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What to Do in and Around Naples and Marco Island, Florida



A short drive from Naples and Marco Island, The Everglades is located on the extreme southern section of the Florida peninsula. Although many visitors are unprepared for Everglades' attractions which are quite different the spectacular geographical characteristics of many western parks, the features are subtle but fascinating. The park encompasses sawgrass marshes, hardwood hammocks, mangrove swamps, lakes, and Florida Bay. It is know for its animal life including the famous alligators, the largest concentration of wading birds on the American continent, 14 threatened or endangered species. The park preserves one of the world's truly unique ecosystems.

National Park Service Director Stephen Mather advocated a national park for the Everglades in 1923. In 1929, the Florida legislature created the Tropical Everglades National Park Association under the leadership of landscape architect Ernest Coe to investigate the possibility of establishment of a national park. Coe's tireless efforts resulted on May 20, 1934 in the passage of a bill authorizing creation of the park, and although the boundaries of the park were to enclose 2 million acres no land was to be actually acquired for 5 years. In fact, land acquisition was further delayed until after World War II when the park was finally dedicated on December 6, 1947 by President Truman in a ceremony at Everglades City. It was the first park to be founded to protect primarily biological resources.

The heart of the Everglades is the vast sawgrass marshes, the largest of its kind in the world. Prior to the engineering efforts of the human residents of Florida, these marshes were once part of a huge, shallow river 50 miles wide and 120 miles long running from Lake Okeechobee in the north to Florida Bay in the south. Noted naturalist and defender of the Everglades Marjorie Stoneman Douglas appropriately termed these areas the "River of Grass." This river was created from overflowing water from the lake running slowly--on the order of a foot or so a minute--across the slightly inclined floor of south Florida. From a geological perspective, this environment and the Everglades themselves are quite young, perhaps 5000 years.

Nova Homes of South Florida, building custom homes in Naples and Marco Island recommends for all residents and visitors to the area to visit and explore our own very unique National Park. For more information please call 239.307.6116 or visit www.novahomesbuilder.com.

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