The Everglades Trail — the extensive, lengthy water system that begins in Orlando — ends far to the south, in the Everglades. Pollution that starts in Shingle Creek can, eventually, find its way to the vast “River of Grass.” / Graphic courtesy of South Florida Water Management District

Although people tend to blame agricultural entities, such as farmers, for pollution in Lake Okeechobee and in the Florida Everglades, the problem doesn’t begin that far south.

Instead, some of the pollution that ends up in the vast “River of Grass” (far to the south of Lake O) originates in Orlando (far to the north of Lake Okeechobee).

Shingle Creek is “at the headwaters of the Florida Everglades.” / Photo courtesy Osceola County Department of Parks

According to the Osceola County Department of Parks, “Shingle Creek Regional Park is an urban oasis at the headwaters of the Florida Everglades” (italics added).

Below is an excerpt from the Aug. 24 story “Pollution in Central Florida reaches Everglades through system of streams, lakes” (subtitled “What you pour down the drain ends up in the system to the Everglades”) by Vanessa Araiza. It ran on

“Shingle Creek, near Conroy Road, is one of the starting bases that streams through neighboring lakes and eventually makes its way to the Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

“Sam Haught, with Wild Florida, not only works along Shingle Creek but enjoys its serenity.

“‘What appears to be just a dirt ditch up here in Orlando turns into the Everglades,’ Haught said. ‘It really feels like you’re in the heart of the Everglades down south, and you would never know it’s heavily bordered by tourists and heavy residential areas.'” …

“The rainwater that fills the creek filters downstream and meets up with West Lake Tohopekaliga, and then goes through a channel to Lake Cypress.

“Eventually those waters filter into the Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.”

To read the entire story, visit