I was lucky enough to get a position

teaching here on the faculty.

A: Yes. What were you all doing in Costa Rica?

C: Well, both my husband and I were doing our graduate work.

I did my master's project based on the work I did in

Costa Rica which was helping with the design and

planning for one of their national parks, a park on the

Pacific side called So it was in the same

line of work that I had been doing. We both know Costa

Rica pretty well because my husband's father studied

sea turtles there for years.

I went to Costa Rica the first time the summer after my

senior year in high school and stayed for a couple of weeks

with a family. Every summer after that until we graduated

from college, I went down there for some period of time. So

that was my first introduction. It was wonderful to have an

opportunity to live there. You really get to know Spanish a

bit better and the people of Costa Rica better.

A: Yes. What does your husband do?

C: My husband is the executive director of a non-profit

conservation organization called the Caribbean

Conservation Corporation. It is a derivation of a

group that was formed called The Brotherhood of the

Green Turtle. As a result of a book that his father

wrote, and one of the friend's of his father's who read

it distributed it to twelve of his very wealthy

friends, and they decided to form this brotherhood.

Eventually the name was changed to the Caribbean

Conservation Corporation. It's primary purpose is

marine conservation, sea turtle conservation. He is

still very active in Latin America, particularly in

Costa Rica and in Nicaragua.

A: Okay.

C: We were talking about the Caribbean Conservation

Corporation and how it originated. It translated, or

changed its name from Brotherhood of the Green Turtle

to the Caribbean Conservation Corporation. And

basically it was created to support my father's

scientific research. For I guess, twenty, twenty-five

years, it existed like that.

Then they decided to use it as a potential to do more work

and conservation in Latin America. The board of the CCC

did, and so David was hired as a director. In the meantime

too, his father died, but he has really built it up into a

full-fledged conservation organization. I guess he has

about twenty people working with him now, where it did not

have any staff at all.

They are doing interesting projects in Costa Rica and

Nicaragua, some of it funded by the United States Agency for

International Development, some of it from private

foundations and individuals also.

A: So you got your Ph.D. . .

C: I do not have my Ph.D.

A: Oh, okay.

C: In landscape architecture, it is fairly typical for

people to teach with only master's degrees. [The same

holds true for] architecture and interior design. More

and more people are beginning to get their Ph.D.s, but

it will be the next generation not mine, I think.


A: Okay. Well, what year was it when you got your M.A.?

C: [I got] my master's of landscape architecture, M.LA. it

is called, in 1983 from North Carolina State


A: Okay.

C: Some of my work has been directly related to things that

he has done the projects of the CCC. I will

give you one example. There has been a research

station in this little part of Costa Rica, northeastern

Costa Rica, called for years. It is a

beautiful place. No roads [are] there. You either go

in by boat or fly in by a little plane.

Because of ARCHIE'S writing and the writings of others, and

this general interest in tourism in Costa Rica because of

its outstanding parks system, the tourism began to grow in

that area. There are more and more tourists coming. With

the funding that David's group got to build a new research

station, they were able to also do some land planning for

the immediate area around it.

There is a national park that borders it on one side, and a

national wildlife refuge that borders it on the other which

does not provide a lot of protection. It is between two

designated protected areas in Costa Rica. The land in

between is extremely valuable because it is the only really

legally developable area. It is right by this beach where

on almost any night of the turtle season you can walk out

and see sea turtles nesting, which is of interest. So there

are a number of lodges and hotels that have been built


Well, anyway, I worked with them in developing this land use

plan to try and anticipate what the pressures were going to

be. [Also, we wanted to know] if we could come up with a

rational method for limiting the number of people that would

go into that area in the future. [We did not want the area

to] become a Miami Beach. [We wanted it to] maintain its

character, yet provide economic opportunity to the people

from the community there [and] still serve conservation

goals. That plan has been finished and is now in the

process of being implemented.

