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Sunday, March 11, 2018


      Coconut Grove should be proud to be the home of Marjory Stoneman Douglas.  
South Florida's esteemed writer and environmental leader lived in the South Grove house that she built on Stewart Avenue in 1926, for 72 years. When she died there, at the age of 108 (1998) she left her property to the State of Florida.
     Marjorie wanted the State to make her diminutive English cottage a pubic place. She imagined future generations enjoying the afternoon sun, as she had, on her back porch. The Mother of the Everglades wanted it used to further her love of nature and environmental legacy.  
     Sadly, the State has done next to nothing to carry our her wishes. Marjory's house is now  a rental address, used as sleeping quarters for a park ranger. The public is not allowed to go near it.
      There isn't even a historic marker outside.

Most of my friends have never seen the Douglas home and many don't know it exists. It's almost as if state officials wants us to forget about our country's environmental  hero and all the good things she represented.  
    For years we've had an informal group, "Marjory's Circle", trying to goad the state into honoring Marjory and her house at 3744 Stewart Avenue. On Tuesday, you can help.  
    The state's parks department is sending down a Tallahassee team to lead a public meeting to discuss the house's future.
    It will take place at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club on March 13th from 5:30 to 8 p.m.  The public is invited.  Can you come?  We need all the support we can get.

   The house should be opened to the public as a mini-museum and restored with Marjory's furniture and possessions (they're in storage now). An appropriate marker should be placed by the road.

That would be the right thing to do.


   But there are other ideas...Some of her neighbors do not want anyone coming to the Douglas house. They want it kept secret.
    Fairchild Gardens wants it cut up and re-assembled on their back lot to give their profile a boost. Even they must know moving an old house from its original location causes it to lose much of its historical significance.
     The parks department would like to hear from you on Tuesday night. I hope you can join us to speak up for Marjory and all the good things her long life represented.

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