Myakka State Park was an enchanting and illuminating experience. As this was my first time visiting a state park, I didn’t really expect the sheer size of the park. The size of the park was quite confusing, as we ended up not finding the actual group. Nonetheless, we decided in our little group to explore and get a slice of what Myakka State Park was all about. An aspect that stood out to me was the sprawling ecosystem of the actual park. Coming from a city life, it was interesting to see how untouched by modern society this state park was. This proved to be a valuable learning experience, as it was rare that you can get up close and personal towards some of the creatures that inhabit the park.
So the day started off on a rather confusing note, due to the size of the park and the rather vague description given by the front guard, we ended up not being able to catch up to the main group. Hence, we decided to split off into our own little group. Through exploring the expansive park, it was obvious from the start just how much wildlife inhabit this park. It was rather eye-opening for me, as coming from a city life. In Hong Kong, there are various hiking trails, but neither to the degree nor the size of this state park and it amazes me how untouched it remains after 70 or so years of preservation. Zoos and small hiking trails are the closest I can get to explore nature back at home, and still there still was a barrier of how close we can get to these wildlife creatures. In Myakka, being up close and personal towards the alligators was uncertainly an unnerving yet insightful experience as you can get an undiluted sense of how these animals live, and the manner in which they disappear below the surface of the river was extremely unsettling but at the same time gives you an understanding of how they are a successful predator.
my best efforts trying to photograph the alligator
I think it is imperative that we preserve State Parks such as Myakka, especially in this ever-developing modern society. It is important for the future generations to fully respect and understand our ecosystem outside of the slideshows and textbooks. Allowing them to first hand experience how these wild animals interact with nature and how we all play a role in preserving planet Earth, hopefully allowing them to develop a deep sense of empathy and sympathy of why we need to preserve ecosystem.