We are now considering a second phase of a project, which is

to develop a workshop to explain to government officials the

potential of land-use regulation. They have no concept of

how it works and how powerful it can be and how much good it

can do. It is just not in the legal history of Costa Rica

to regulate land use as it is in America and England. So we

hope maybe to do that.

That would, we think, improve the implementation or the

application of this law that has been created. The laws

exist in Costa Rica to do that kind of work, but it has not

been done before and has not been applied for conservation

or long-term land control policies. We will see what


A: I understand that you are involved in that Greenway project?

C: Yes.

A: Yes. Are you going to play a large role in the design of that


C: Well, I will tell you what we have been working on.

Another professor here in landscape architecture, Dan

Donelin, and I were asked by the state to help with the

development of a management plan for the Cross Florida


The Cross Florida Greenbelt, as you probably know, was

created as a result of the deauthorization of the

construction of a barge canal across the state. There was a

strip of land that existed from the St. Johns River to the

Gulf of Mexico. Most all of it had been purchased for the

purpose of the barge canal.

When they decided not to build it, there was a question

about what to do with the land. Well, after many years of

debate and discussion, it was finally decided that it should

become a conservation and recreation area and that it would

be turned over to the state of Florida. The state had to

come up with some ideas about what to do with the land.

Professor Donelin and I worked on the development of

that plan. One of the key parts of our work was trying to

decide what to do with the boundaries of the land. The

counties that bordered the canal route all contributed some

ad valorem taxes to the support of the project.

A: [They contributed taxes to support] the barge canal?

C: Yes, [they contributed to] the barge canal project. And

I think it totalled $32 million. They want to be paid

back since what the money was originally contributed

for is not going to take place.

One of our requirements was to go in and try and deal with

the issues of boundaries and what the ideal boundary should

be for the barge canal. We had to come with alternative

boundaries for it. In each of those boundaries possible

recreation and conservation uses for the land [existed].

Large-scale land management concepts like whether a portion

should be considered preservation or conservation which

would allow some use, but still have a conservation element

or a protection element in it, [also existed].

The third use was restoration. There were some areas that

were just totally dedicated to restoration because there

were some areas that had been severely disturbed either in

pasture or had actually had diggings that

A: [The] diggings [were from] the barge canal?

C: Right.

A: What type of restoration were [you doing]? Wildlife?

C: No, [we were restoring] the biological communities--

trying to bring back what would have been there pre-

European man.

A: Yes.

C: We worked on that project. It was a lot of work to do in

a relatively short period. The state was under a

legislative mandate to complete the project in time for

the 1993 legislative session which was early in the

year, like February of 1993. But prior to that, had it

to go to the governor and cabinet. We had to finish

our work by August of 1992. It has been two years

almost since we finished.

Recently, Paul Zwick, a professor in urban and regional

planning, and one of his graduate students, David Lambert

and I have gotten another grant to help with the development

of data base to support planning for greenways in the entire


The governor appointed a greenways commission to look at the

potential to develop greenways statewide. They needed help

in developing maps and data to use in the analysis for the

potential of greeways. We have been working on that project

now for about four months. We started in January and will

run through the end of this year.

In this legislative session, they are going to probably

decide the fate of the future greenways movement. The state

has created an Office of Greenways Management which

originally was created only to deal with the Cross Florida

Greenbelt, since it is the only official state greenway.

Since then, all of the state trail systems, the

responsibility for [them], has moved into that same office.

If there is the potential to develop other greenways in the

state, it probably should go to the same office--the Office

of Greenways Management.

The legislature is debating on that right now as we speak.

I guess the session is supposed to end Sunday. Out of this

session we hope that there will be a decision made about the

future for the Office of Greenways Management. The work

that we have done and the whole Greenways Commission will

have done can be transferred and continued by the state


A: This greenway, you said it does not really comprise all land

that was . .

C: The Cross Florida Greenway?

A: Yes . that was intended for the barge canal?

C: Right. There were a few areas where land was not

actually purchased.

