Green Motion Segway Tours at The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Habitat in Wellington Florida

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Habitat

The Wellington Environmental Preserve at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Douglas Everglades Habitat (Section 24) is a 365-acre rainwater storage area with nature trails and learning centers. It was built through a partnership between South Florida Water Management District and Wellington. In compliance with the 1994 Everglades Forever Act, rainwater from Wellington must be cleansed of phosphorus before it enters the Florida Everglades. The southern half of Wellington (Basin B) has 9,230 acres of storm water runoff (rainwater) that is now routed west to Section 24. It leaves Section 24 via the C-1 canal heading north to the C-51 canal that runs along SR80 before fi nally entering the Everglades.

In order to accomplish this, seven storm water Pump Stations were built or renovated along with the widening of nearby canals. Approximately one inch of rainwater from Basin B was also re-routed to reach Section 24. It is then naturally cleansed as it flows through over two miles of combined wetland/marsh area, littoral shelves and deep water sediment traps.

Interior uplands and native landscaping provide an exhibition of natural Florida from the paved pedestrian path and boardwalk to seven designated Learning Areas. There is a large decorative Trellis and six story Observation Tower located at two of these Learning Areas.

The Wellington Environmental Preserve also includes a 3.6 mile perimeter Equestrian Trail that is an extension of the approximately 65-mile Wellington bridle trail system. The Preserve was named the 2010 “Project of the Year” by the Palm Beach County Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

About Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Douglas, born April 7, 1890 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, graduated from Wellesley with straight A's with the elected honor of "Class Orator." That title proved to be prophetic.

In 1915, following a brief and calamitous marriage, she arrived in Miami, working for her father at the Miami Herald. She worked first as a society reporter, then as an editorial page columnist, and later established herself as a writer of note. Here she took on the fight for feminism, racial justice, and conservation long before these causes became popular.

She was ahead of her time in recognizing her need for independence and solitude, yet never considered herself entirely a feminist, saying: "I'd like to hear less talk about men and women and more talk about citizens.

Her book, The Everglades: River of Grass, published in 1947 -- the year Everglades National Park was established -- has become the definitive description of the natural treasure she fought so hard to protect. After several reprints, the revised edition was published in 1987, to draw attention to the continuing threats -- unresolved -- to "her river."

In the 1950s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rose to the top of her list of enemies. In a major construction program, a complex system of canals, levees, dams, and pump stations was built to provide protection from seasonal flooding to former marsh land -- now being used for agriculture and real estate development. Long before scientists became alarmed about the effects on the natural ecosystems of south Florida, Mrs. Douglas was railing at officials for destroying wetlands, eliminating sheetflow of water, and upsetting the natural cycles upon which the entire system depends.

Early on, she recognized that the Everglades was a system which depended not only on the flow of water from Lake Okeechobee into the park, but also upon the Kissimmee River which feeds the lake. To add a voting constituency to her efforts, in 1970 she formed the Friends of the Everglades, and was active as the head of the organization.

 


Green Motion Tours • At The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Everglades Habitat
3491 Flying Cow Road • Wellington, Florida (561) 909-7779
greenmotiontours.com © 2011

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