The Gulf Coast Visitor Center in Everglades National Park has been closed since Hurricane Irma swept through Southwest Florida.
“We lost our building — our visitor center and our offices
— in the storm,” Helen Johnson, a Park Ranger at Gulf Coast District of Everglades National Park said.
But now, the park has been approved to receive a brand new visitor center in the next few years. The new building will be named after Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a journalist, and advocate for South Florida’s nature and wildlife which was named the “Mother of the Everglades”.
“She didn’t feel that you had to go out into the Everglades and be bitten by mosquitoes and everything to appreciate it,” Johnson said. “You just needed to go a little bit in and understand how important it is.”
The current visitor center building will be demolished in the
near future to make way for a new building.
Johnson did not know when the new center might be open. For
now, park rangers have a temporary trailer that serves as a command center.