Saving the World One “Mound” At A Time

Turtle Mound

We Will Remember The Turtle Mound Excerpt

This year’s UCF Book Festival holds true to its word in delivering a wide variety of literary insight, how-to’s, and how-can-you-help’s. With a schedule overflowing in book signings, workshops, and too many options to count on fingers and toes, it can become slightly overwhelming to decide which novelty venues are worthy of exploration. This same feeling resonates with Suzie Caffery, Diahn Escue, and Linda Walters who feel that saving the world may sound like a heroic and self-fulfilling quest; however, taking small steps usually conquers more ground than attempting to cover the whole philanthropic effort.

Caffery, Escue and Walters have dedicated much of their time striving for the archaeological preservation of many Central Florida habitats nearing extinction. Recently, the trio, with the help of many volunteers, have worked tirelessly to save and protect Native American shell mound, Turtle Mound. Turtle Mound’s roots provide evidence of past life dating back to year 800, and with this triumph of time comes wounds of war. This historical “monument”, standing 35 feet tall, has fallen prey to erosion through the damaging efforts of wind, rain, and boat wakes along the coast.

Turtle Mound’s immediate need of help drew Caffery, Escue and Walters to implement initiatives in protecting such historic grounds. UCF’s Creative School for Children aid in Turtle Mound’s care taking while volunteers work on projects such as native shoreline vegetation planting and weaving oyster shell mats.

In a recent interview by UCF Today, Walters emphasizes the value behind these initiatives by mentioning that “This is critical work to help preserve the health and integrity of Mosquito Lagoon and Turtle Mound, local treasures for residents and creatures that call the lagoon home.” Walters, who works as a UCF biology professor, has dedicated much of her time to working in the Indian River Lagoon to aid in saving oyster beds, and has reached out to many organizations – Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, the National Park Service, the Coastal Conservation Association, UCF, etc. – in an effort to help preserve Turtle Mound.

Caffery and Escue’s newest children’s novel in collaboration with Linda Walters, “We Will Remember Turtle Mound” will be making it’s premiere at the UCF Book Festival, April 5th. We Will Remember Turtle Mound guides the reader through this historical landmarks’ in-depth past through a re-telling of the first inhabitants of this area and its pioneer settlers, then transports back to the present to learn more about the protective measures taken to ensure Turtle Mound’s survival.

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