Your Moment of Everglades Zen: Start your year with a trip to the Everglades!

The Everglades: Homestead to Flamingo If you’ve ever entered Everglades National Park through Homestead, you know the feeling of anticipation and joy as you get closer to the magical river of grass. Farmland soon morphs into the vast beauty of one of America’s most unique national parks,, where freshwater marsh and tree islands blend seamlessly into open pinelands and mangrove swamp, wading birds and reptiles coexist, and the subtropics reach the continental United States.  This collection of photos embodies the wonders you can find along the glorious, 38-mile stretch of State Road 9336, from the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center in Homestead all the way down to the [...]

2024-01-02T09:31:57-05:00January 2nd, 2024|All Posts, Everglades National Park, Everglades Zen|

Your Moment of Everglades Zen: Magical Moments of 2023

Our favorite Everglades photos of 2023 Photos and words by Friends of the Everglades Multimedia Producer Leah Voss It’s a special honor to work full-time at Friends of the Everglades visualizing this unique ecosystem through images and video. Many days are spent behind a computer screen, crafting visual stories that help people understand Everglades issues and get to know our supporters and staff. But the days I spend outside are the most memorable. This year, I’ve explored the Greater Everglades on foot, by boat and car, and gained even greater perspective with aerial views while piloting my drone. Each method of surveying provides a different experience.  As I [...]

Your moment of Everglades zen: Flora of the River of Grass

Native plants are a life-source of the Everglades. The Everglades is an oasis of tropical flora unlike any other place in the world. Orchids. Bromeliads. Succulents. Wildflowers. And, of course, the sawgrass that inspires the nickname “River of Grass.” The largest subtropical wilderness in the United States provides a perfect habitat for hundreds of diverse plant species that play a crucial role in the ecosystem. They provide habitat and food for birds, insects, reptiles, and mammals. Native plants also filter and purify water in the Everglades, helping to maintain the balance of the freshwater system and soil stability, preventing erosion and facilitating water absorption.  Plant species (from left) poisonwood, ghost orchid, air plant.  Unfortunately, over 160 native Everglades plant [...]

Your Moment of Everglades Zen: The Wonder of the Night Sky

The Milky Way stretches over Everglades National Park in May 2022. Photo by Anthony Sleiman. Discover the Milky Way​ Believe it or not, you can see comets, shooting stars and even the Milky Way in South Florida. This is one of many natural benefits Everglades National Park provides us. With 1.5 million acres of undeveloped land, the park is a haven for darkness and a chance to escape from all-consuming light pollution.  We just celebrated International Dark Sky Week (April 15-22), and this week's cooler weather provides an enticing excuse to visit Everglades National Park to experience the wonders of the night. (Note: The Shark Valley park entrance is closed May 6-23 for maintenance.)  Here are some [...]

2023-05-01T19:38:57-04:00May 2nd, 2023|Everglades National Park, Everglades Zen|

Celebrate Earth Day with Friends of the Everglades

Great blue herons are one of 16 wading bird species that live in the Everglades, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. “Saving the Everglades is a test. If we pass, we may get to keep the planet.” These words, spoken by a former Friends of the Everglades executive director, convey what’s at stake as we work to restore the largest subtropical wilderness in the country. Beginning north of Orlando and stretching to the southern reaches of Florida Bay, the interconnected web of wetlands, rivers and lakes that make up the Greater Everglades is a watery wilderness as diverse as it is beautiful. The Everglades are home to critical habitats for a wide variety of species. [...]

2023-05-11T11:29:33-04:00April 21st, 2023|Everglades National Park, Wildlife Habitat|

Experience “Passages at the Nest” — an AIRIE exhibition sponsored by Friends of the Everglades

Friends of the Everglades is a proud sponsor of Passages, a multimedia exhibition from AIRIE (Artists in Residence in the Everglades), curated by Creative Director and 2022 AIRIE fellow Cornelius Tulloch. The exhibition aims to create heightened visibility and a voice for the “River of Grass,” revealing connections found or created by AIRIE fellows in the Everglades and celebrating the stories of this natural landscape and its overlooked communities. By offering a place to contemplate the Black history of the Everglades, Tulloch and other AIRIE fellows look at the threats that climate change and urban development pose to this area, extending to the marginalized communities of south Florida and the indigenous communities and wildlife of the region. In addition to [...]

2023-03-09T12:08:51-05:00March 9th, 2023|Everglades National Park, Marjory's Circle|

Your moment of Everglades zen: Golden Hour at Anhinga Trail

As spring approaches, now is an ideal chance to take a trip to Everglades National Park before the oppressive heat of summer descends. Our multimedia producer, Leah Voss, took a recent walk along the Anhinga Trail, where she encountered scenes alive with activity as she soaked in the warm glow of a late afternoon. She captured those moments in words and images:  “Far south of the bustle of Miami, tucked inside the protective boundaries of Everglades National Park, the sun sank lower toward the horizon, blanketing the freshwater marsh of Taylor Slough with a golden light. Purple gallinules hopped across lily pads. Cormorants squawked and jostled for positions [...]

75 Years of Everglades National Park

The river of grass stretches out over Miccosukee lands north of Tamiami Trail. 75 Years of Everglades National Park"There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth, remote, never wholly known. Nothing anywhere else is like them: their vast glittering openness, wider than the enormous visible round of the horizon, the racing free saltness and sweetness of their massive winds, under the dazzling blue heights of space. They are unique also in the simplicity, the diversity, the related harmony of the forms of life they enclose. The miracle of the light pours over the green and brown expanse of saw grass and of water, shining and [...]

Your moment of Everglades Zen: One day in Everglades National Park

The problems plaguing the Everglades are varied and plenty, and often we find ourselves hard at work behind our computer screens as we fight for the places we love. So when a couple of our staffers had a chance to spend a day on assignment in Everglades National Park, we were enchanted and inspired. A midday walk on the Anhinga Trail, accessed from the Ernest Coe Visitor Center in Homestead, brought us face-to-face (from a safe distance) with a mama alligator and her recently hatched brood. The tell-tale yellow stripes of the hatchlings provide temporary camouflage for blending in among the marsh grasses. From a perch above, the sharp eyes of a [...]

2022-11-01T12:01:26-04:00November 1st, 2022|Everglades National Park, Everglades Zen|

Your moment of Everglades zen: Wild Observations with Deborah Mitchell

We know the bad-news reel gets old. It's good to stop and remember what we're working so hard to protect. Here's your dose of Everglades zen. Wild Observations This past weekend we walked with conservation artist Deborah Mitchell through six enchanting destination-exhibition sites hidden within the Everglades National Park trails. Deborah's art combines scientific research with artistic interpretation to map an ecological and cultural study of observations occurring in our wild places. Through her work, she aims to inspire restoration of ecosystems, combat climate change, address habitat loss and reduce invasive species. These photos capture a few of the moments we encountered with a small group of Marjory's Circle members — as we took part in a visual and sensory experience exploring [...]