Saying he is tired of being pressured from both agricultural interests and environmentalists, Governor Rick Scott announced plans this week to use Amendment One funds to purchase large tracts in the Everglades Agricultural Areas and the Everglades itself for the construction of a vast, sugar-themed recreational park.
“My plan is to style it after Disney World, which generates $1.2 billion in revenue each year – money the state can use for infrastructure projects and for shoring up our borders,” he said in a press conference on Thursday. “This park will serve both as a showcase for the sugar industry that has kept Florida’s economy afloat for over 100 years and for the Everglades itself – as we plan to construct a 300-acre attraction called Glades World where flora and fauna from that famous region will be kept in a zoo-like enclosure allowing tourists to experience the River of Grass in a safe fashion.”
Other possible attractions for the giant, 1,250 square mile park – which will be the largest in the world once it’s complete in 2025 – are a ¼ mile long slip and slide made entirely from woven blades of sugar cane (covered in a slick, petroleum based epoxy for safety); a Whack-A-Wacko game where participants can test their mettle by hefting a giant hammer onto molded plastic vestiges of dissident newspaper editors, and – for the kiddos – ‘Sugar Poppin’s’: an enormous, self-regenerating bowl of sugary treats that kids have to capture while floating on helium-filled stuffed manatees. Of course, the park will also include homages to famous environmentalists such as Scott himself and the Fanjul family.
“To help with Florida’s exploding population, this park will also feature four move-in ready gated communities, median home price in the middle-income friendly $2 million dollar range so they will be affordable for everyone,” Scott told the media gathered on the front lawn of his Naples mansion. “And for the gun lovers, there will be a 500-acre hunting preserve stocked with all the critters we can’t fit into Glades Park.”
The park will encompass much of the south-central part of the state – from just north of U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail) up to below Belle Glade – with the Everglades National Park and the remainder of the River of Grass to be used as retention ponds for the runoff from the park and its communities – thus providing lots of nutrients for Florida Bay.
Scott declined to speculate as to what ticket prices might be, but did say that those purchasing yearly passes will be given one-night stays at a hunting lodge in Texas.
“This is the future of Florida and I’m proud to be a part of it,” he concluded.
Keri Hendry Weeg
The Island Sand Paper staff has waited patiently for April 1st to fall on a Friday, our publication day, ever since 2011 when it last did and we had some fun with a story about a zipline from Seafarer’s to the beach. We hope you enjoy this year’s expanded coverage of foolish stories. The next time April 1st falls on a Friday is in 2022