Leslie Kemp Poole

Johanna Lawshea

Leslie Kemp Poole is adjunct professor in the Environmental Studies and History departments at Rollins College. She is the author of Maitland. Her latest book is Saving Florida: Women’s Fight for the Environment in the Twentieth Century (University Press of Florida). Florida is renowned for its beautiful beaches, natural springs, and subtropical wilderness, but it is widely joked that the official bird should be the construction crane. Saving Florida reveals how women’s clubs prompted legislation to establish Florida’s first state park, which became the core of Everglades National Park, in 1916—before women even had the right to vote. Many women led the fight for unprecedented changes in how the Sunshine State reveres its unique natural resources. They set the foundation for this century’s environmental agenda, which came to include the idea of sustainable development. As a collective force, they forever altered how others saw women’s roles in society. Saving Florida looks not only at this collective endeavor, but at the individual women who worked to protect Florida’s natural resources, despite limitations of gender.