Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.81
Liaison Kathleen Crawford
Submission Date July 28, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Florida Gulf Coast University
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Jessica Rhea
Dir Comm Engage & Svc Learning
Service Learning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
ECHO and FGCU Food Forest and University Colloquium

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus?:
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
No

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above:

The FGCU Food Forest is a half-acre, student-run botanical garden filled with edible species suited to south Florida and non-edible native plants. Designed and maintained with permaculture principles, the FGCU Food Forest is a multi-strata, perennial-based, agroecological system that nourishes student learning and supplements students’ diets. The Food Forest is a space where students observe and adapt to environmental changes, develop site-specifics solutions, and increase the food security of community members by sharing seeds, cuttings, and providing training. Established in 2011, the FGCU Food Forest quickly gained international acclaim for its unique design which sequesters large amounts of carbon; this is the opposite of what typically happens in “conventional” farming systems.

ECHO is an international Christian nonprofit organization that provides sustainable agriculture ideas, information, training, and seeds to less developed countries. They operate a Global Farm in North Fort Myers which serves as a learning platform to develop agricultural skills that reduce world hunger.

FGCU's Food Forest has collaborated with ECHO for the past four years to increase food security globally through the ecologically sound farming system and community empowerment. ECHO provides moringa seeds to communities to help them increase their food security and decrease malnutrition. FGCU's Food Forest leaders collects moringa seeds annually and give them to ECHO who uses them to increase the depth and breadth of their programming to communities around the world.

In addition to the partnership between ECHO and the FGCU Food Forest, the University Colloquium partners with the ECHO for field experiences and service-learning opportunities. University Colloquium contributes between $6,000-7,000 to ECHO each year.

https://www.echonet.org/moringa/ and http://fgcufoodforest.weebly.com/


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
Pine Mannor and FGCU University Colloquium and Office of Service Learning & Civic Engagement

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (2nd partnership) (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
No

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (2nd partnership):

Since 2013, FGCU students have been supportive of building and maintaining a community garden in the Pine Manor neighborhood through a partnership with the Pine Manor Improvement Association (PMIA). The garden began on a quarter acre lot and is now expanding to include a second quarter acre lot. The goal of this garden space is to provide fresh produce to the community’s residents, where an estimated 42% of the families live below the poverty line. The existence of the garden along with programming available at the Pine Manor Improvement Association has had a positive impact on the neighborhood; Pine Manor's crime rate has dropped over 40% since the projects' inception

The partnership is sustained through the University Colloquium and individual service-learners that dedicate their time to the garden. Each year, FGCU contributes financial resources (over $2,000 per year) to the PMIA through Colloquium field experiences. During Colloquium field experiences, FGCU students spent 1,088 hours this year helping the garden flourish. Many students returned to the garden to contribute additional hours beyond those required for their Colloquium field experience. These students contributed over 4,200 hours to the community garden this year (Fiscal Year 16-17). PMIA staff and lead volunteer coordinators say that sustaining the garden would not be possible without FGCU's support. Increasing rent prices have forced a few of the key community members that serve as volunteers to move out of the neighborhood. Additionally, it is hard getting help during the summer months when many mothers that volunteer while kids are in school are busy with home activities. FGCU's service-learners fulfill a critical need in maintaining the garden which has become a revered and loved community space.

Additionally, FGCU Instructor/Chef of our FGCU Resort and Hospitality Management School developed a culinary institute for Pine Manor Improvement Association with the goal of providing job training to community residents that could help them increase their family income. The program has successfully trained many graduates, one of whom is now fully managing and running the culinary institute.

Please see these websites for additional information:
http://www.leegov.com/dhs/neighborhood/revitalization/pinemanor
http://www.fgcu.edu/connect/agencydetail.asp?ID=632
http://news.wgcu.org/post/teaching-teens-cook-may-be-improving-neighborhood
http://icare4food.org/


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
The Fort Myers Quality of Life Center and FGCU's Leadership Through Service Live Learn Community and Office of Community Outreach

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (3rd partnership):
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (3rd partnership) (Yes, No, or Unknown):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (3rd partnership):

The QLC is has been serving the Dunbar area of Fort Myers since 1992. The QLC "strives to strengthen and instill pride in family and community through programs and services that cultivate discipline, self-development, confidence, and cultural awareness." (Please see http://qualitylifecenter.org/ for more information).

FGCU's President has been seated on the QLC's board. Currently, a member of FGCU's Office of Community Outreach is an active board member and significantly contributes to the successful execution of QLC's annual fundraising gala and other important duties.

Moreover, FGCU's Leadership through Service Live Learn Community (LTS LLC) began a formal partnership with the QLC in 2015-16. Since then, FGCU students have dedicated over 1,700 hours of service-learning to the QLC each year. In 2015, the LTS LLC tutored QLC youth and developed/facilitated the following projects and programming:
-Building a community garden/outdoor classroom,
-Facilitating a "Shooting for Success" photo shoot for graduating seniors,
-Developing extracurricular activities for "Fun Fridays",
-Planning and facilitating a "Body Builders Against Bullies" anti-bullying and fitness safety training,

The tutoring programs and extra-curricular events positively impacted the students that participated. 90% of students earned or maintained A/B average in reading, 77% of students earned or maintained A/B average in math, and 80% showed improvements in social and attitudinal behaviors.

