In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, Everglades National Park and its partners proudly hosted the Everglades Wilderness Writing Expedition! This program engaged 10 aspiring writers and journalists, ages 18-25, on an exploration of wilderness, self-discovery and environmental writing. These aspiring writers embarked on the journey of a lifetime to discover the beauty and complexity of the Everglades wilderness.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Day Trip # 3 (By: Sabrina Diaz)

October 25th was the final day trip for the students of the Everglades Wilderness Writing Expedition. The day is jam packed with important things to see, do and learn about. Our day starts at 9am at the Ernest F Coe Visitor Center where we begin to talk about the "nitty gritty" of the next week's expedition. We rummage through clothes which Ranger Maria and I have brought to share with the students. We go through a detailed list of gear that we need for the trip: Synthetic shirts, fleece sweater, quick dry pants, wet shoes, dry shoes, long underwear...and the list goes on and on. We manage to share our resources to ensure that all the students have the necessities.

Next on the list is a wonderful guest speaker: Don Finefrock. Mr. Finefrock is the Executive Director of the South Florida National Parks Trust (one of our sponsors for this program). Prior to his career with the Trust Don was a journalist for 20 years. He spent 10 years writing for the Miami Herald. His written work on Hurricane Andrew helped the Miami Herald to win a Pulizer Prize. Additionally, Don has paddled extensively in the Everglades Wilderness. The students thoroughly enjoyed listening to Mr. Finefrock and had lots of great questions for him.  

After our wonderful talk to Mr. Finefrock the group headed south, down to the Flamingo are of the Park. They enjoyed a talk about "Submerged Wilderness" from Ranger Bob Showler, and then headed over to 9 mile pond for their first paddling lesson.

While paddling, the students had some time to process their thoughts and put their pens to the paper. In less than one week they would find themselves on a paddling adventure of a lifetime!

Entry by: Ranger Sabrina

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