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Conservation in Florida: Its History and Heroes
Circle B Bar Reserve
Friday November 4th, 2011@ 6:00 pm
Cost: Free

Join our own LRAS member Gary White as he talks about his recently published book Conservation in Florida, Its history and heroes. Learn what inspired him to write such an informative book on the conservation history of Florida. This book is one of a kind as it traces the conservation movement in Florida from the early 1900's up to the present days. The book also pays tribute to Floridians who have been particularly instrumental to the conservation movement. These “heroes” include the man called the father of the Everglades, scientist-activists who brought a new level of empiricism to the conservation realm and even a novelist whose scathing and scabrous tales jolted readers into broader awareness of Florida’s ecological losses.

Please join us for this special night where you'll have the opportunity to meet award winning author Gary White. He has received several recognitions including four awards during the 2007 Society for Professional Journalists Competition.

Hors d' oeuvres & beverages will be served at 6:00 pm.

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Meet our Guest Speaker
Gary White

I'am that relatively rare species, a native Floridian. (Actually, there are roughly 6 million of us living in Florida, but non-natives often seem surprised that we exist.) I was born in the affluent city of Winter Park, a fact I find amusing, considering my status as a decidedly non-affluent journalist, and I spent most of my childhood in Titusville, a small city on the east coast of Florida. Titusville lies just across the Indian River from the Kennedy Space Center, and I fondly recall watching rocket and space shuttle launches from the banks of the river or from our front yard.

Originally a humanities major, I decided for pragmatic reasons to switch to journalism at the University of Florida. I worked as a copyeditor and/or reporter at three Florida newspapers, Florida Today (in Melbourne), The Daily Commercial (in Leesburg) and the Gainesville Sun, before joining the staff of The Ledger (in Lakeland) in 2002 as a feature writer with a focus on health and fitness. It took a while, but I eventually found the job for which I think I am best suited.

I'm fortunate to have considerable latitude in pursuing story ideas. During my time in Lakeland, I have written on a wide array of subjects: anorexia, plastic owls, grits, clotheslines, noise pollution, the aftermath of suicide, library book repairs, teens and tattoos, agoraphobia, free running, meditation, second marriages, circumcision, coyotes, a bereavement photo program, youthful doctors and poetry, among many others. I’m always striving to write about subjects that seem overlooked by the media. Since 2007, I have published an online blog for The Ledger devoted to outdoor activities.

When not at work, I occupy myself with hiking, cycling, kayaking, taking nature photos, reading fiction and spending time with a golden retriever named Sadie.

I have received many writing awards during my career, mostly in state newspaper contests. I captured four awards in the 2007 Society for Professional Journalists contest sponsored by the North Central Florida chapter, including first and second place in general feature writing. During my days as a sportswriter, I received the 1993 Shelby Strother Award, given for the best single story of the year (small-circulation category), an award I particularly value because I had the good fortune to work with the late Shelby Strother during a summer internship at the old Today newspaper in Cocoa (now Florida Today).

I hope anyone who encounters this page gets the same pleasure from reading these stories as I derived from writing them.

115 Lameraux Road ∙ Winter Haven, Florida 33884 (863) 259-8497