Hear from expert speakers, and enjoy a meal during the Lunch & Learn Lecture at the Rookery Bay Research Reserve Environmental Learning Center. Registration fee is $15 (includes lunch). Friends of Rookery Bay members receive a 10% discount (Please login to website to receive your discounted rate). Pre-registration is required, as space is limited.

Given By: Peggy Macdonald, Executive Director at the Matheson History Museum; and Adjunct Professor at Stetson University and Indian River State College

Lecture Description: Florida’s “Three Marjorie(y)s” used the power of the pen and grassroots activism to celebrate Old Florida and protect Florida’s wildlife and wild places. Through engaging historic postcards and photos and a lively presentation and discussion, author Peggy Macdonald blends Florida, women’s and environmental history to provide audiences with an inspirational message about the power a small group of committed citizens can have to defend Florida’s environment. Carr was raised by naturalist parents in rural southwest Florida when the state had fewer than a million residents. In the 1960s, when I-75 was constructed through her backyard, Carr launched a conservation career that preserved many of north central Florida’s ecological treasures.

Brief Bio: Peggy Macdonald is a native Floridian. She is the executive director of the Matheson History Museum in Gainesville. Dr. Macdonald also teaches history at Stetson University and online at Indian River State College. Her recent book, Marjorie Harris Carr: Defender of Florida’s Environment, won Honorable Mention in Foreword Reviews’ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award contest in Women’s Studies. She has written articles on local and Florida history and culture for Gainesville Magazine, Our Town Magazine and Senior Times. Macdonald is an alumna of the University of Florida (Ph.D. in history, 2010) and Hollins University, a women’s college in Roanoke, Virginia. She lives in Gainesville with her husband, two children and a blue and gold macaw named Miles.


Table Talk is a series of programs designed to encourage families to eat together, talk together, and increase awareness of community events. Families will meet once every 2 weeks for a meal and discussion.


On January 9, 2018, The Village Square and Leon County Government will host our annual Created Equal program. We will continue the frank community conversation about how we are doing in our hometown on issues of race and racial equality. In the wake of tragic events in communities of color and escalating political polarization around issues of race, we can’t quietly wish this were someone else’s problem. So we’re going to continue to talk about how we can face it, own it, and change it.

We’ll be stretching to live into the long-promised vision of our founders that “all men are created equal” – right here in our hometown. It’s a big promise our founders made, and we’re going to have to get a little uncomfortable if we’re going to rise to it. We say we’re up to the challenge. (Dinner – because this will probably make us hungry – is on us.)


On the eve of Pearl Harbor, Florida was the smallest state in the South. Today, Florida is a Sunbelt megastate. World War II is the lynchpin. The war galvanized Floridians, resulting in the influx of two million servicemen. WWII also ignited a modern civil rights movement, new roles for women, and the dawn of the Florida Dream. Explore Florida’s role in the war with Dr. Gary Mormino as he examines the great social, cultural, and economic forces that transformed Florida into the “Sunshine State,” now the third most populous in the country.

Gary Mormino is the Frank E. Duckwall Florida Professor of History Emeritus at USF St. Petersburg. He is a frequent contributor to the Tampa Bay Times and has written several books, including “Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida” and was awarded the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing by the Florida Humanities Council. If you aren’t a historian but need someone to put an event into an interesting Florida perspective, ask Gary. Everyone does, including reporters from the New York Times, the New Yorker and National Public Radio.

This Tuesday evening lecture will be preceded with a “Meet and Greet” and book sales and signing by Dr. Mormino from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Parking will be available in the overflow fields at the campground entrance. ADA handicapped accessible parking is available at the park recreation hall. The lecture is free and park entry fees are waived after 6:00 pm.