Let’s take a “swamp tromp” through the Everglades, a wondrous wetland that kids will find appealing due to its enormous size and the presence of many unique animals. This “River of Grass” covers an incredible 1.5 million square acres and contains over 900 species of plants and 600 kinds of animals, many of them endangered. From beginning to end – marine estuary to pinelands – the Everglades are chock full of weird and wonderful fauna, such as manatees, crocodiles, and panthers. Delve into the diverse ecosystems that make up these famous wetlands; for kids who like ecology, this will be a fun trip.
There are people whose lives are also intertwined with the Everglades, like the Seminoles, who fought three wars against the U.S. Army that tried to rout them out. Learn about the delicate natural balance of these wetlands; for kids who are budding environmentalists, there is a whole “slough” of facts about how wetlands contribute to the environment, like soaking up water to reduce the risk of flooding. Kids will be alarmed to discover that the Everglades are disappearing as we speak due to damaging and toxic farming methods, but will probably be relieved to find out that the CERP project (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan) is on top of these threats and includes strategies for buying up land and building 40,000 acres of artificial marshes to filter the nasty chemicals out of water before it reaches this one-of-a-kind national park.