In 2 decades of living near the Everglades, I had never been. Since I have a dream of us visiting every state and as many national parks as possible, it only made sense to start close to home. We took our summer trip to Flamingo Park, almost as far south that you can go in the Everglades. I would not recommend going in the middle of the summer as the mosquitoes are extra vicious. We still had a lot of fun and even managed in the heat.

We rented an eco-tent that was on a wooden floor and came with one box fan and a light. We brought our own fans and air mattresses and set it up quite nicely in the spacious tent. You could zip the sides down to make it mesh and air would flow though or you could cover the sides for privacy. We were far away from the bathrooms which proved to be annoying when there were so many mosquitos at night, so you did your best to hold it until morning. I can’t wait to have a camper set up with a bathroom right on board.

We rented Kayaks and paddled down the waterways in the morning and later in the afternoon we took a boat tour that took us out further into the waterways and swamps. We saw many crocodiles, and even some baby crocs. There were some birds but otherwise the wildlife was scarce. We learned all about the Burmese Pythons that are not native and took over the environment and had left very little small mammals in the Everglades.

As we try to turn all our trips into learning opportunities Evie wanted to know more about the Burmese Pythons that have caused such havoc on the ecosystem. They are not native to FL and were released into the wild where they had no predators and have simply been able to grow their population. There are now Python hunters that go and try to hunt them or tag males so they can find more female snakes to hunt. The population is still extremely high and who knows if the natural wildlife will ever get their chance to repopulate, but people are still trying to help.

To end our trip and learning experiment, the girls made some snakes. For the 4 year old’s motor skills, stringing some beads onto a pipe cleaner was her snake activity. The 7-year old cut strips and made a chain snake for hers.

Even though the animals in the Everglades are important in many other ways like for our water filtrations.
A great place to getting more information for student learning is their website. 
It is also a great place to get more information if you are looking to take your own trip down to the Everglades.

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