Marjory Stoneman Douglas Festival, Everglades City, February 22 – 25
Guided tours, guest speakers, good food
By the 1940s some people began to recognize the vital role the Everglades played in the climatological and ecological balance of the state of Florida. Perhaps the most valiant of them was Miami Herald columnist and author Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Her book The Everglades: River of Grass was published in 1947, the same year Everglades National Park finally opened. For the next fifty years she fought vigorously against human encroachment on the Everglades. In the 1960s, while in her late seventies, she became involved with the Audubon Society of Miami’s efforts to halt the building of an international airport in the Everglades. Society members pleaded with her to start an organization that would unite the efforts of those concerned with the fate the Everglades. She did and named it Friends of the Everglades, an organization that is still today one of the most powerful voices for the area’s preservation. Proving that good people do not always die young, Marjory Stoneman Douglas passed away in 1998 at the age of 108.