A great honor
An honor for wildlife photographer Carlton Ward
Last spring, the Legislature unanimously passed the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act, covering nearly 8 million acres of our state, not only securing access to the reclusive Florida panther and other wildlife but also protecting the headwaters of major watersheds, including the Everglades. The law helps sustain working ranches and forests and preserves lands and waters critical to coastal estuaries, such as Tampa Bay.
The act grew out of a lobbying campaign by conservation photographer and filmmaker Carlton Ward Jr. That work has made Carlton only the sixth Floridian in history to be awarded honorary membership in the Garden Club of America, which is composed of 18,000 members in 200 clubs nationwide.
The GCA honor recognizes that Ward’s excellence as a photographer is matched only by his calling as a conservationist.
As president of a Jacksonville garden club, I nominated Carlton for this rare honor, with the notable support of the National Geographic Society, The Nature Conservancy of Florida and the International League of Conservation Photographers, as well as other GCA garden clubs across the state.
Carlton Ward is Florida’s 21st century Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, who led the fight for conservation and restoration of the Everglades. What Douglas achieved with her pen, Ward has achieved with his camera. People who care about saving Florida’s heartland for wildlife and humans alike, for centuries to come, owe him a debt of gratitude and continuing support before the legislature this session.
Susan Smathers, Jacksonville
The writer is president of Late Bloomers Garden Club, a member club of the Garden Club of America and is married to former Florida Secretary of State Bruce Smathers.
My eyes were opened
Sidney Poitier was the only one we had | Column, Jan. 13
Thank you, Leonard Pitts, for your piece on Sidney Poitier. You opened my eyes to see what it was like back then, to get a sense of what he went through as a young, aspiring Black actor, and how his determination and ultimate success affected all of those that watched.
Traci Walters, Clearwater
A matter of opinion
The editorial page | Jan. 13
Kudos, again, to the readers who write succinct and dead-on letters! The Rays, the Republicans, the governor’s bragging about his COVID non-policy, de-facto voter suppression and the undemocratic filibuster are all fair game. And the lead editorial calling out Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran’s conflict of interest — thanks again for hitting the nail on the head!
Susan Sumnick, Riverview