Everglades National Park: America’s Largest Subtropical Wilderness

When you think of National Parks, lush forests, grand mountains, and miles of open plains come to mind. The Florida Everglades stands as the unsung hero as the third-largest National Park, with a whopping 1.5 million acres of land. Lovingly nicknamed ” The River of Grass”, this habitat has much to offer besides determined mosquitos. This summer, I will have the honor to showcase this impressive environment and the hidden gems it has to offer. The Everglades is more than a muddy swamp. From hardwood hammocks to cypress domes to sawgrass prairies, the Everglades is home to several endemic endangered flora and fauna. It is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles live side by side.

As a Florida native, I have grown up with the Everglades as my backyard. Either running from cottonmouths when I spent too much time in the marsh or harvesting duck potatoes, I have always admired my humid land. It is an honor that I now have the chance to go behind the scenes and work towards efforts to conserve this land for future generations. The Fish and Feathers Internship has given me the opportunity to learn expert knowledge of plants, animals and the different environment of the Everglades. My first week, I helped with Virtual Education Programs. The rangers log on to zoom and are able to connect to over 60,000 people a year while giving them a taste of the Everglades, as well as learning about conservation and restoration efforts.

Assisting Ranger Patty with 55= community program inside a cypress dome
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