Again, as in previous issues, I encourage everyone to “get out and get wet.” During Labor Day weekend (September 3 – 5) the annual Muck-About at Clyde Butcher Gallery provides you an educational tour with experienced guides who will lead you behind the Big Cypress Gallery in Ochopee into a mysterious and secretive environment. The natural world of Big Cypress Swamp is a richly diverse wilderness of subtropical flora and fauna found nowhere else in our country. There are not many people who brave the difficult swamps and cypress stands in order to understand the beauty and peace found in more than a million acres of swamps and land located in the Everglades eco-system of South Florida. It’s an experience you won’t forget!
Clyde Butcher will be in the gallery all three days to meet you and sign books from 10 am to 5 pm. Niki Butcher will be giving hand painting B&W photography demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday from 10AM to 2PM. What to wear and bring:?Wear – long pants, hat, old tennis shoes. Bring complete change of clothes and a sense of adventure. You will be supplied with abottle of water after your walk, walking sticks, Eco guide, and a great time! Walks are approximately one and a half hours long.
Swamp Walks and Muck Abouts are at Big Cypress Gallery, 52388 Tamiami Trail in Ochopee (just 25 minutes east of SR29.) Space is limited so call soon for reservations 239-695-2428. The cost is $50 which includes a $25 credit to use in the gallery the day of your walk. A child under 18 is free with paid adult. For more information and reservations, call 695- 2428 or check online at www.clydebutcher.com
Update on the Smallwood Store and Museum in Chokoloskee
In previous articles I wrote about how this historic Museum was shut down on April 14 when the south end of Mamie Street was bulldozed and a chain-link fence was installed around the property by the adjacent property owners, Florida- Georgia Grove LLP. A lawsuit was subsequently filed jointly by Collier County (at the request of the Board of County Commissioners) and by the Ted Smallwood Store, Inc., asking the courtto determine that the Museum had easements over Mamie Street, ordering that access be restored and award monetary damages. This case will be heard in court on September 8 at 1:30PM.
Ted Smallwood Store, Inc. is a 501-C (3) not-for-profit organization representing the place where Florida’s pioneer culture and Seminole Tribal culture of the Everglades came together. The nearly 100 year old store was constructed in 1917 as an early trading post and post office for this remote area. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Lynn McMillin, on behalf of the board of directors of the Ted Smallwood Store, is seeking donations to sustain the Museum, help with necessary legal fees and costs, and to replace the much needed funds for repairs and maintenance. All contributions made toward saving this landmark are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible. To make a donation, make a check payable to Ted Smallwood Store, Inc., P.O. Box 310, Chokoloskee, FL 34138 or go to website www.smallwood store.com and click on “donate.”
Patricia Huff has lived in Everglades City for the past 16 years and is the Publisher of the local newspaper The Mullet Rapper.