Saturday, August 29, 2009

Everglades Holiday Park To Change

It's rare you get a chance to witness the government in the early stages of committing folly but here's your chance: like Tom Sawyer's Aunt Polly, Broward County intends to "sivilize" Everglades Holiday Park.
The amenities aren't much at Everglades Holiday Park: weathered boat ramps, chickee huts and wooden benches. The rustic souvenir shop sells bait, beer and toy alligators.

There are no color schemes or elaborate park maps, only a welcome sign with a sketch of where to park: airboats to one side, guests to the other.

It's a slice of Old Florida, much the same scene that has greeted visitors for more than two decades. And that's the way the regulars -- hunters, fishermen and bikers -- like it.

``The Everglades is one of the last places that's untouched by man, and we should keep it that way,'' said park manager Clint Bridges.

Broward County officials don't share that sentiment.

They want to take it over and make it over, including providing more parking, walking paths and a learning center in place of the campsite.

Oh my, yes. A learning center. As if a few hours spent at the park isn't a learning experience in itself. Just not the kind of learning the government wants you to have.

I'm sure Broward County operates some very lovely parks. But Everglades Holiday Park is one of the last remnants of old Florida, an original. See it in its natural state while you still can.

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