In the early 1900s, three influential Florida women, inspired by three different causes, laid the foundation for Everglades conservation.

Inspired Causes

The largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, known as the Everglades, would look a lot different today if not for the efforts of three women. May Mann Jennings, Minnie Moore-Willson, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas each fought to save the Everglades during a critical period when political and business leaders sought to drain and develop the area.

Florida Everglades National Park Map.
Courtesy National Park Maps

Inspired by three different causes, these women helped pioneer Everglades conservation during a time when women’s roles in politics and policy-making were limited.

Today the vast subtropical wetlands in southernmost Florida are threatened by climate change, water control, invasive species and development. The early conservation efforts by Jennings, Moore-Willson, and Douglas demonstrate that there are many reasons for continued Everglades protection.

May Mann Jennings black and white portrait.May Mann Jennings spearheaded the creation of Florida’s first state park, Royal Palm State Park, making the Everglades a tourist destination for the first time.
Minnie Moore-Willson portraitMinnie Moore-Willson secured legislation to preserve 100,000 acres of the Everglades for the Seminole people.
Portrait of young Marjory Stoneman Douglas.Marjory Stoneman Douglas was a celebrated defender of the Everglades, and her relentless efforts led to milestone achievements in the name of environmental conservation.