Sooo, this is Everglades National Park. Everything looks so green, and beautiful, and diverse. I just wish I knew what it all meant. Visitor Center! Well, I guess I will start there. Hello. Ranger Amber: Good morning. And, welcome to Everglades National Park. Thank you. I just moved to south Florida for a new job. And, I want to get my feet wet and really understand what the Everglades is all about. Well, if you really want to understand the Everglades, you need to get your feet not only wet, but dry as well. I recommend that you start by exploring the mountains and valleys of the habitats that make up this Everglades ecosystem. Mountains and valleys?! But, everything looks so flat. And, what do you mean by habitat? A habitat is a home. It is a place where a plant or animal lives and gets everything it needs to survive. Every habitat has a different: Elevation. Water level. Plants. Animals. And natural disturbances. Ooohhhh, I see. So, there are a variety of habitats, or homes, in the Everglades. Wow. Where can I start!? Well, most park rangers have a favorite habitat. Why don't I give them a call to let them know you are coming out to visit today. I recommend that you start in the Everglades mountain habitat: The tropical hardwood hammock. And, here is a map to get you started. Oh, that sounds great. Thank you.
Ranger Amber introduces a newcomer to the idea of "mountains and valleys" in Everglades National Park.