Under a bygone hammock

Florida City “is at the eastern end of the only road running through the Everglades National Park, which terminates at Flamingo. Florida City is the southernmost city in the United States which is not on an island. It is also the last stop on the mainland north of the Florida Keys.

Florida City Wikipedia page.

Hello my friends. I would like to let you know what is happening right now in our little slice of Covid life. We have been locked down in Florida City, Florida, in one of the only campgrounds before the Florida Keys.

It’s a town with a bunch of history. One of the town’s oldest remnants of a bygone era, an oak hammock that extended for hundreds of miles, is in our campground and has been a comfort for me over the years, since we made this campground our winter home. Now, since 2020’s lockdown began, it’s been my full-time home.

It is known around here that the former owners, George and Mildred Cole (who deeded the park to the city in the 80s) are buried under the hammock. Their headstones are here. There are neighbors who remember them and their promise to keep these 14.7 acres a home for reasonably priced camping. The deed that was signed over to Florida City was said to have stipulated that fact, but it’s gone missing in the morgue of discarded documents in City Hall.

This is what Florida City has planned for this campground that is currently our home.

The reason I have decided to let my readers into my private life is that the city of Florida City has said they have sold the property to a developer. The flyer they “officially” taped to our open door, gave us six days to vacate the property. In the middle of Spring Breakers flooding Florida, we’re expected to find another campground. … The lack of logic in this is unbelievable.๐Ÿคฆ

Fortunately, an Anonymous Donor has stepped in and an injunction has been filed to halt the eviction. (For now, I guess.) I hope they find the original deed that promised this campground for a hundred years. I at least hope the new owners will see the importance of this campground at the edges of the Everglades and the Florida Keys.

The truth is, Florida has “paved Paradise” like in that Joni Mitchell song and definitely “put up a parking lot”. I’ve seen the western edges of the Everglades near Naples and Fort Myers disappear under paved roads and new retirement communities that won’t let me visit my family members. (Mobile homes are not allowed… Are they afraid their residents will remember how much fun they had camping with their kids and will crowd their limited parking lot with campers?๐Ÿค”)

In central Florida, that parking lot is known as Amusement Parks (like Disney and Universal.) Much of the natural beauty throughout the state has been plowed over and replaced with younger trees and small flower beds inside hotels, malls and housing developments. (You’d better not try to plant anything around your home that hasn’t been Association Approved!) Today I read that the over-development of the Indian River area has led to the deaths of hundreds of manatees so far this year! ๐Ÿ˜ข

I fear what will happen to the glorious old Banyan trees along King’s Drive a few blocks north of this campground.

I get it. “Improvement”, they say “for the people” who live in the city, not the tourists (or the campers who live here full-time), because people who live in Florida don’t need trees blocking their roads or campgrounds impeding the “big city” dreams of small-town Florida. (That’s sarcasm, btw.)

Apparently, far-south Florida has no room for campgrounds in this “Vacation destination.” The few that remain outside of the Everglades are exclusive and age-restrictive. (My own beloved, pre-owned mobile home is past the age-limit now for the only other campground I’ve called home, the one by the Metro Zoo.)

I don’t typically get political on This blog, but this is not right. I’m sorry if you don’t agree, but we need to “leave room for nature,” as R.C. Christian sketched onto the Georgia Guidestones.

I think he has a point. I pray for this world to awaken! ๐Ÿ™

The Dragonfly’s Student

3 comments

  1. It is so sad to see the disappearance of the natural beauty that helps to the survival of so many species. I hope that something will be done to halt the process of vacating these premises and you, and many others, can continue to live there.

    Liked by 1 person

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