FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
St. Petersburg College
CLEARWATER, Fla. (December 10, 2009) – St. Petersburg College’s Natural Science Department announced today it will plant a teaching botanical garden, consisting only of native Florida plants, on the Clearwater campus on Jan. 11.
“Bio-diverse native gardens typically require less maintenance, water and herbicide treatment,” said Jason Green, the college’s Sustainability Coordinator. “Because of that, in Florida we expect to see an increase in this responsible way of gardening as natural resources become scarcer.”
The botanical garden will be used as a teaching tool for upper and lower level biology classes, according to John Williams, academic chair of the Natural Science Department.
“The garden will allow students an excellent opportunity to leave the classroom and learn in a more natural environment,” Williams said.
According to Williams, a number of partners will be involved in the development of the garden:
- Bruce Turley of Wilcox Nursery, who designed the garden, will deliver the plants the morning of Jan. 11.
- Tom Fowler, St Petersburg College’s Landscape Crew Leader, will install a drip irrigation system and construct a compacted mulch pathway for wheelchair access soon after the planting is completed.
- Plans are being made for a site specific sculpture suitable for the garden which will be designed and developed by members of SPC Fine Arts Department under the direction of Department Chair Paul Miehl.
- Jason Green will oversee the planting, which will be handled by volunteers from SPC’s “Club Green,” Emerging Green Builders, Honors College and other interested faculty, students and staff.
The garden will be 60 feet wide by 25 feet deep. Plantings will include spider lilies, yaupon holly, Florida golden aster, coontie, wild petunias, flatwoods plum, Bahama cassia, beautyberry and other native species.
ABOUT ST. PETERSBURG COLLEGE:
St. Petersburg College was founded in 1927 as a two-year institution of higher learning. Known then as St. Petersburg Junior College, it provided high-quality, fully-accredited programs with credits that were fully transferable to four-year institutions. In 2001, the Florida Legislature passed legislation allowing the college to offer four-year degrees. In response, the college dropped the word “junior” from its name and became St. Petersburg College. Today, St. Petersburg College offers programs at learning sites in St. Petersburg, Seminole, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs and elsewhere. It also offers courses and degree programs online.