— A new campus monument at Florida State University is being eyed for destruction, the university said Monday, citing environmental concerns.
The university said the monument at Grand Lake Lodge and the Seminole Tribe’s River Birch Lodge is being considered for destruction.
It’s a reminder that the university has a lot of respect for the Native American community, said Steve D. Brown, the interim vice president for communications.
The monument honors the people of the Seminoles and has been the site of many cultural, sporting and recreational events.
Brown said the university is also seeking to keep a Native American name on the monument, in accordance with a longstanding tradition at the university.
Brown said the state Department of Environmental Protection is reviewing the monument.
In addition, the state is also investigating the removal of a monument that honors the Pine Tree Spirit, a symbol of the Indian tribe, from the campus and a monument to the Crow Indians, an indigenous group in the Pine Grove area, he said.
State Rep. Jimmie Williams, R-Miami, is the only member of the House of Representatives who supports the monument and said he supports the university and its commitment to preservation.
“If there are other places in the state where we need to preserve, that should be at the forefront of that conversation,” Williams said.
The Grand Lake, Seminole and River Birch monuments are being proposed for the site that was named after the Seminores in 1887.
Officials from the Pine Hills Preservation Commission are working on the final design of the monument to be placed at the intersection of I-4 and U.S. Highway 1805 in Tallahassee.
Shelter is being established in the area, and a team of volunteers will install it, said Bill Roper, executive director of the nonprofit nonprofit organization Pine Hills.
The monument will also be featured on a state map, he added.
Diversity and inclusion are also a priority at the University of South Florida, and it’s working on a diversity initiative, said Michael P. Nocera, president of the university’s department of business and economics.
More than 100,000 people attended a ceremony to name the monument last month.