On this date in 1947, the Everglades was officially designated as a national park.
The 1.5 million acres of protected land gained this designation after a long fought battle by activists such as journalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas. The library has many resources for those interested in The Everglades National Park. The following are just a few of the many choices.
While working for The Miami Herald in the 1920s, Douglas joined the board of the Everglades Tropical National Park Committee, an organization dedicated to the idea of creating a national park in the Everglades. Douglas, captivated by the natural beauty and importance of what some described as "just a swamp," became one of the chief crusaders for its preservation. Douglas's Florida classic, "Everglades: River of Grass," published in 1947, chronicles the history of the region from the Calusa and Seminole, to its near destruction by those who wished to develop it, and finally to the efforts made to save it.
The library system also has many titles for children on the subject of the Everglades. Jean Craighead George's "Everglades" with paintings by Wendell Minor is a beautiful introduction to the history and biodiversity of the Everglades. George, an award-winning nature writer, authored more than 100 books for children in her lifetime. Minor, who graduated from the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, has illustrated dozens of children's books and designed cover art for hundreds of acclaimed novels. Together, they artfully and poetically illustrate the responsibility future generations have to preserve and protect the ecosystem of the Everglades.
If you're planning a trip to the Everglades, the library has dozens of books and DVDs to help you plan. If you're especially interested in canoeing or kayaking, check out "Paddling Everglades National Park:
A Guide to the Best Paddling Adventures," by Loretta Lynn Leda. After a brief history of the park and what you can expect to find there, the author shares 50 of the best paddling routes for all skill levels.
Armchair travelers and art lovers will appreciate "Everglades: America's Wetland," by Mac Stone. A 2013 Florida Book Award winner in the visual arts category, this book is a stunning collection of photographs that captures the unique beauty of the Everglades.
The Manatee County Public Library system now offers a database called Hoopla to library card holders. Click on the link to Hoopla on the library's web site, and create a free account. Your account provides you with access to hundreds of eBooks, e-audiobooks, movies, music and even comic books. Among the selections are the DVD "The Everglades: a Subtropical Paradise," and a children's eBook, "The Everglades" by Katie Marsico that includes activities and crafts.
Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday. You may also access the library via the Internet: mymanatee.org/library. Mary Lysaght is the assistant supervisor at the Rocky Bluff Branch.