It is interesting, probably in some places it was because of

strong political power of individuals who owned the land who

were able to resist the federal acquisition process. One of

the biggest gaps is just to the east of Dunnellon and it is

owned by a man named PRUITT. He is now willing to sell his

land to the state.

A: Because the use for it has changed?

C: Well, that is a good question. I am not sure whether it

was because he was opposed to the concept of a canal

and now likes the idea of a conservation area. He is

certainly a lot older than he was in the 1930s and

1940s and then later in the 1960s when the idea really

began. It could be he has no longer much personal

interest in the land. I am not sure.

That is probably the biggest, longest single gap. His

willingness to sell is outstanding because that means that

the potential of actually having a continuous corridor will

be much, much more likely. There are a couple of other

small, little places.

Actually, another one of those is being resolved. It is

over very close to Inglis. It was a place where an easement

was purchased but no actual fee simple acquisition. And I

think it is going to remain an easement. It was questionable

whether the gentleman who owned the easement was going to

allow it to used for recreational purposes. I think he and

the state have struck a deal so that piece will be tied


The other areas that are still really cloudy are areas

around the Rodman Dam. There were two dams that were built

specifically for the barge canal. Well, [of] the two dams

that were built, only one of those was actually closed. The

two are Eureka and Rodman. Rodman, as a result of it being

built, backed up [water] about fifteen miles. The lands

under a lot of that impoundment were in a lease and the

terms of the lease are stated [that] it is to be used for a

barge canal. But now that it is not a barge canal what

should happen with those lands? Should the owners be paid

fee simple for them? That is another question.

The whole issue of the Rodman is controversial--whether it

should remain dammed or since it was dammed for the purpose

of the barge canal and that is not to be done, whether it

should be opened up again and the Oklawaha River be allowed

to flow through.

A: Were there other ideas besides the greenway project [for that


C: I suppose because of its shape it probably would have

resulted in the greenway, regardless of who was to

manage it. I guess one of the major hold ups in the

disposition of the land even after it was pretty clear

that the barge canal was not going to [be built] was

whether it should go to the federal government or

whether it should be a state-managed land.

And as I recall, there were a couple of United States

congressmen who were pretty adamant that it should go to the

federal government. But the state was not happy about that.

Anyway, ultimately they all came to some agreement.

A: The federal government would not necessarily have made an

agreement on this project, do you think?

C: Well, I think Congress in the deauthorization

legislation, could have specified what it was to be

used for. I think another option is it all could have

simply been dissolved and [been] sold off completely.

And I guess at one point there was some discussion

about that.

But as time has gone forward, it has become evident how

valuable it is to have a cross section of land across the

state that is protected for the future. [It has] terrific

recreation and conservation potential.

A: It consists of coastal areas, [does it not]? I am not from

Florida and I am not really familiar with that area much at

all, but what is it like? Wetlands?

C: Well, it is very diverse. On the western end, as I said,

it goes right out to the Gulf of Mexico so you have

some examples of salt marsh right on that end. Then it

goes through flatwoods which is kind of

typical of that part. Then it goes up through river

the system called the Withlacoochee which was dammed

right about the turn of the century for hydroelectric


Again, it is a man-made feature now. It is a pretty lake

though it really is plagued with severe problems with

aquatic weed. There has never been any discussion about

taking that dam out--or no serious discussion, I do not

think, about taking that dam out because it would change the

hydrology downstream. There have been houses built since it

has been built that would be probably flooded out. So it

would be a very expensive proposition to take it out. It is

probably going to stay.

Anyway, you have what is called Lake ROUSSEAU. It is a

beautiful, clear lake except for the weed because it is fed

by the Rainbow River, which comes out of Green Cove Springs.

[It is also fed by the] the Withlacoochee River, which is a

long river but [has] clear black water. You have pieces of

that river system that are still in pretty good shape that

are associated with the barge canal.

Then in the central part a lot of it had been altered for

pasture but you go through some pretty unique wet prairie

situations and some pine lands and some scrub habitat.

