Honored in 1986
Marjory Stoneman Douglas started the drive for the Everglades National Park and was one of the Nation’s leading conservationists. She continued to speak on behalf of Florida conservation well into her 100s.
She was the president and founder of the 4,000-member Friends of the Everglades, and the Florida Audubon Society named her “Protector of the Everglades.” The state of Florida renamed the Tallahassee Department of Natural Resources Building as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas building. In 1985, she was recognized as “The Lady of the Everglades” by the Florida legislature and Gov. Robert Graham, who stated that Mrs. Douglas had “done more than any one person to teach people of Florida about the Everglades.”
Marjory Stoneman Douglas was born in 1890 in Minneapolis, reared near Boston, and began her writing career in Miami in 1915 with the Miami Herald. In 1927 she served on the original committee for the creation of the Everglades National Park, the subtropical rain forest and wildlife preserve stretching 100 miles from Lake Okeechobee to Florida’s southern tip.
As writer, speaker and conservation activist, she consistently fought for the preservation of the inland waters and environment of Florida, earning the first “Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award for Citizen Conservation” from the National Parks and Conservation Association. Her most well-known work is The Everglades, The River of Grass, published as a part of the Rivers of America series in 1947, the same year that the Everglades National Park was dedicated. Ms. Douglas died in 1998.