SEBRING — A Florida Humanities program with an environmental focus is scheduled for March 2 at Highlands Hammock State Park. Dr. Steven Noll, a master lecturer in the history department of the University of Florida, will present ‘Florida and Water: A Historical Perspective,’ in the park recreation hall at 7 p.m. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be preceded by an informal “Meet and Greet” with book sales and signings at 6 p.m.
Dr. Noll’s program, which chronicles Florida’s long and difficult relationship with water, will examine attempts to turn water into land and land into water throughout the state’s history, including contentious issues such as the restoration of the Everglades, the battle over the Ocklawaha River, the degradation of North Florida’s iconic springs and more. Park Service’s Specialist Carla Sherwin stated, “Water resource issues are one of the most important environmental concerns to Floridians. Former practices of dredge and fill, ditching and draining, and straightening rivers had enormous negative impacts.” “Consider also the loss of wetlands, storm water runoff into lakes, saltwater intrusion in coastal areas, and the lack of flow to springs,” she added. “These are some of the challenges to Florida’s priceless natural resource and those interested in water will not want to miss this program,” Sherwin concluded. Noll has written on Florida history, environmental policy, the Cross Florida Barge Canal and the 1970s disability rights movement. Noll taught Special Education for 28 years prior to joining the faculty at UF.
This program is sponsored in part by Florida Humanities with funds from the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Highlands Hammock State Park. Highlands Hammock is located at 5931 Hammock Road in Sebring. Park entry fees of $6 per vehicle are waived after 6:00 p.m. For more information, call 863-386-6094, and visit floridahumanities.org and floridastateparks.org/park/highlands-hammock.