Scrub is probably the most, or one of the most, rare

biological communities now in Florida because so much of it

has been developed. The holdings, the scrub holdings that

are on the greenbelt just to the west of Interstate 75, are

especially valuable.

And in the survey that we had done about the entire land in

the course of our work by the Florida (PLEASE

IDENTIFY) that was identified as probably the most valuable

biological land. Then you proceed on south and east of

Ocala and it goes across uplands that were a combination of

probably Hammock, originally, and Sand Hill communities and

see more scrub.

You get to the big wet area around Heather Island which is

just to the west of the Oklawaha River System and just south

of Silver River System. A lot of that land was to be

purchased because if the canal had been built, a lot of it

would have been flooded because it was so low. The whole

Heather Island piece is purchased and there is some

beautiful hardwood swamp stands in that that are protected.

Then you have got the Silver River System which is the

spring-fed, crystal clear, bottom-land hardwood swamp. The

rest of it parallels the Oklawaha river valley. The piece

of the Oklawaha River from State Road 40 up to Eureka, near

Fort McCoy, is still pristine and just beautiful. You are

talking about classic sub-tropical river with palms and

and it is a spectacular piece of river.

North of that, it is still pretty, but you get into the area

that has been flooded by the Rodman. It is an altered

Florida landscape, popular with fishermen, but still on

altered landscape. Then you reach the St. Johns River which

is, again, a magnificent bottom-line hardwood swamp that

parallels it. So you have got a great range . .

A: Yes, that is kind of what I was wondering. I kind of thought

that maybe that was true.

C: Yes.

A: The scrub, you said, was really valuable biologically. Was

there a lot of that in Florida?

C: Yes. There was a ridge that ran down the central part of

the state, it is called. Scrub was the

dominant biological community there and there is a lot

of it in Ocala National Forest, though the management

practices of the national forest have caused it to be

pretty fragmented.

One of the things that is unique about the scrub is that it

has species endemic to it and therefore, unique to Florida.

For those to survive, the scrub communities need to

survive. The scrub jay is probably the most well-known of

those which is a relative to the blue jay, but is a distinct


A: Do you think that it will take the form that you really want

it to? Do you think that anything is going to happen to it?

C: Oh yes, it has already happened. Again, the staff that

used to be canal for the state of Florida

was, for the most part, transferred into this new

office of greenways management. And they are beginning

to set about implementing parts of the plan.

Our recommendation had to go through several levels of

review and approval and modification. First, it went to the

governor and cabinet and they, for the most part, agreed

with all of our recommendations. But the final word, of

course, [was] the legislature. It had to go to the

legislature. And the legislature modified our

recommendations slightly.

At present, the Office of Greenways Management is operating

under a slightly different mandate than we would have liked

to have seen. But it is very close to being the same. They

are in the process of trying to implement the project.

It is a huge area--a 110 miles long and I think it is 77,000

acres. It is a large amount of land. And just the physical

management and protection and patrolling and fencing of all

of that, which previously had been done by the corps of

engineers because it was federally owned by them, has had to

be transferred to the state and that is quite an expense.

Just trying to keep things from falling into any disarray in

places is quite a job. But the Office of Greenways

Management has staff that actually works on areas of the

greenway and then the two water management districts that

overlay the greenway are involved in the management of the

water-related facilities.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District on the west,

for example, is responsible now for the operation of that

dam at Lake Rousseau and the and lock at Iglis,

it is called. Then the St. Johns River Water Management

District is responsible for the Rodman and the lock at

Rodman. They have new responsibilities that are being borne

now by the citizens [of] the state of Florida. It costs

them all of that, whereas previously, it was run by the

federal government. [Now it is] the whole country as

opposed to just a state of taxpayers.

A: When was it was passed over in the ?

C: It was 1993, I believe, November of 1993 was when it was

officially transferred over.

A: That is a large amount of land.

C: It is costing a lot of money to operate it, too.

A: Well, it is probably best that it went to the state though, I

would think.

