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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
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?
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.
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
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?
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?
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-
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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 . .
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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.
A: (PLEASE IDENTIFY WHAT SHE IS SAYING!)
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
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
IDENTIFY THE REST OF THIS SENTENCE!)
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
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.