Nature Activity at FLMNHA SPARK-STORY BY JULIAN C. VALDIVIA
Nature on Display – What fascinated me about the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) was how its displays showed the extent to which we are tied to the land we live on. Seeing how Native American populations were connected to the environment made me think about how Floridians are connected to the land today. Specifically, how today we seem to be driving ourselves further and further away from the environment; preserving it but not appreciating it for what it has given us. If we are to maintain and preserve the environment for future generations, then understanding this connection between people and the land will be crucial.
Nature & Ethics – The museum reminds us of this idea by Leopold that our current outlook on conservation is not sustainable. Since the period of Reconstruction in Florida, people like Hamilton Disston, Henry Flagler, and Henry Plant have been trying to conquer Florida’s inhospitable landscapes. However, in doing so, we have put the natural beauty of the land at risk, we've disrupted a natural order. Instead of disrupting the land, we must learn to live in conjunction with it just as the Floridians of the far past had. Floridians who even in their religion, saw their lives as intertwined with the land and its wildlife.
Nature & the Human Spirit – The FLMNH is essential in helping us come into contact with the eternal and natural world around us. Most people rarely ever get to come into contact with preserves such as Everglades which show the might of Florida’s natural world. In a sense, natural history museums have made experiencing this power more accessible to people who don’t have the opportunity to see the connections between Florida and its ecosystem. By taking up this role, museums serve a vital role in connecting our world and the natural world which we’ve been trying to remove ourselves from.