C: You never know. If it had become a national park, it

could have been an interesting switch. I mean, it is

going to be complicated for anybody because 110-miles

to try and manage by any one group is complicated.

What the state is doing is identifying other people to

help with management of pieces of it.

For example, they are actively involved with the Marion

Country Parks and Recreation Department, so pieces of the

greenway that pass through Marion Country will actually

become the responsibility of Marion County Parks. They get

to use the land, but they become responsible for taking care

of it.

A: Well, if the federal government had been in charge of it, do

you think they would have utilized people who were the most

familiar with Florida?

C: Well, certainly, I think in all of the national parks

they either hire or train people to become very

familiar with the region in which they operate. I do

not think that would have been an issue. But I think

it can work this way just as well, if not better.

A: Yes. There will be recreation, I mean, it is intended for


C: Yes. I guess in our plan we had talked about having a

continuous trail from the Gulf of Mexico to the St.

Johns. There are a few problem areas. Actually, a

land-based trail would have had to leave the greenway

corridor in a couple of places or one would have to get

on a boat to traverse it.

For example, Lake Rousseau--the land base around the lake is

very narrow and there are houses almost all the way around

that lake. So there is not much publicly-owned land around

that. If one were to walk or bike or ride a horse the whole

way, there you would have to leave it. We had proposed to

run a trail along one of the road rights of way that

parallels the lake.

Or the other idea was to have a ferry on the lake that would

run from Dunellon down to the dam. You could get on that

ferry and ride through the lake system. But of course the

number of users would have to increase radically for that to

be reasonably financially for the ferry.

And the other place that a continuous trail would have to

deviate from an original corridor in our plan was at, I

guess it was right about the Silver River. The trail would

have to take off and go through the Ocala National Forest.

The idea was to link up with the Florida National Scenic

Trail where it runs through the Ocala National Forest and

then come back. That crosses the barge canal property again

right at the which is right by and then

continues on up to the north.

A: Well, just to switch tracks a little bit . .

C: Okay.

A: . did you get interested in that because that relates to

the environment, I mean, environmental issues? Were you

involved in environmental issues?

C: That was part of it. I did not know that such a

profession as landscape architecture existed when I was

in high school. But I was interested and concerned

about environmental issues. I think partly because of

my high school education and science that I was very

interested in [environmental issues].

Also, [I got interested in environmental issues] because of

my experiences in summer camp where we spent a lot of time

out-of-doors. [I] really learned to appreciate character

and natural systems in a very naive way, but it was a nice


But I also was always interested in design. Landscape

architecture combined those two perfectly. Again, I did not

know that it existed until I was struggling as a sophomore

to try and find the appropriate major. [I was] flipping

through the college catalog and [reading] about landscape

architecture. [I said,] "That sounds just right." Anyway,

that is how I found it.

A: Have you always been interested in environmental issues?

C: Again, I would say since high school.

A: Yes. So were you involved in anything like that in college?

C: Some. I was a member here on campus of the environmental

action group which I guess still exists It

was not too active, but we did a few things. Because

of my familial relationship and the work that both my

mother-in-law and father-in-law did, I was exposed to a

lot of environmental issues from the time I got to know

my husband.

A: Was that in high school?

C: We met in high school, yes. We have known each other now

quite a while. He came to school at P. K. Yonge in the

seventh grade. So actually, we first met in junior

high school. We did not start dating until we were

juniors in high school. That is when I really got the

chance to meet his family. [I] became very interested

in what they were doing. But it matched my own


A: Do you have kids?

C: We have a little boy, yes. We waited a long, long time--

he is now two, almost three years-old.

A: Okay. He is not old enough for you to yet.

C: No, not yet, but he is certainly being exposed to it. He

is three and he has been to Costa Rica now, three or

four times, I guess. He is having a heavy dose of it.

I hope he will appreciate it when he wanders into it.

A: Were either one of your parents involved in issues like that?

