Ocean Friendly Gardens, Basic Class
May 27 2014

Middle Schoolers Stoked on Ocean Friendly Gardens

by Paul Herzog

Learn how to set up a school Ocean Friendly Gardens presentation from Paul Hayden, Chair of the Ocean Friendly Gardens Program for Florida's First Coast Chapter:

How did the presentation come about?
The Science teacher, Sharon Silver, had seen Surfrider’s film, “Keepers of the Coast,” (intro clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVcl9gwgUuk). She showed a DVD version (Paul gave her a VHS version and she transferred it to DVD), and the students liked it. Sharon even had her students do reviews of it! She then contacted the Chapter to see what other presentations we could give. It turned out Sharon’s students were covering the same things we work on in our Ocean Friendly Gardens Program (OFG). So she asked if I could give a presentation on that.

What did you present?
I gave three separate OFG presentations to the combined classes of Science teacher Sharon Silver and Art teacher Chris Hicks. I gave the same presentation to three separate classes. Mr. Hicks is planning to conduct an OFG project at the school!

I reviewed a power point slideshow created by Surfrider National OFG Coodinator, Paul Herzog, that showed before/during/after slides of projects as well as a review of the OFG principles of CPR: Conservation, Permeability and Retention. I also showed videos that are posted on the national OFG website (see “Resources” tab):

Mixed in with those presentations was discussion on the importance of three S's of rainwater capture - slow it, spread it, sink it – as well as local water issues, ordinances and solutions.

Did you hand out anything?
I handed out OFG brochures as well as stickers to the students and gave a copy of the OFG guide book to each teacher.

How did the students react?
The students were both knowledgeable and interested in the subject matter, and there was good discussion and interaction. Ms. Silver told me that the talk sparked a great deal of interest amongst the students and pointed out a number of things they had not thought of before.

What are the next steps?
Mr. Hicks is looking forward to the First Coast Chapter helping he and his students with their OFG project. Mr. Hicks has asked the students to donate native and “Florida Friendly” plants for the project, and the school will supply most of what is need. That said, I have offered financial and other assistance as needed. As the project gets clearer, the Chapter will engage local landscape designer, Donnie Pellicer, to play a role. Also, Surfrider will document the event so others can learn from it.

Source of image above: jacksonville.com/news/crime/2011-09-28/story/lockdown-ends-jacksonville-beach-schools-no-weapons-found

Source of thumbnail image: http://schooldesigns.com/Project-Details.aspx?Project_ID=79

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