DEP’s South District Partners with City of North Port for Educational Outreach this Summer

June 20, 2014

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s South District has partnered with the City of North Port to provide environmental education to local students this summer as part of the City’sGeorge Mullen Activity Center Summer Camp.

This exciting full-day program provides kids entering first grade through eighth grade the opportunity to experience nature exploration, hands-on science, sports, crafts, swimming and team-building activities. This is the second consecutive year DEP staff has provided environmental education for the campers.

“It is very important to educate our young people on the value of protecting Florida’s natural resources,” said Jon Iglehart, director of DEP’s South District. “The South District takes pride in providing environmental education year-round to the students of southwest Florida. Several of the programs our staff has provided assistance in include Lee County School District’s Green Bus Tour and the City of Fort Myers’ annual solar oven cook-off challenge at the Imaginarium Science Center.”

The department will present the following programs over the next six weeks to provide hands-on experiences in nature and science:

  • Aquatic Macro Invertebrates – What they are, what they do and how they help the environment;
  • What are the “4 Rs” – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Re-buy;
  • Mangroves and their importance to the habitat and water quality of southwest Florida; and
  • STEM Education – Why science, technology, engineering and mathematics is important.

“The City of North Port understands the importance of protecting our natural resources and partnering with the Department of Environmental Protection to educate students during summer camp about being good stewards is important,” said Kathy Forsyth, program coordinator. “The children have learned the importance of mangroves, macro-invertebrates and the STEM program, which is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. It has been a pleasure working with the many educators who visit the camp. They are friendly and patient with the children. This is a great partnership that benefits our children as well as the future of our city.”

This program is part of the Office of Environmental Education initiative to promote and support environmental citizenship by building awareness, understanding and appreciation of Florida’s environment.

For more information on the City of North Port’s GMAC Summer Camp, click HERE.

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