Plus, 6 tips for making the most of the rest of March
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💅 TBT: 5 Women who changed Central Florida's history

Plus, 6 tips for making the most of the rest of March 

You’re not going to believe this but March is already almost over, y’all. 

I’m so confused by time these days. One minute it’s January, then it’s still January, and now all of a sudden it’s March 25. 

Just a few more days and this lovely illustration your editor here made a few weeks back will become irrelevant. So here it is now, in all its glory: Six ideas for making the most of the month of March, right at your fingertips. 

One includes traveling the Florida Women’s Heritage Trail. Yes, apparently it does exist. Sorta. Rather than an actual, properly demarcated trail, it’s a book that outlines the contributions of 100 women in Florida history and where you can find historical markers symbolizing their impact throughout the state. So yes, technically, you can drive the Florida Women’s Heritage Trail, and you can start in Central Florida on page 13

In keeping with this intro’s women’s history month energy, today’s Throwback Thursday piece tells the stories of several notable Sunshine State women courtesy of our partners over at the Orange County Regional History Center. 

But first, let’s talk about the Orlando Land Trust, news about Brightline, and an update to the controversial Bright Futures bill.

If you do one, three, or even all six of these activities, please do us a solid and tag us in your photos so we can share them on our IG. OK? 📸: @pulptown | Wanna see your photo here? Tag either #pulptown or @pulptown on Instagram to be featured as our IG of the Day! 

What Orlando is talking about

The Orlando Land Trust said Tuesday that it had successfully raised the $3.25 million needed to purchase a lot of land on the corner of Rosalind Avenue and Central Boulevard. Their intent is to turn the lot — which currently encompasses a 7-Eleven, a locksmith and a former barber shop —w into an open green space. 

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Orlando Land Trust by now. It’s made headlines a few times these last two years in its uphill battle to fight off new big development from coming to Lake Eola. 

Orlandoans have had mixed feelings from the start. 

For some background, the Orlando Land Trust is a non-profit started by two Orlando residents, Lynn Long and Eugenia Sefcik. With the help of philanthropist Ted Haddock, these self-described little old ladies raised the funds to purchase the property and keep a big developer from putting in a new 28-story multi-use building.

"We have said all along that this issue is about protecting the quality of life we all enjoy here in Orlando. Cities are living, breathing things, and while growth is important, so is protecting the city's heart and soul," Long said.

The land trust has donated the land to the City of Orlando’s Community Redevelopment Agency with the stipulation that it must be used solely as a park or open green space. 

The city is thrilled with the purchase. 

“I have great respect and gratitude to Lynn and Eugenia for not only their dedicated efforts to secure this key piece of land near our Lake Eola Park, but also for their vision to gift this to the city and allow us to incorporate it into future green space, giving us the opportunity to expand the amenities of our crown jewel park for future generations to come and enjoy,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Meanwhile, Orlandoans in the “Smart Growth Central Florida” Facebook group have since raised some good and controversial points about what having a green space really means. 

What about you? How does this story make you feel? Reply to this email and let us know.

In other news… 

🛤 Brightline said it’s still full-steam ahead on completing its route from Miami to Orlando by December 2022. The extension will connect West Palm Beach directly to Orlando International Airport. The high-speed rail service aims to open the route by 2023 before expanding Tampa by 2025. (Orlando Weekly

🤝 The city of Orlando is moving forward with a 12-month partnership with Black Orlando Tech (BOT), a local nonprofit org. The group’s mission is to accelerate economic advancement for local minorities pursuing careers in tech and business in Orlando. The org will work with the city to develop a strategy of addressing racial injustice and economic inequality within the region. BOT is simultaneously working with the Orange County government and was approved for a $100,000 grant by the county commissioners earlier this month. (Bungalower, WMFE)  

🎓 A bill proposing major changes to Florida’s Bright Futures program has advanced without its most controversial elements. The portion of Republican state Sen. Dennis Baxley’s legislation calling for scholarship funds to be reduced for college students pursuing majors not deemed to be “employable” was removed just before the bill’s approval by a Florida Senate subcommittee earlier this week. However, other concerns remain, including the proposal to tie scholarship awards to the amount of money allocated in the state budget. (Orlando Sentinel

🍞 There’s a new sandwich shop opening in Orlando next week that is all weed-themed. Cheba Hut opens Monday near the intersection of Colonial Drive and Alafaya Trail. The restaurant promises to offer “great stoner food,” including one appropriately-named sandwich called “Chronic”. (Orlando Weekly)

TBT: 5 Women who changed Central Florida’s history 

Our friends at the Orange County Regional History Center recently shared a collection of stories of women throughout Florida’s history who’ve left a big impact on our state. Whether it’s saving the Everglades, launching rockets into space, or ensuring education for future generations of African-American girls, our state is better for having had them in it. 

