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    Hugh Taylor Birch State ParkHugh Taylor Birch State Park Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    the park is situated between A1A and the intercoastal waterway, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that has been designated a Florida state park with outstanding wildlife attractions like gopher tortoise, eastern indigo snakes, turtles and butterflies galore, as well a gray squirrels, over 200 species of hawks, ducks and wading birds and marsh rabbits, opossums and more. A few of the exciting and interesting activities available here include swimming, canoeing, biking, fishing, camping and segway tours, as well as inline skating, wildlife viewing, picnicking and hiking. There is a canoe rental store nearby to get your canoes from or bring your own or kayak, two short trails, a group/youth campground, beach, picnic areas and a mile long freshwater lagoon. Inside the lovely Mediterranean and art deco house of Hugh Taylor Birch, the Terramar visitor center is located, with marvelous exhibits about the state's ecology and wildlife of the park's ecosystem, the history of the city, Florida ecology and one about Birch, who was an attorney for Standard Oil and came here to construct his house in 1940.

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    Bonnet House Museum & GardensBonnet House Museum & Gardens Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    the Bonnet house in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is also known as the Bartlett Estate since it was constructed for artist Frederic Clay Bartlett and his wife, Helen Birch, the daughter of Hugh Taylor Birch, who had originally purchased the land in 1895 and then gave it to his daughter and husband for a wedding gift in 1919. Bartlett had a plantation style house built on the land and would begin wintering here with his wife and child from a previous marriage, named Frederic, Jr. Sadly, Helen would pass away in 1925, and later, Bartlett would marry Evelyn Fortune Lilly, the ex-wife of Eli Lilly, where the couple would continue to winter until Frederic passed on in 1953. Evelyn would then live there until her passing in 1997, after having deeded the estate to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation in 1983. They would continue to care for the property and create a historic house museum. The estate would be added to the list of America's most endangered places in 2008 because of encroaching developments and other concerns.

March 30, 2014