p. 21 p. 22 p. 23

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Not all developers are without conscience when it comes to developing virgin areas. The following story, told by the Walt Disney World landscape Architect, Mr. Morgan Evans, points up how this great development made special efforts to minimize its impact on the land it utilized as well as showing a degree of regard for surrounding natural areas. Debates will continue involving any appropriation of natural areas for any sort of development as well as the hazards of introducing potentially invasive exotic species. Horticulturists need to inform themselves of all aspects of this touchy subject of land use.

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When announcement was made, in 1965, of the acquisition of 27,400 acres in central Florida for the creation of Walt Disney World, engineers, advance planners and Disney ecologists were already involved in preliminary surveys of the property, pertinent to commercial recreation, vacation camp sites,  living developments, landscape architecture, experimental horticulture, water control, conservation and environmental protection.

Before his death in 1966, Walt Disney had tutored his artists and engineers in successive master plans for the entire forty-three square miles. His objective was to provide for developing recreational, vacation, entertainment and associated facilities plus later creation of two cities, while attempting to achieve some permanent protection for its natural beauty and wildlife. Existing but intermittent water courses were amended to provide constant water level and natural waterways were channeled to create interconnected lakes and lagoons of a natural aspect.

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