My name is Rebecca Wood, from Virginia originally, I moved to Florida and began learning about Florida's magical ecology in 1999. I've been in Miami now for 16 years and have been working as an environmental educator here for most of that time, working with several different organizations, within several different ecosystems, and using different mediums for teaching, over the years.
I actually visioned and designed a rough version of this game 10 years ago, while working with an environmental science after school program. Seeing the same group of kids 3 hours a day, for the entire school year, meant that we had to constantly be coming up with new, hands-on, fun ways to keep the kids engaged and interested in what we were teaching. With a unit on the Everglades coming up, I was brainstorming fun new ways to teach about this magical place, and woke up one morning with a vision of a board game about the movement of water through the Glades. I went to the office, scrawled the basic layout of the game on giant pieces of cardboard, typed up some cards for each ecosystem, and took it to the kids, thinking it would be a one-time lesson plan, and the game would be put in the blue bins at the end of the day. Turned out that the kids loved it, and wanted to keep it in the classroom to be able to play again! We ended up taken this rough version of the game to the other schools where we had programs, and they loved it too!
The kids and my co-workers urged me to build the game out into a "real" game, an idea that stuck and hung out in the back of my head for several years. A few years later, I was heading to California for a month, and knew I'd have a lot of time on my hands, and that it would be a good time to focus on a new project. I went back to the storage room of the organization I used to work for, and lo and behold, they still had the original cardboard version of the game, and cards, so I was able to remind myself how the game worked, and I was off... to California, to creating "Swamped! in the Glades", to embark on a much longer and more involved journey than I could have ever imagined...!