What does the Everglades, wilderness, and writing have in common? More than you might think! On September 3rd,1964, Congress passed the Wilderness Act which established a “National Wilderness Preservation System for the permanent good of the whole people, and for other purpose.” Fourteen years later, on November 10th, 1978 over 1.3 million acres in Everglades National Park became part of this national wilderness system. The solitude, natural beauty and uniqueness of the Everglades wilderness has inspire visitors from all over the world. People come to this wilderness refuge for recreational, spiritual and cultural reasons. Among the many who have been inspired by the Everglades, it is writers who have always been at the heart of bringing this unique place to life in the minds of millions across the world. From the quirky beloved fiction books of Carl Hiassen to the critically acclaimed River of Grass by Marjory Stoneman Douglas, written works can have a lasting impression.
The Park’s 1.3 million Acres Wilderness Area is named in honor of none other than writer, journalist and conservationist Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Her 1947 book entitled "River of Grass" called attention to the degradation of the Everglades and inspired millions of people over the years to restore and preserve this amazing place. Douglas also worked as a reporter producing over one hundred articles and short stories advocating to protect the Everglades. Today she is known as the "Mother of the Everglades".
Through generous donation from the National Park Foundation, the Everglades Wilderness Writing Expedition is a unique program that will allow ten lucky aspiring writers to be the next generation of “Everglades writers”. As they document their journey into the wilderness they too will have the opportunity inspire people all over the world through their written work. We hope that you will follow their journey from very beginning (now) through December 2014!