Mary McLeod Bethune with a line of girls from her school. 📸: Florida State Archives

🍎 Mary McLeod Bethune opened a school for African-American girls in 1904 with only $1.50 in her pocket. That school started with only five students and is now Bethune-Cookman University. She was one of seventeen children and only she and two of her siblings were born after her parents were freed from slavery.

🌾 Marjory Stoneman Douglas moved to Florida in 1915 and became a writer for the Miami Herald. She published the book “The Everglades: River of Grass” in 1947 and spread the idea that the Everglades is a large ecosystem, and what we do anywhere in the state affects animals and plant life hundreds of miles away! She founded the Friends of the Everglades in 1970.

🏫 Beth Johnson moved to Orlando when she was 25 years old. She represented Orange County in the Florida House of Representatives in the ‘50s before being elected to the Florida Senate in 1962 where she became the first woman to hold the position. She helped create the University of Central Florida in 1963.

🎓 Betty Mae Tiger Jumper became the first Seminole to be formally educated and graduate from high school. She was a political activist, the first Seminole nurse, a distinguished author, founder of the Seminole Tribune newspaper, and the first woman chief of a major Native American tribe.

JoAnn Hardin Morgan, posing with a space shuttle model. 1995. 📸: State Archives of Florida

🚀 JoAnn Hardin Morgan moved to Titusville when she was a teen and that’s when her obsession with the space program started. She was one of two high school graduates chosen from the entire country to work as engineering aides at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, which later formed NASA. She became the first female aerospace engineer at the Kennedy Space Center.

Many thanks to the history center for sharing these stories with us. Check their blog for other notable trailblazing women to know from our area, including Mabel Norris Reese, whom we told you about last week.

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🎼 Deejay Young LIVE: The Primitive Sessions

Get ready for an evening full of love, light, soul, & inspiration with the sounds of award-winning singer & songwriter, Deejay Young!

Friday, March 26th. Get your tickets today.


🎶 Groove along to Beth McKee and Her Funky Time Band outdoors at The Plaza Live (Milk District)

🗣 Join Peer Support Space for a conversation about anti-Asian hate crimes and a virtual vigil honoring the eight victims in last week's shooting in Atlanta (Online)

💐 Check out the 2nd Annual Art in Blooms exhibit at Orlando Museum of Art before it launches to the public (Loch Haven Park)


🛍 Support local while shopping this pop-up weekly nighttime market outside of Persimmon Hollow (Lake Eola)

🍿 Grab your tickets to see "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III" outside on the big screen (Mills 50)

🍎 Hear from a panel of women academics how the pandemic has affected their teaching, scholarships, and more

🍻 Enjoy beer and wine and a nighttime viewing of the annual "Art in Blooms" exhibit at Orlando Museum of Art (Loch Haven Park)

🎼 Don't miss an incredible evening with four-time Independent Music Award-winning singer & songwriter, Deejay Young! (Timucua Arts Foundation)


🍕 Let Chef Michael teach you how to make artisan pizza using fresh ingredients (Orlando Brewing )

🧘 Wind down your day with this slow-paced, meditative Yin yoga class, instructed by Rob Walsh (Downtown)

🎉 Walk/run for a good cause at Lighthouse Central Florida's Sight & Sole WalkFest finish line event (Downtown)

♻️ Get your hands dirty while cleaning up the 'hood (Milk District)

☮️ Stretch out the weekend with a yoga class outdoors at Mead Botanical Garden (Winter Park)

🎨 Head up and east to peruse the Annual DeLand Outdoor Art Festival (DeLand)

☮️ Take the kids out to unwind with a yoga class in the park (Winter Park)

🐶 Sample local craft beers with your best furry, four-legged friend (Sanford)

🌻 Dust off your green thumbs for the Annual Florida Wildflower and Garden Festival (DeLand)

🐰 Celebrate Easter on the Farm at Lake Meadow Naturals with fresh egg sandwiches, pony rides, and more family fun (Ocoee)


🍻 Finish the weekend strong with local beer and shopping local art at Orlando Brewing's pop-up market (SoDo)

👟 Don't tap out before running this 5K around the lake followed by some celebratory brews (Ivanhoe)

☮️ Get outside and on the water on your boards for this SUP Yoga class at newly-reopened Rock Springs Run (Apopka)

🍻 Start your Sunday with a run and a workout then finish strong with brunch and beers from Orlando Brewing (SODO)

🛍 Shop local BIPOC vendors at this weekly pop-up market (Winter Park)

One more thing

The Ocala community is asking for help with saving the life of one of their beloved teachers. Teresa Twist is on life support at Ocala Regional Medical Center after contracting COVID-19 and doctors say she really needs a lung transplant if she’s going to survive. Twist’s family is asking for anyone who’s willing to please join the donor list. To follow Twist’s story, head to Facebook and use the hashtag #getteresalungs

Be extra kind out there today, folks. Be extra kind every day. 

‘Til tomorrow,

– ✌️ Katie at Pulptown

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