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Eckerd Professor Kip Curtis and Students Cultivate an Edible Schoolyard with Lakewood Elementary

posted on 02/12/2009

Just ten minutes from Eckerd College, Kent "Kip" Curtis, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, has found a way to combine his roles as a parent, educator and agriculturally-concerned citizen. The Edible Schoolyard is a cooperative effort between Eckerd College Environmental Studies and Lakewood Elementary School to start an organic garden at the Lakewood Elementary School site. The goal of the project is to set a standard for experiential education as well as provide valuable mentoring opportunities for Eckerd undergraduates.

Professor Curtis and fourteen Eckerd students have been blogging about their progress since mid-January. For photo updates and regular posts, click here to visit The Edible Schoolyard page.

The St. Petersburg Times featured Professor Curtis and students from Eckerd and Lakewood in an article published on February 8, 2009, "Tampa Bay area schoolyards produce hands-on lessons in their gardens."

About Professor Kent "Kip" Curtis
Professor Curtis's research interests include environmental history, contemporary urban ecology, and environmental justice issues, as well as field experiments with education for sustainability. Currently, he is completing an environmental history of 19th-century United States mining and its impacts on American ideas about nature. He has taken Eckerd students to clear Brazilian pepper trees, an aggressive and invasive, non-indigenous plant to Florida.

About Sustainability at Eckerd College
This partnership with Lakewood Elementary is just one of Eckerd's many sustainable projects: the Yellow Community Bike program designed five years ago to increase bicycle use on campus and decrease automobile traffic; Eckerd president Donald Eastman's signing of the College and University Presidents Climate Commitment that addresses climate change; the hands-on, student-run recycling program; the Visions of Nature / Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival; Iota Complex, a residence hall for which Eckerd is seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification; facilities vendor UNICCO's GreenClean green products approach; Bon Appetit's Circle of Responsibility and Eat Local Challenge programs that aptly match Eckerd's environmental ambitions; and the popular Environmental Studies major that consistently graduates enough students to qualify as one of the College's top three majors.

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