Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Charter Bus tour of the Florida Everglades

The Everglades National Park in Florida encompasses a combination of habitats that together make up an extraordinary and valuable ecosystem. The park is a Biosphere Reserve, an Outstanding Florida Water and a World Heritage Site, providing charter bus visitors glimpses of endangered and threatened species, miles of paddling trails and remarkable photography opportunities. Plan a visit to the Everglades with a bus, coach bus, party bus, mini bus, passenger coach or school bus chartered from Charter Bus Florida and prepare to be amazed at the extraordinary flora and fauna.
"Largest" is the superlative most often used by charter bus visitors for the Everglades. The region is the largest subtropical wetland ecosystem in North America, the largest wilderness in the Southeast and the largest mangrove ecosystem in the western hemisphere. The Everglades contain the largest stand of sawgrass prairie in North America and are the most important breeding ground for tropical wading birds on the continent. Originally 11,000 square miles in size, the section of the Everglades designated a national park which Florida charter bus visitors can visit now covers 1.5 million acres.
Charter bus visitors will be surprised to know that the Everglades, called the River of Grass because the area is largely a river sometimes 60 miles wide, is not a marsh or swamp. Native Americans called it pahayokee, or the grassy waters. The ecosystem protects 14 endangered and nine threatened species, including the Florida panther, the Atlantic Ridley turtle and the American crocodile. Plants from both tropical and temperate climates thrive in nine distinct habitats in the Everglades. The dominant life form in the national park is periphyton, a combination of algae and microbes that floats on the surface of most of the bodies of water.
Calusa Indians inhabited South Florida as early as 1000 B.C. The highly developed culture traveled long canoe trails and left artifacts such as shell tools and carved wood. The Calusa declined with the introduction of disease by European settlers and were replaced by tribes from the Creek nation. Gladesmen, the Florida equivalent of the American West's mountain man, survived off the land, hunting, trapping and staying in camps up until the creation of the national park. Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the “Lady of the Everglades,” was among the first to recognize the ecosystem's importance to human and animal life. She authored five books on the Everglades, including “Everglades: River of Grass”, which charter bus visitors should read if they are interested in finding out more about this unique eco-system.
The best charter bus visitors can view the Everglades is with Airboats, shallow-draft craft with a large propeller in the rear that uses air to propel the boat, and are a classic form of transportation in the Everglades. Several Florida old-timers claim to have invented the cross between an airplane and a boat, but the airboat was perfected in Nova Scotia in 1905. Built to test airplane engines and propellers rather than transport humans across the water, the invention was one among many built by Alexander Graham Bell. Airboats weren't a common Everglades mode of transportation until the 1950s, after the establishment of the national park in 1947.
Visit the Everglades in your charter bus today by giving Charter Bus Florida a call and letting them help you plan your charter bus transport needs.