BACKGROUND: In 1990, when Marjory Stoneman Douglas, grande dame of the environmental movement and author of the seminal 1947 book "The Everglades: River of Grass," celebrated her 100th birthday, even she allowed, "They'll probably make a fuss."
They did. Miami celebrated with an all-comers beach picnic, a private reception sponsored by the Wellesley Club, a sculpture dedication and a black-tie dinner.
UPDATE: Douglas will mark her 102nd birthday on Tuesday more modestly.
"Perhaps a few friends will stop by with a cake and encourage her to enjoy a half-hour of conversation," said Sharyn Richardson, a college professor who is helping Douglas complete a book.
Douglas' health has been poor. After a recent weeklong hospital stay for dehydration, she is back home in the Coconut Grove cottage in which she has lived and worked for 66 years. Blind and often in bed, she is attended by a full-time nurse.
That is not to say that she is idle. Florida State Sen. Bob Graham recently stopped by for a chat and Douglas briefed him on the Kissimmee River restoration project and the movement to uproot exotic malaleuca trees from the Everglades. She is also determined to finish her eighth book, a two-volume biography of the 19th-Century English writer W. H. Hudson.
"She very much wants to live and get better," says Nancy Brown, president of Friends of the Everglades, the conservation group Douglas founded.