PLANT CAMP 2008
An invasive plant workshop for teachers only
June 8 - 12, 2008
Congratulations to this year's PLANT CAMP and Project WILD graduates! You were a wonderful group to work with. We're looking forward to a continued partnership as we work together to let your students know more about plant life in Florida.
The Florida Invasive Plant Education Initiative is the first of its kind to provide intensive in-service training for Florida science teachers (i.e., upper elementary, middle and high school levels) on the subject of aquatic and upland invasive plants. The annual "PLANT CAMP" workshop, held for 4.5 days in mid June, includes field trips and rigorous hands-on plant identification activities as a way of generating excitement and interest in the curriculum. Teachers also earn as many as 40 hours of professional development credits (CEUs). Ultimately, these workshops provide teachers with greater background knowledge on Florida’s native, non-native and invasive plants before they begin to teach it to their students. So far, the Initiative has trained 94 teachers. At least 250 teachers have been introduced to the materials/lessons (on a limited basis) as a result of outreach mini-workshops and events.
For the past two years, we have added information and training about invasive animal species to our PLANT CAMPs by collaborating with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Project WILD program, a wildlife-focused conservation and environmental education program for educators and their students (kindergarten through high school). This year, PLANT CAMP participants graduated from the 4-day workshop with both Invasive Plant and Project WILD certification. It is hoped that as a result of this collaboration, today’s youth will gain a better understanding of the challenges we all face from invasive species – both plants and animals – and become Florida’s environmental stewards of tomorrow.
Amy Richard - Coordinator
Lynda Dillon - Program Assistant