“There are no other Everglades in the world.” ~ Marjory Stoneman Douglas
On Saturday, March 18 from 10 AM to 3 PM take a journey of the cultural history of the 10,000 Islands during Everglades National Park’s Calusa Days at the Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades City.
The Calusa were a self-sustaining indigenous people living in the 10,000 Islands. As part of a society extending back thousands of years, many of their practices helped modern societies learn how to live in Southwest Florida’s challenging subtropical environment.
Calusa Days is a fun, free event that celebrates the 10,000 Islands and island life and history. Come discover how these fascinating islands have shaped generations of people over many time periods. There will be engaging demonstrations, interesting activities, riveting storytelling, and thought provoking programs. There are many activities for all ages planned, and the event is open to the public.
At Calusa Days you will learn how the Calusa Indians survived the harsh environment, in the days before bug spray and air conditioning.
Explore how the Calusa used native plants on Nature Walks that will be led by park rangers.
Go back in time and learn how to make fire from scratch, weave mats from palm fronds, and even how to throw a spear like a Calusa hunter. Some of the other day’s activities will include mask decorating, pottery making, and a mock archeological dig.
In addition, there will be special boat tours to the Calusa’s manmade shell mounds. (Please note that there is a fee for the special boat trips, but all other activities are free.)
One of the day’s highlights will be a 1 PM presentation by local historian and author Marya Repko about “Saving the Swamp.” The presentation will take place at the Chickee Hut at the Gulf Coast Ranger Station of Everglades National Park. It is only 100 years in the long history of this special area since preservation started, but earlier humans respected it, and used its natural resources wisely.
For more information, visit nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit or call 239-695-3311. Gulf Coast Visitor Center is located at 815 Oyster Bar Lane, Everglades City.