C: No, not directly, but my father taught history here. He

was a colleague of Dr. Proctor's. [Both my mother and

father] came to the University of Florida right around

World War II. And my mother came here, actually, to

head up the women's physical education department.

[She came] when the University of Florida switched to a

co-ed institution.

A: Yes, I think I have heard him mention her in class.

C: When they chose to marry there was a rule at the

University at that time that only one person in the

family could teach. So daddy was the one who ended up

staying at the University. Mother went to teach in the

public schools.

Anyway, she loved the out-of-doors. I just think her

sensitivity, appreciation of the out-of-doors, and

especially recreation in the out-of-doors because she had

spent a number of years as a counselor in camps, [influenced

me]. So I think it definitely started there. There is no

question. And then [that] was reinforced by my own

particular education experience.

A: Okay. Are you involved in the Florida Defenders of the

Environment at all?

C: I have not been really directly. I have been involved

and been a member of FD for a long time. Actually,

when I was in college, I was relatively active and

going to meetings and trying to help with the

opposition to the barge canal at the time. But since

we left Florida in 1979, 1980, I really was not

particularly involved in it and on the return, not so

much either, although [I was] clearly aware of what was

going on.

A: Did you play some part in getting your greenway belt named

after your mother-in-law?

C: Oh, yes. Again, my husband and I have maintained our

membership in Florida Defenders of the Environment.

There was a committee named by members of FDE to look

into some way to honor MARJORIE. So we met.

[was] the chairman of that committee and the other

members were JOE RIDDLE, who has been a long-time FDE member

and mayor of Gainesville and is a professor in the law

school here. ALLISON is also at the law school. So Allison

and Joe and SHIRLEY LITTLE, who is currently the president

of FDE, and DONNA DAVIS and DAVID GODFREY [were on the


We met and discussed options and there was consideration of

various things but it was decided that the only thing that

was really appropriate would be to see about having the

whole greenbelt named after Marjorie because if she had not

opposed the canal, who knows? We may have had a canal

instead of this land.

Joe was the one who went and spoke with the governor's staff

about the potential of it. [We were concerned] because

Marjorie and Senator Kirkpatrick have butted heads so

directly about the Rodman Reservoir [over] whether the river

should be restored or whether the Rodman should be


Because Kirkpatrick at present has a lot of power in the

Florida Senate, we were concerned that it could become a

relatively ugly issue if he wanted to be personal about it.

Prior to actually moving on the concept, it was checked

with various people to see if they thought that it was

politically feasible. Also, we certainly did not want to

cause any embarrassment for Marjorie and have it become a

great big issue. It seemed that it was reasonable for it to

go forward.

Again, I have had very little to do with it. It has mostly

been Shirley Little and Joe and Allison and David Godfrey

who have been the ones to help write the legislation and

contact the senator and the representative to introduce it

into both of the houses. It is questionable now. We are

nervous about whether it is going to go through because just

a glitch, a procedural glitch, [gets] it is kind of hung up.

We hope though before the end of the session, that it will

pass. If all goes well, we would like to see if the

governor would be willing to come down and have a signing

ceremony and we hope that Marjorie will be able to go.

A: So you should know pretty soon?

C: Well, by the end of the legislative session. Of course,

last night I was watching "Today in the Legislature"

and Chiles (Lawton Chiles, governor of Florida, elected

1991) was threatening a special session if they did not

act on health care. Sometimes they will take up other

issues in special sessions and sometimes they will not.

Conceivably, if it does not pass in this session, it could

be reintroduced but it is questionable. We hope it will

just go through and be done with. It has been amended to

another piece of legislation that streamlines the

conservation and recreation lands acquisition process.

A: That that you mention--is that related to the

transfer of the canal lands?

C: No, it is a process for purchase of lands in this state

and it goes slowly because of all these protections.

They are hoping to streamline that process so they can

spend the money that is building up in the funds a

little more rapidly.

A: So you have actually finished up what you are going to do with

the greenways?

