“River of Grass” by Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Grass, Tree & House - The River Grass

IN 1947 A FEISTY LITTLE 57-YEAR-OLD WOMAN NAMED MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS published a book entitled ‘River Of Grass.’ It launched a consciousness and a movement to save the Everglades, until that time thought of as a ‘worthless swamp.’ The book eventually came to be considered as significant as Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring,’ in terms of meaning and impact. When Marjory was 79 years of age she was called upon to spearhead the efforts to preserve her beloved Glades, which she did with countless speeches, articles, appearances, and lobbying efforts against threats of remorseless development and exploitation, until her death at age 108. If there is a more inspiring story in the history of American conservation—and there are some great ones—I am unaware of it. All through this time—from 1926–Marjory lived in a tiny 3-room cottage she had built near Miami, without air-conditioning, dishwasher, or an oven. She cooked with a hot plate and a toaster, wrote and worked at her desk in the main room. Friends, acquaintances, movers and shakers came to visit her here, and would gather on the small stone patio by the front door. I have long wanted to see the little house myself, and as I make reference in my next book to Aldo Leopold’s ‘shack,’ Thoreau’s Walden cottage, Sig Olson’s Listening Point cabin and other abodes, today took the opportunity to make the pilgrimage. The humble little place, in a green and leafy neighborhood, is not officially open to the public, and its future remains uncertain. But its past is extraordinary.


Grass, Tree & House  House and Greens- Douglas Wood

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