The partnership flourishes for the custodians of the environment of tomorrow

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Guest correspondence


Photo by Daniel Perales. Family Friendly Evening at Selby Gardens – Sarasota Downtown Campus.

Our region’s relationship with the beaches, swamps, pastures and estuaries that enrich our lives is inseparable. It’s something many of us only rediscovered during the pandemic (or made it a higher priority), and this revival of a greater appreciation for the outdoors has sparked fascinations in the world. childhood for the natural world.

To help ensure that today’s youth who are fascinated by the natural world retain this curious sense of wonder, we at the Sarasota County Community Foundation are proud to partner with Marie Selby Botanical Gardens to ensuring the next generation has access to world-class assets. and the possibilities that flourish at our community’s botanical garden.

Through a three-year partnership with our Community Foundation and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, local students interested in the growing field of environmental sustainability will have access to hands-on, real-world experiences to nurture their goals of pursuing careers in the fields of environmental sustainability. natural Sciences. . A new series of Education Labs, developed by Selby Gardens and reviewed by Sarasota County Schools, will open these college and career preparation pathways for college and high school youth, guided by a focused curriculum. on the science of renewable energy. Students will be able to take an active role in the development of their own studies, sharing their feedback with their teachers, school administrators and industry experts.

Naturally, our K-5 learners will also have their learning moment in the sun. Recognizing that our interests are growing young, three donors working with our foundation have personally invested in the partnership to fund a range of solar panels for primary schools, thus enhancing their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) offerings and possibilities. .

Think of all the future scientists, activists and change makers these efforts will inspire among our children. and their families, because these experiences are also essential investments for adults. As part of our commitment to a ‘two-generation’ approach, this partnership will also expand the Family Togetherness program established in 2017 to connect more underserved families at the Historic Spanish Point campus in Selby Gardens. In the years to come, this lineup will bring together families who may not be able to afford the events and other activities at Selby Gardens – like Lights in Bloom®: An Open-Air Holiday Light Show and the Enchanted Garden Festival. – with all expenses covered.

From Family Togetherness to the Education Lab series, all of these opportunities are invaluable in inspiring today’s youth to become stewards of tomorrow’s environment, bearers of a long-standing passion that will only continue to grow.

As this partnership reminds us, the responsibility for building a more sustainable future does not lie solely with the next generation. It is a task that requires each of us to see ourselves as forward-thinking stewards of this planet we all call home. I believe that by deepening our understanding and connection to sustainability, and taking microscopic daily actions, each generation can plant the seeds of macroscopic change and grow, flourish and prosper where they are planted.

Roxie Jerde is President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

Photo by Daniel Perales. Family Friendly Evening at Selby Gardens – Sarasota Downtown Campus.

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