Friday, March 1, 2013



CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112,


~Many historical and cultural events planned this month at state parks and trails throughout the state~

MKR house

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings loved to walk in the shade of orange trees at her house, which is the main site at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park in Cross Creek.

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service is proud to host many historical and cultural events this month in recognition of Women’s History Month, Archaeology Month and Viva Florida 500. Florida State Parks will commemorate the role of women and the impact they made on parks as well as significant archaeological discoveries made in state parks through reenactments of historical events, educational displays and interactive programs. These activities will bring history to life and set the stage for a fun, educational family outing.
“Florida’s state parks are proud to host many Women’s History and Archaeology-focused events this month and throughout the year,” said Donald Forgione, DEP’s Florida Park Service Director. “Embracing, preserving and promoting Florida’s cultural history is a significant role for state parks and we enjoy providing this important information to our visitors.”
National Women’s History Month, sponsored by the National Women’s History Project, is a celebration of the achievements of women in all facets of life – science, community, government, literature, art, sports, medicine – that have a positive impact on the development of self-respect and new opportunities for girls and young women.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park is named after the author who lived and worked in the tiny community of Cross Creek. Her cracker style home and farm, where she lived for 25 years and wrote her Pulitzer prize-winning novel, The Yearling, has been restored and is preserved as it was when she lived there. The Yearling was published in April 1938 and this year the park will celebrate 75 years of the classic story of a young boy and his pet fawn, as they mature from one spring to the next in the Florida scrub. Visitors may tourthe house with a ranger in period costume from October through July, on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) at 10 and 11 a.m. and at 1, 2, 3, and 4 p.m. for $3 for adults and $2 for children aged 6 – 12.
The Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway is named after the woman who led the movement to stop the Cross Florida Barge Canal project. The corridor that exists today as the Cross Florida Greenway was, for decades, the site of one of Florida's largest public works projects ever. In Feb. 1964, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction of the Cross Florida Barge Canal. After decades of lawsuits and congressional bills to deauthorize the construction of the canal, in Nov. 1990, President George Bush signed SB 2740 into law deauthorizing the Cross Florida Barge Canal project and changing the purpose of the lands to recreation and conservation. The greenway was named after Marjorie Harris Carr in 1998. See the Greenway and all the beautiful nature by joining the 8th Annual Hike Across Marion County March 2, 9 and 16. Hikes depart from the Santos Campground at 8:30 a.m.
Archaeology is the study of ancient cultures through the recovery and examination of material remains such as buildings, grave sites, tools and other artifacts usually dug up from the ground. Learn about ancient cultures at Florida’s state parks during Archaeology Month events.

Silver River Knap-In

Silver River State Park, Ocala

Saturday and Sunday, March 2 & 3

9 a.m. to 4 p.m

This weekend event will feature flint knappers from across the Southeast making stone tools like Native Americans did thousands of years ago. Visitors can watch as stone tools are created from various flints by expert "knappers." Other artists and crafters will demonstrate how bows and arrows are made, hide tanning, pottery manufacture and firing, tomahawk and spear throwing and other skills.

Timucua! Program

Faver-Dykes State Park, St. Augustine

Saturday, March 30

2 to 4 p.m.

Experience and discover Native American life ways of the Timucuan Indians and their relationship to the land they loved. Explore with an expert guide, enjoy stories about the Timucuans and discover the important role the river, forest and ocean played in their everyday lives. See a re-created 1500s Timucuan Camp and experience the food, clothing and shelter of these amazing people. Try your hand at throwing an atlatl or starting a fire using a bow and drill.

Many of Florida's state parks and trails offer an educational look at history and culture. Some offer valuable lessons for women’s history and archeology, all of which are commemorated during Viva Florida 500.
Every week in 2013, the Florida Park Service will highlight a significant event or milestone that happened in a state park or associated with a state park on a new web page called, “Viva Florida 500 – History Notes.” At this web page, visitors can learn about Florida’s heritage through state parks and then experience it in real life by visiting that particular state park. The month of March is jam-packed with reenactment and heritage day events at Florida's state parks.

Battle of Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park, south of Tallahassee

Saturday and Sunday, March 2 & 3

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

During the final weeks of the Civil War and early on the morning of March 6, 1865, volunteers from the Tallahassee area - Confederate soliders, old men and young boys - met the Union forces at Natural Bridge and successfully repelled three major attacks. On Saturday, March 2, guests will mingle with civil war reenactors and observe a Confederate-Union skirmish, cavalry demonstrations, artillery shows and medical treatment examples. Sunday, March 3, will be the official Opening Ceremonies and Dedication, followed by a full-scale reenactment of the Battle of Natural Bridge at 2:30 p.m.

Fort Cooper Days

Fort Cooper State Park, Inverness

Saturday and Sunday, March 16 & 17

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Experience Second Seminole War and Florida history. Explore period military and Seminole camps. Take in living history demonstrations held throughout the day, visit the period craft vendors or grab a bite to eat from one of the food or snack vendors. Battle reenactments will be held twice daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Loud sounds may frighten young children and pets.

Cape Florida Heritage Days

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne

Saturday, March 9

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tour the lighthouse and keeper's house and talk with park rangers and volunteers to learn about the history of Cape Florida. Two nature walks highlighting the plants and vegetation that Juan Ponce DeLeon would have observed when he set foot on Key Biscayne in 1513. Historic reenactors will re-create the 1858 pre-Civil War time period featuring a lighthouse keeper and Cape Florida family life. Enjoy demonstrations of candle making and a musician playing the dulcimer. A ship salvager and hunter/trapper will talk about life in the mid-1800s.

Homosassa Heritage Day

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Homosassa

Saturday, March 9

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In collaboration with Citrus County Historical Society, Florida Archaeological Society, Crystal River Archaeological State Park, Homosassa River Garden Club and other local groups, this event will feature displays of historic photos of the Homosassa area and Homosassa Springs Attraction in the Florida Room. Also learn about the people, places and lands of David Yulee's Margarita plantation from Jason D. Moser, PhD with the Florida Public Archaeology Network. Costumed reenactors will converse with Florida pioneer woman Dessie Smith Prescott, and novelists Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Ernest Hemingway. Reminisce with retired park rangers about the former wildlife attraction and the famous animals that wintered here.

Annual Fort Chokonikla Encampment

Paynes Creek Historic State Park, Bowling Green

Saturday and Sunday, March 23 & 24,

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This year’s event will feature reenactment of the fatal attack by renegade Seminoles on the Kennedy-Darling trading post. Other demonstrations will include how United States soldiers, local pioneer settlers and Seminoles struggled to survive during the mid-1800s in central Florida. Reenactors will demonstrate their skills with bow and arrows and tomahawks. There will also be exciting black powder demonstrations with period rifles, pistols and cannons.

This is just a sample of the many history focused events being held this month at a Florida state park.

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