Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, together with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, have announced an expansion of their partnership, which is designed to connect youth and families to nature and environmental science.
The $200,000 in funding provided by the Community Foundation will establish a new Education Lab Series, developed by Selby Gardens and focused on environmental sustainability. Renewable energy science will be core to the curriculum intended to encourage college and career readiness in this growing field. The curriculum will be reviewed by Sarasota County Schools, with feedback from students, teachers and administrators, as well as industry leaders implementing the technology. The pilot session will launch in August 2023 coinciding with the opening of Phase One of Selby Gardens’ Master Plan for its downtown Sarasota campus. Leading up to the launch, Selby Gardens will host on-site learning experiences at local schools.
In recognition of the Community Foundation’s support, 13 solar panels in the gardens' 50,000 square foot solar array will be named in honor of each Sarasota County middle and high school. The Community Foundation will also having naming recognition on the gardens' bike racks.
The funding provided by the Community Foundation also includes an expansion of the Family Togetherness program. Established in 2017, Family Togetherness provides the opportunity for underserved families to experience events and other activities at Selby Gardens that they might not otherwise have the means to enjoy.