My next book focuses on a crime that occurs south of the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID). This is an area of old world Florida that was raped to create Disney World. I say raped, although Disney’s RCID works hard to maintain the district now, because it has seen some dramatic changes over the past forty years that have totally disrupted the natural ecosystem.
Disney called on his friends to lead the way in turning the marshes, swamps and wetlands of Central Florida into what would become the Walt Disney World Resort.
The headwaters of Reedy Creek are not natural. An effort to demolish a stand of low rent housing unearthed the waters. The low-lying swamps were essentially drained into what became Reedy Creek. It is now in what is one of the busiest parts of the world. But there is some effort to maintain the beauty and cleanliness of it.
Walt Disney World sits on of 25,000 acres in Central Florida governed and managed by an essentially “private” government—the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID). RCID levies taxes on its residents, devises and enforces building codes, handles waste management and fire protection, issues bonds to finance infrastructure projects, and performs many other functions ordinarily performed by local governments.
With its headwaters in what is now Walt Disney World, Reedy Creek flows sluggishly southward through cypress swamps into pristine Lake Russell, and is one of the northernmost sources of water for the Everglades.
The Osceola County Schools Environmental Study Center has a nineteen acre area of Reedy Creek where you can walk out through the swamp.
The cypress with its air-pine bromeliads growing on the trunks and the water fowl are powerfully breathtaking. I always think of the Indians who made this their homeland long before we came along. What we see as inhospitable, they made their homes and learned to work within the environment to survive.
This nineteen-acre segment of the Reedy Creek Swamp offers elevated observation boardwalks, three hiking trails and indoor educational displays. You can see alligators sunning on turtles and turtles sunning on alligators.
The Reedy Creek Elementary school is an earth-bermed structure designed to be obscure in the natural habitat. Many Indian artifacts were unearthed when the school was built, including full-sized dugout canoes, which are on display inside the school.
Book Two of the Naked Eye Series begins as one of the private investigator’s former investment partners plans to work with the Seminole Indians to build a casino near the RCID and another one plans to build condos. One former partner ends up dead.