C: Well, we have finished our work at this point with the

Cross Florida Greenway and I am still working on this

other project that is looking at greenways statewide.

The Cross Florida Greenway is part of that and that

paperwork will not finish until December. We hope to

able to continue working with the group.

Another project that I have worked on that sort of ties all

this together too, is looking at the potential for a

biological corridor in Central America. Again, it is

looking at this idea of linkage or connection at the

regional scale. This idea was one that my husband and my

brother-in-law and I all sort of brainstormed about, but

particularly my husband and my brother-in-law called

is the name of the concept which translates to "Path of

the Panther."

The idea is that big cats, mountain lions or panthers, they

are called in some places, or pumas exist both in North

America, South America and in Central America. So [this is

an] example of a species that would benefit by a biological

corridor that [would] connect North and South America, a

biological corridor that [would] maintain that connection.

Historically, of course, it existed before all the

development. We worked here at the University in trying to

use a computer model.

C: Instead of having pockets of human development in a background

of natural landscape, we are now having pockets of natural

landscape in the background of human development. And it is

believed that these islands of natural landscape cannot

support the diversity of species that maybe was originally

thought because they are so small. Populations begin to

decline and eventually will become extinct in these

individual areas.

The beauty of having connections between them is that there

is a possibility for interchange. It may not be an

individual actually moving between an area but through

reproduction, the genes can travel through that corridor.

In some cases a large, wide-ranging species may actually

move from one area to another.

It is a conservation strategy but it is controversial too.

Not everybody believes that that is how the conservation

dollars should be spent. There are some who feel they

should be spent on simply buying larger islands as opposed

to trying to connect the islands. But I would say the

majority probably believe that the concept of conductivity

is appropriate and it is an appropriate expenditure.

That is why the Florida work, at the state scale, is so

fascinating. It has such potential. The Cross Florida

Greenway can become a very important piece in the network.

But the goal is to develop this whole system or network of

greenways that would connect larger islands of undisturbed,

or relatively undisturbed, land that could support

biological communities and species and perpetuity. If we do

not make those connections, the concern is that we will lose

a lot of species.

A: Yes. The thing in Costa Rica--does that look like something

that will really happen?

C: Well, who is to say? We hope, and I think by presenting the

concept, it certainly made people think of things

differently. In all of Central America, since it is mostly

undeveloped, the battle for conservation is difficult--at

least as difficult as here, maybe more so, because there are

so many people who are living right on the margin.

One of the ways some of them live is by farming on these

marginal lands which should probably be protected or

conserved. They are able to eke out some sort of living.

The concept of conservation, of protection of those lands,

is sometimes very hard to sell because the appearance is

that you are depriving people of a livelihood where they may

not have one otherwise. It is difficult. It is a different

venue than dealing in the United States.

But to try and answer your question--there are already a

number of lands set aside in Central America by the various

countries. A few of them are multi-national. There is a

project on the Costa Rican/Nicaraguan border and one on the

Costa Rican/Panamanian border. Then there is a large area

of Guatemala, Mexico, and that has been set

aside. So there are some big pieces in the puzzle.


C: Connecting those is going to be tricky. Development is

occurring as rapidly there as it is here in Florida. It is

going to be a real challenge.

A: The conservation in South America--I do not think I [ever]

thought about what a popular idea that might be in those

areas. Is it something people really think about?

C: Well, I think the motivation is [no] different. There is a

lot of pride in the natural heritage of each of those

countries. I think that they are interested in trying to

protect their natural resources from that pride. Also, I

think, Costa Rica has been very successful in parlaying

their conservation efforts into a very profitable tourism

industry. Tourism, now, is a second major contributor to

their national economy.

I think the other countries are realizing that conservation

may provide a good employment opportunity or economic

opportunity. So that is providing additional incentive to

support conservation activities. It is popular internally,

I would say, for those two reasons.

Externally, there are many conservation organizations world-

wide who are interested in conservation. Central America

probably has not gotten as much attention as areas of South

America because it is so small and South America is so

large, particularly the Amazon. Protection of the Amazonian

rain forest has been very widely supported.

