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Near Ocala in Marion County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Green Monsters

Historic Florida Barge Canal Trail

 
 
Green Monsters Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, February 13, 2021
1. Green Monsters Marker
Inscription.  
The Crusher
Green life was a major factor between those who opposed the Cross Florida Canal and those who backed it. The sharpest point of contention was the Ocklawaha River basin, as well as the environmental catastrophe that evolved after construction of Rodman Dam. The tank-like vehicle, "The Crusher," that was built to crunch trees into the soil didn't prevent many of those trees from rising up and becoming a hazard. In addition, the artificial lake created by the dam attracted invasive species of plants like hyacinths. Hundreds of thousands of tons of the water-clogging plants grow, and must be removed, every year.

Monster-sized Fish
There's a positive note for people who like to fish on the man-made reservoir (9,500 acres,15 miles long). It has become one of the premier, trophy-sized, largemouth bass fishing locations in North America (State record: 17.2 lbs., 29.75 inches long). Rodman Lake also has bluegill, black crappie, and red-breast sunfish.

Greenway Gators
They're monstrous and can live 30-50 years. This Crocodilian species has been around America for a long, long time. Females weigh
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up to 200 lbs. Males are as big as 500 lbs. and 10-15 feet long. They love wetlands, marshes and swamps, riverbanks. golf course ponds and maybe (watch out) your housing development's ponds and drainage basins.

Alligators are what's known as an "apex predator" which means they eat fish, amphibians, birds and small mammals. Don't get careless! Be alert! Gators have been known to eat domesticated pets — and people, too.
 
Erected by Florida State Parks.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsEnvironmentParks & Recreational AreasWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 29° 6.088′ N, 82° 5.328′ W. Marker is near Ocala, Florida, in Marion County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Southeast 80th Street (County Road 328) and South Pine Avenue (U.S. 441), on the right when traveling east. Marker is located along the trail at "The Island" - Cross Florida Barge Canal Interpretive Park, just south of the Marion County Sheriff's Station. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3260 Southeast 80th Street, Ocala FL 34480, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. History: Crops (a few steps from this marker); Greenway Greenlife (a few steps from this marker); Cat Face
Marker detail: The Crusher image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: The Crusher
(within shouting distance of this marker); Florida Crackers (within shouting distance of this marker); History: Cows & Horses (within shouting distance of this marker); History: Monkeys & Boars (within shouting distance of this marker); Florida Seminoles (within shouting distance of this marker); A Tribe Lost: Timicua (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ocala.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Historic Florida Barge Canal Trail
 
Also see . . .
1. Lessons from the Cross Florida Barge Canal Project. Less than one-third complete, the Cross Florida Barge Canal soon became a monument to the lack of consensus over the meaning of development and progress. It also vividly underscored the growing power of a grassroots environmental movement determined to prevent the canal from destroying natural Florida, particularly the relatively untouched Ocklawaha River. (Submitted on February 20, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Florida Frontiers “The Cross Florida Barge Canal”. Marjorie Harris Carr led a group of environmentalists
Green Monsters Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, February 13, 2021
3. Green Monsters Marker
who successfully argued that the Ocklawaha River must be preserved and construction of the canal stopped. Their arguments were fueled by the use of a gigantic, destructive machine called “the Crusher,” that decimated Florida’s natural landscape. “This thing could mow down six 80-foot cypress trees in one swath,” says Tegeder. “It basically cleared about an acre an hour.” (Submitted on February 20, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Ocklawaha River: Weed-Choked Reservoir Blocks Free Flow From Silver Springs To St. Johns River. Cannon Springs has spent a half-century entombed by a government blunder of a dam and reservoir on the Ocklawaha River. Every several years, authorities must dump the artificial lake to flush out a nonstop growth of muck and weeds. Only then is Cannon Springs liberated, as are 19 other nearby springs, and only for a few weeks. (Submitted on February 20, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
The "Crusher" image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Florida Memory
4. The "Crusher"
The destructive machine called “the Crusher” was so efficient at clearing Florida’s natural landscape that it provided environmentalists with ammunition for their fight against construction of the canal.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 21, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 14, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 195 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 20, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Apr. 15, 2024