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Published on Aug 18, 2013
Florida's Caladesi Island State Park was named America's most beautiful beach in 2008, but the island is much more than sun, surf, and red beach umbrellas. It's a gem among nature preserves, an entire barrier island with coastal dune, mangrove, maritime hammock, and pine flatwood habitats, all teeming with wildlife.
This video includes a description of the pre-Columbian Tocobaga, the Native Americans living in the Tampa Bay region before the arrival of Spanish Conquistator Pánfilo de Narváez in 1528; made real through the paintings of Hermann Trappman, the premier artist of Florida historical scenes.
Shown are the diverse and beautiful species of wildlife, fish, birds and flora native to the region, the nature path around the island through its various habitats, kayaking the mangrove-lined channels, and the 20-minute ride from Honeymoon Island on the Caladesi Island Ferry.
See the island through the eyes of Myrtle Scharrer Betz, the only person born and raised on the barrier island in the 20th Century (born in 1895), whose vision with her father, Swiss immigrant Henry Scharrer, led to the protection of Caladesi as a Florida state park in 1967. Her book, Yesteryear I Lived in Paradise, is a brilliant account of a pioneering family in Florida.
See the natural beauty of Caladesi Island: the real Florida.
Many thanks to Terry Fortner and the family of Myrtle Scharrer Betz, University of Tampa Press, Tampa Bay Times, painter Hermann Trappman, photographer Jim Wark, the Dunedin Historical Society, narrator Heidi Eyler, and musician/songwriter Jon Galfano.