But again, Costa Rica still has some marvelous areas of

undisturbed land and biological character. It is

closer, in a way, to the U.S. [and] more accessible. I

think, from the U.S. point of view, it is of interest.

Costa Rica, and now other counties, have been successful in

getting international support for conservation from all over

the world--the Swedes, the Danish.

There is a story in Costa Rica about the Danes, where

children read about this one area called and they

raised millions of dollars to buy land. It is now called

"The Children's Rain Forest," I think it is, or "Forest of

the Children." From funding that they have gathered, they

have contributed to that protection and perpetuity we hope.

A: You mentioned that a lot of the people were living on the

margin anyway, [and] that that makes it kind of a

controversial issue.

C: Well, it does in some circles. It just makes it that more

difficult to deal with, like the wildlife refuge I mentioned

that is north of It is called A

lot of people living in that and farming, even though it is

designated as a national wildlife refuge. So the ultimate

resolution will probably be some sort of a balance between

farming and conservation. But it is tricky, tricky.

A: The same thing is going on in the Amazon, I think (PLEASE


C: I think so. But one of the other issues that sometimes [is]

mixed into a conservation issue are the rights of indigenous

peoples. Again, in Central America you have those same

issues to face. There are not so many indigenous people

that are living as permatively as they are, I would say, in

South America. They are not dependent on the slash and burn

of agriculture as they are in South America.

They have mostly transitioned to farming and more twentieth

century methods. But anyway, there is still is also the

issue of indigenous people overlaying the conservation


A: There was one question I had about the Cross Florida that I

meant to ask. What [did] they [do] any archaeological


C: Well, in our work what we did was hire an archaeologist to

work with us and really we did not have the funding at that

point to do archaeological surveys. But the state has a

file of archaeological finds that have been made. So we

asked her to review the state's files and transfer that

information onto maps that we could use. We were able to

locate all the areas that had been previously identified as

having archaeological significance. That figured into our

plan as much as that. But no actual field work was done in

the course of our [work].

A: What do you mean "that figured into your plan?"

C: Well, for example, in one area a particularly interesting

archaeological site existed. In our proposals for

development for recreation, either we would avoid it or we

would propose that it would become a destination for a


A: Okay. That went back, but I forgot to ask that one awhile


C: That is okay.

A: I think we can wrap this up pretty quick. Are there any other

things that you are working on in Florida? Or that you are

planning on or interested in?

C: At this point, the only other thing that I have been working

on, which really is a sidelight to this concept of

greenways, is trying to look at specifically some of the

issues of tourism and conservation and how they blend. The

buzz word now is ecotourism. I do not like that very much.

I prefer to talk about natural history tours. Anyway, I

think that we have talked about how it has helped

conservation, I believe, in Central America and Costa Rica.

I think it has the potential to help conservation in

Florida too. But people just have not thought of it in that

light. And so through my work directly and also through

the support of some of the graduate student's projects here

in landscape architecture, we are trying to explore that in

greater detail. We had a student who looked at the Florida

Keys and the relationship between environmental protection

and conservation and tourism. I have a student now who is

interested in looking at one of the trail systems in

northwestern Florida and how that has benefited local

communities and also conservation of [the] land.

I think the Cross Florida Greenbelt provides great potential

for economic development for the communities along it,

reinforcing the idea of conservation of those lands. What

we have taken for granted for so long [is our] natural

heritage. It is really becoming precious because there is

so little of it left. So it will become a draw for tourists

or even if it is just local tourists--people from

Gainesville going to the Ichetucknee to tube and renting

tubes from outside vendors. It is generating income that, I

think you could say, is a form of ecotourism or natural

history tours.

So that is a sidelight, I would say, to the work that I am

doing on some of these linear systems issues and also a

little bit sidelight to the work that I have done in

association with my husband in .But other than

that, I cannot think of anything else.

A: Okay.

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