Park Location: The Everglades National Park is located in Florida. It is a 1.5 million acre wetlands preserve in the southern tip of Florida. The park is very large. Parts of the park are near Naples, Homestead, and Shark Valley, Florida.
Park History: Everglades National Park was established in 1947 to preserve the biological diversity. It's a perfect mixture of freshwater and coastal prairie, mangroves, marshland, pine, and cypress woods. It is also known as a "river of grass". Ernest F. Coe helped establish the Everglades National Park and eventually became known as the "father of the park".
Park Activities: When you are visiting the park you can see panoramic views of the "river of grass" at the 65 foot tall Shark Valley Observation Tower. You can visit the Ernest Coe Visitor Center, as well as the Flamingo Visitor Center. You may also do self-guided ranger activities, including... hiking, biking, canoeing, and boat tours. Also you can visit the Gulf Coast Visitor Center, which is the starting point for the 99 mile long Wilderness Waterway Trail. You can attend the 2 hour long Shark Valley Tram Tour or bike or hike the 15 mile Shark Valley Road Loop.
Park Animals and Nature:While visiting the Everglades you may want to be on the lookout for a Bladderwort! A Bladderwort is an annual plant that lacks roots, which is perfect for the swampy, Everglades! Also there are over 350 different types of birds in the Everglades alone! You may also want to be on the lookout for Alligators and Crocodiles, Manatees, Florida Panthers, Black Bears, Bottle Nose Dolphins, Turtles, and White-Tailed Deer.
Ways To Protect The Park: There are several ways that you can help protect and preserve the Everglades National Park. In 2000, Congress passed the 30 year Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) to restore and protect the park. Make sure that you are picking up your trash to help out with pollution issues in the park. The park could also dedicate one day a month towards cleaning up the park.
Fun Facts: This region is the largest subtropical wetland ecosystem in North America, the largest wilderness in the Southeast and the largest mangrove ecosystem in the western hemisphere. The ecosystem protects 14 endangered species and 9 threatened species. Air boats are a classic form of transportation in the Everglades.