PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — This month the City of Pinellas Park opened a new educational experience that’s changing the way kids look at how they eat their breakfast. It’s a project that’s been more than three years in the making.
Community Christian Academy was the first school to take an official field trip to the City of Pinellas Park’s Agricultural Farm.
These students may have left the classroom for the barnyard, but the lessons that will take place will stay with them forever.
“They go to school lunch, they go home and eat dinner, they have no idea where this food is actually coming from or how it grows or how to grow plants so the idea is to bring these little kids out here and teach them some of these things,” said Bart Diebold, city manager for the City of Pinellas Park.
The city said the easy decision would have been to develop the four-acre plot of land, but then where else would the kids receive this kind of hands-on experience.
“One of my fourth graders just now said that’s the first pig I’ve seen in real life before and I thought, ‘that was so interesting,’ she’s gone all this time, 10-years-old, and never saw a pig in person,” said teacher Susannah Austin.
Cote Reynolds manages the farm. He wants students to understand agriculture isn’t just a big word, it’s a huge industry.
“The children at Community Christian will be planting our first crop, our very first crop of blueberries,” said Reynolds. “I don’t want it to be a once-in-done, I want them to come back, I want them to come back and help.”
The city said kids are always being asked what they want to do when they grow up, why not add farming to the list of possibilities.
"If you have 70 kids and two kids pick up something good from this it’s worth everything,” said Diebold.
Even if farming isn’t for them, these students got to make a whole lot of new feathered and fluffy friends who live in Pinellas Park just like them.
“These kids are not going to forget today for the rest of their lives,” said Austin.