LARGO, Fla. — The Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation is stepping up its education outreach thanks to a community partner that cares just as much about the environment as they do.
They were one of a handful of organizations and schools to receive a combined $30,000 in grant money from Tampa Bay Water.
Teacher and mom Kerry Doughty was one of the first people to discover the newest education tool at the Florida Botanical Gardens.
“I actually teach the water cycle to my second graders, and it’s awesome that they actually have a real-life environmental picture of what it looks like and how it works here,” said Doughty.
The botanical gardens used their $5,500 in grant money to manufacture and install 15 new educational signs.
“If people can learn just one fact or one thing as they walk around this pond about what they can do to help with sustainability then I think we’ve accomplished our mission in a great way,” said Vernon Grant with the Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation.
The partnership was made possible through the Tampa Bay Water Source Water-Protection Mini-Grant Program.
“We can do a lot of work ourselves at Tampa Bay Water, but we could not reach the amount of folks we can reach without partnering with other organizations such as this to help us,” said Chuck Carden, Interim General Manager with Tampa Bay Water. “Thousands and thousands of people come through here, and they see the signage and they learn.”
The signs highlight everything from where our drinking water comes from to how we can protect it.
“People go home, they turn their tap on, and that’s all they think happens, but to understand what goes into that, there are so many things starting at the source,” said Carden.
The Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation said it’s been nearly 20 years since their signs were last updated. They say it’s nice to have a community partner who shares the same goals and appreciation for our waterways.
“So getting a grant from Tampa Bay Water is a phenomenal way for us to do some great programming that is so desperately needed,” said Bryant.
For more information on the grant program, go to Tampabaywater.org.
For more information on the Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation, go to flbgfoundation.org.