The Everglades are a large collection of swamp areas in southern Florida. They stretch about 40 miles wide and 100 miles long. Many species of plants and animals inhabit the Everglades.
The basin area that the Everglades takes up was once part of the sea, until it flooded and saltwater flowed in. Throughout the Everglades, grass can be found as high as 12 feet tall. Clusters of plants that grow together in the Everglades are called "tree islands." The soil of the area is made up of peat, muck, and decaying plant life.
The area was first inhabited by Seminole Indians fleeing from United States troops. In 1947, Florida began to drain the Everglades to make room for farmland. But the land tended to catch fire, destroying acres of precious swampland. In 1948, the government approved a plan that set apart a region of the Everglades for park space. This area became known as the Everglades National Park.