On March 20 and 21, Mamie Street was the scene of equipment arriving to grade and pave the portion leading to the historic Smallwood Store. It’s been almost a year (April 13, 2011) since FL-Georgia Grove LLP tore up the road, and the extended deadline for them to adhere to the court order and restore the road was about to expire. It’s the end of the winter season and it is sad that it has taken so long for the developers to replace the paved road that was needed for tourists to visit. The Smallwood Store has suffered a significant loss of visitors, and expenses for attorney fees have been very high.
On April 14th a breakfast with author Carl Hiaasen will benefit the Smallwood Store. It will be held at the Oyster House Restaurant by reservation only 239/695-2397. $25.00 minimum donation. Also the Friends of the Museum will host a reception from 1:00 to 3:00 PM for photographer, Brian Call, who will be exhibiting in the Pauline Reeves Gallery this month. The Museum is located at 105 W. Broadway and open Tuesday through Friday, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and on Saturday, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. There is no admission charge but donations are welcome. For information, phone 239-695-0008.
There will be an illustrated presentation with historical photos by local author, Marya Repko, who has written several books on the history of the area,on Saturday, April 14, at 1:00 PM at the Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center. For more information, call 695-4758.
Larry Perez at Everglades National Park will present a talk entitled “Everglades Pythons: a Decade of Change” during a roast beef buffet dinner at the Seafood Depot on Sunday, April 15, beginning at 5:00 PM. Cost is $25 for Friends of Fakahatchee members and $35 for non-members. For reservations, call 695-2905 or visit website www.orchidswamp.org
If you missed the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge open house, public use is available year round during daylight hours at the south entrance (located just . mile north of I-75 on SR29). Two hiking trails provide visitors the opportunity to see the old oak trees and the natural habitat in the area. The shorter boardwalk trail is just 1/3 mile long and loops around through a hardwood hammock and a recently restored pond. The longer 1 1/3 mile loop may flood during the wet season (June through December) and may be more challenging. Call 239-353-8442 for more information and to check out the condition of the trails. Now is a great time to hike and see the many wildflowers and birds. Deer, bear and panther tracks may also be observed so don’t forget your camera!
For more information about what’s happening in the Everglades area, visit www.evergladesmulletrapper.com. Have a very Happy Easter and safe trip home to all our winter residents.
Patricia Huff has lived in Everglades City for the past 17 years and is the Publisher of the local newspaper The Mullet Rapper.