Who are the Naturalists?

See Also: Nature-Lovers Travel Guide, Trip Planning

Marjorie Harris Carr – Tireless Conservationist

Marjorie Harris Carr’s most prominent legacy on the byway was to halt the construction of the Cross Florida Barge Canal. Over the long 1962 – 1971 battle, she enlisted citizen’s groups, formed an environmental group, and rallied the public to stand up for our precious local ecosystem.

“Why fight for the Ocklawaha River? The first time I went up the Ocklawaha, I thought it was dreamlike. It was a canopy river. It was spring-fed and swift. I was concerned about the environment worldwide. What could I do about the African plains? What could I do about India? How could I affect things in Alaska or the Grand Canyon? But here, by God, was a piece of Florida. A lovely natural area, right in my backyard, that was being threatened for no good reason.” Marjorie Harris Carr


YouTube: Marjorie Harris Carr

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

This organization put many unemployed young men to work in the Great Depression, and National Forests all over the country benefited from their efforts. The CCC was responsible for the construction of 126,000 miles of roads and trails, planted millions of trees, built fire towers, and left permanent structures in the forest for visitors to use. This group helped make it easier for the public to access nature.

The Mill at Juniper Springs was one of the most unique projects the CCC built across the country. In 1935-36, the CCC built the Mill house to provide electricity in a location miles from other sources. They further developed trails and campgrounds in that area.

William Bartram – Dreamy Naturalist

William Bartram, a Quaker from Britain, fell in love with wild Florida in the late 1700s/early 1800s. A naturalist, painter, and visionary, he conveyed through his books a sense of the area as an Eden. This euphoric vision inspired Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge to produce great works such as the famous poem Kubla Khan. He has a famous tree, the Bartram Oak, forever associated with him along the byway in Astor.