Tag Archives: over development

The Martin County Difference, A Coastal Flight Comparison to “South Florida,” SLR/IRL

 

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St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, Martin County, FL (JTL)
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Port of Miami, Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL (JTL)

Today my husband, Ed, is going to take you on a flight south along the Atlantic Coast from the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon in Martin County, to the Port of Miami. As we know, the coastline becomes more and more developed as one flies further south. Bright blue skylines of houses and condos morph into shadowy silver skyscrapers, and cargo ships. Expansive greenery slowly disappears…

I, probably like you, know people who grew up in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, or Palm Beach County who have moved to Martin County to get away from the over-development and traffic nightmare of “down south.” Many tell stories about things changing “overnight,” and no longer recognizing the place they called home.

The “Martin County Difference,” its slow development, is not by accident. Many throughout the years have fought to keep our area less traversed than the rest of South Florida. One thing is for sure, if you want to keep it, you have to fight for it, or otherwise it will be going, going, GONE…

Ed’s tour-view, from the air, really makes the comparison hit home.

(Please see map of cities passed in flight, and 28 photos or slide show below.)

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Ed your pilot and tour guide
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Coastal flight from Stuart/Palm City/Hobe Sound in Martin County to Miami and Key Biscayne.

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I am having technical problems with this post; long up-loading and off links.  I do apologize and will get worked out. Jacqui

“Going Home” to Meet Maggy Hurchalla, SLR/IRL

The house built in the early days of Miami by Maggie's mother.
The house built in the “outback” by Maggy’s mother in the early days of a growing Miami.
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The driveway leading to the house. (JTL)
The driveway leading to the house. (JTL)
The porch.
The porch.
The grounds has many trees planted by Mrs Reno years ago that are now gigantic.
The grounds has many trees planted by Mrs Reno years ago that are now gigantic.
Oolite rock on the grounds.
Oolite rock on the grounds.
The house only lost one shingle during Hurricane Andrew in 1992. This hangs on the wall as a testament to Mrs Reno.
The house only lost one shingle during Hurricane Andrew in 1992. This hangs on the wall as a testament to Mrs Reno and her husband.
cover of book
Cover of book. Mrs Jane Woods Reno.
In 1994,  when I was a much younger woman, my mother handed me a book entitled: “To Hell With Politics,” a compilation of the writings of Jane Wood Reno.

My mother noted that the author was an incredible woman. She had built her house with her own two hands; was a savant; she had had a career as a reporter for the Miami Herald; she once hiked many miles northward, for days and nights, along the Atlantic’s shoreline meeting, speaking, and writing about the people she met along the way; she had befriended the Miccosukee Indians and they considered her an “Indian Princess;” she raised peacocks on her very large parcel way out west of Downtown Miami; she was a dedicated mother and wife…..she was Martin County Commissioner Maggy Hurchalla’s mother.

To say the least, I found Mrs Reno’s story interesting and never forgot the book. Fast forward twenty years; I was invited to visit the house, and I did.

Driving down on October 24, 2015, I thought it would be a straight shot down the Turnpike from Stuart. But somehow I “took a wrong turn” and ended up in the craziness of Downtown Miami driving in carpool lanes as a single driver, cameras taking my picture, and barriers forcing me to stay in “my lane.” As I pulled off I-95 stressed out and sweating Siri’s voice rung in the tense air. Then I saw it, the mailbox.

Turning right down a long unpaved driveway I exited the bustle, excessive traffic, shopping malls, and crowded housing developments, and went back in time. Driving in I noticed wild coffee plants and gumbo limbo trees  just like some areas of our St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. “Weird.” I thought. “Is there a creek around here somewhere? I wonder what Kendall looked like before they drained it, filled it, mowed it down, and planted hedges? A pine forest? An oak/palm hammock? Beautiful…”

I parked my car and looked around. Time stood still. A tropical breeze floated through the trees and the sun shined. Birds were chirping. Legend Maggy Hurchalla greeted me and I toured the grounds of her family home. She was there caring for her older sister, former U.S. Attorney General,  Janet Reno. It was a day I will always treasure. A day a book I read as a younger woman came to life.

I think the photos will say it all, so I won’t write much more.

The house is an island. It is a symbol of what was, and what has become. Thank you to Maggy Hurchalla who helped keep what happened around her childhood home from happening in Martin County.

You can see the Reno parcel unchanged amounts the rampant development of Miami Dade. Google maps 2015
You can see the Reno parcel unchanged amoung the rampant development of Miami Dade. Google maps 2015
Up close.
Up close.
Maggy give me a tour or the grounds. (Photo JTL)
Chickee built by Maggy’s brother. (Photo JTL)
Maggie gives me a tour of the grounds.
Maggy gives me a tour of the grounds.
Mrs Hurchalla having a park named after her in Martin County 2013. (MC Flicker photos.)
Mrs Hurchalla having a park named after her in Martin County 2013 for her work as a commissioner from 1974-1994. (MC Flicker photos.)
Plaque in park. Photo Sandra Thurlow 2015.
Plaque in Maggy’s park,  Photo Sandra Thurlow 2015.
Sally Schwarz’ article about park in MC: (http://opinionzone.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2013/12/07/martin-county-names-park-after-maggy-hurchalla/)