Segment: First interest in environmental protection and inspiration

Source: Interview with Sharyn Richardson, Secretary of Friends of the Everglades and personal assistant to Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Videotaped at the Douglas House in Coconut Grove.

Link to Audio: SPC955_1

Length of Segment: 00:02:13

Interviewer: “What I want you to tell me about is how you first came to work and know about the Friends of the Everglades.”

Sharon Richardson: “Umm… that’s a hard question. Well, it all started, I think, with something that the-- I’ll start out philosophically --something that the Quakers call bearing witness. And, when you see an injustice and you become aware of that injustice, you have to take responsibility for it. That’s all there is to it. You can’t away from it, just become ignorant of it. You have to do something. I’ve always been that way. And, I started out by running across an article in the newspaper about an extension of I-75 that was going to be built through some wetlands, somewhere, I don’t know, in Central Florida I think, and it said for more information, call the Environmental Information Service of Friends of the Everglades. So, I called and said ‘What can I do?’ and I met Joe Podger who was, and still is, the Environmental Information Service of Friends of the Everglades. And I worked with Joe for almost two years. Basically, I organized his library and his information facilities. And, I met Marjorie, through Joe. I became acquainted; working with Joe, with Friends of the Everglades, saw what was going on. When I met Marjorie, I was impressed with her. I started seeing her at different functions and one day she called me up and said, ‘Would you please come to work for me?’ and I said ‘Great! And, so, I did. I’m glad I did. I feel like I am now a part of Friends of the Everglades.”