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Strong Female Friday! – “Mother of the Everglades”

Posted by Shawna Ware Mar 3, 2013 , , ,

Happy Friday, strong friends! Unfortunately, Women’s History Month is coming to a close which means that this is the last edition of Strong Female Friday. I know that this may be upsetting news but I am truly excited to present this week’s strong female.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas was an American activist, journalist, feminist, and writer. In honor of all of her work that I’m about to share with you, Marjory has an elementary school named after her that is also one of South Florida’s service sites!

Marjory was born on April 7th, 1890 in Minneapolis, Minnesota but moved to Miami after the end of her marriage to work for her father at the Miami Herald. As the result of her work writing short stories and columns for newspapers, she was recruited to help save the Everglades through the creation of a national park by conservationist Ernest Coe. This collaboration resulted in the 1947 book, The Everglades: River of Grass, which is still considered a classic today and garnered a lot of support for Everglades protection.

Besides writing her book, Marjory fought for the Everglades in many other ways. When the Army Corps of Engineers was working on a project that diverted the natural flow of water in the area and disrupted the natural cycle of the ecosystem, Marjory strongly opposed and, to help prevent projects like this from being approved again, she founded “Friends of the Everglades” to broaden the base of those who believed in its protection.

In 1986, the National Parks Conservation Association honored Marjory by establishing the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award to be given to individuals who go above and beyond to protect the National Park System. In 1993, Marjory was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor in recognition of all of her hard work and accomplishments. Our strong female fought for the preservation of the Florida Everglades until her death in May 1998 at the age of 108. As a Miami native and Everglades visitor,  I thank her for her hard work and am honored to share her story with you.

Well, that’s all folks. It has been a pleasure telling all of our Strong Friends about the Strong Women in South Florida’s past and present. Enjoy the rest of your Women’s History Month and, hopefully, you’ll hear from me again soon.

-Shawna

[photo credit: en.wikipedia.org]

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