In 2016, the LTC LLC maintained the tutoring program and outdoor classroom/community garden space and also planned and facilitated a "Survive and Thrive 5K" fundraiser for the QLC. Please see details at https://fgcu360.com/2017/04/successful-5k-lesson-leadership-students/


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:

Trails for Tails – A service-based course that plans a 244-mile relay run to Key West to raise $5,000 and awareness for the Ocean Conservancy’s Gulf Restoration Projects. https://www.facebook.com/T4Tails/

Gulf Coast Humane Society
The mission of the Gulf Coast Humane Society is to: Offer refuge, medical care, and a home for homeless animals in Lee County, Florida. To foster a public sentiment of humanity and gentleness toward animals, and protect them from cruelty, neglect, carelessness, and ignorance. To promote responsible pet ownership through humane education, and enhance the quality of human life through animal companionship. For over 53 years they have maintained a non-profit shelter funded entirely by donations. Most of the animals in the shelter are owner surrenders. Of the animals put up for adoption, almost 100% find new homes either through the shelter adoption facilities or through off-site adoption facilities at PetsMart.

University Colloquium is a required course for all FGCU undergraduate students. Through this course students are exposed to many of our community partners through field and service trips. Partners meeting the supportive criteria for this credit that are part of the University Colloquium experience include:

CREW Land & Water Trust
The CREW Land & Water Trust was established in 1989 as a nonprofit organization to coordinate the land acquisition, land management, and public use of the 60,000-acre Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed.

Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
Delnor Wiggins is rated one of the most beautiful beaches in the nation. With its white sugar sand it is one of the most popular destinations in South West Florida.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates
The Mission of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is to provide unique educational experiences based on the artifacts, legacy and lives of Thomas Edison & Henry Ford with emphasis on their Florida history.

Estero Bay Preserve State Park
The first aquatic preserve established in Florida, this is one of the most productive estuaries in the state. The bay is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including the bald eagle.

Estero Island Historic Society
The Estero Island Historic Society Museum and Nature Center receives financial support through the University Colloquium field trips.

Lakes Park Community Garden
Our goal as a garden community is to inspire people to appreciate plant communities by creating a unique and accessible destination that provides botanic education and volunteer opportunities.

Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation
Our Mission is to support Lee County Parks & Recreation through philanthropic and voluntary efforts promoting ongoing community awareness and support of the recreational and educational value of Lakes Park and its continuing evolution, to include a botanic garden and other enhancements, resulting in an even more attractive natural environment for the community to enjoy.

Mound Key Archaeological Site
Framed in forests of mangrove trees, the shell mounds and ridges of Mound Key rise more than 30 feet above the waters of Estero Bay. Prehistoric Native Americans are credited with creating this island's complex of mounds with an accumulation of seashells, fish bones, and pottery.

Shy Wolf Sanctuary
Mission Statement: To provide sanctuary for exotic animals in need of rescue and refuge, while screening and re-homing those better suited to family life.

Keep Lee County Beautiful
The Mission of Keep Lee County Beautiful is to protect the environment and improve the quality of life in Lee County by providing public education using mass communications and grassroots activities.

Koreshan State Historic Site
Throughout its history, Florida has welcomed pioneers of all kinds. Cyrus Reed Teed was probably the most unusual, bringing followers to Estero in 1894 to build New Jerusalem for his new faith, Koreshanity.

The Naples Preserve
The Preserve offers you one of your best opportunities in Southwest Florida to see gopher tortoises in their natural habitat, along with native wildflowers, trees, birds, butterflies, rabbits, and more.

Here are some of the organizations with which FGCU has partnerships that meet the collaborative criteria from Colloquium projects and field trips and service learning projects:

Calusa Nature Center
Our mission is to develop a greater public awareness of and appreciation for the unique natural systems of Southwest Florida and to foster an understanding of earth and space science. Ongoing Colloquium classes contribute to animal care and upkeep at the Calusa Nature Center.

Collier County Parks and Recreation
Collier Co. Parks & Rec is dedicated to promoting health, wellness, alternative leisure activities, community involvement through sports, and providing special events that bring the community together in a fun atmosphere. Ongoing Colloquium classes have been involved in contributing to habitat enchantment and public awareness projects to help the gopher tortoise population at Barefoot Beach through this partnership.

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is owned and operated by the National Audubon Society, whose mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife, for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity. Financial support is given to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary through the University Colloquium field trips and ongoing service learning projects that occur at this site.

Gulf Coast Foster Licensing & Placements of Southwest Florida & Children’s Network of Southwest Florida
Through a partnership with a Colloquium class, foster families from these two organizations came together to enjoy an Eco-Family Funday in which foster families spent the afternoon learning about the natural world within a peer-support system. The day included trail walks, food forest tours, and an “Animal Olympics” among other activities.

Happehatchee Center
Happehatchee Center is a sanctuary for peace and healing. Their mission is to sustain the Happehatchee Eco-spiritual Center as it provides environmental and healing arts education. Ongoing classes have done environmental education projects and assist the Center with marketing and garden upkeep.

Harns Marsh Elementary
A Colloquium instructor applied for and received a grant from the Florida Department of Agriculture Fresh from Florida Program to start a school garden at Harns Marsh Elementary in Lehigh Acres. Several sequential Colloquium classes contributed to establishing the garden site.

Lee County Parks & Recreation
Lee County Parks and Recreation’s mission is to provide safe, clean and functional Parks & Recreation facilities. To provide programs and services that add to the quality of life for all Lee County residents and visitors. To enhance tourism through special events and attractions. We are committed to fulfilling this mission through visionary leadership, individual dedication and the trustworthy use of available resources. Ongoing university colloquium classes complete service leaning projects that enhance and protect Lee County Conservation 20/20 areas and spaces such as Matanzas Pass Preserve.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida
The Conservancy’s mission is to protect Southwest Florida's unique natural environment and quality of life...now and forever. Dr. Marguerite Forest acts as the Andrew Endowed FGCU Liaison to the Conservancy. (http://www.conservancy.org/staff-directory)

Naples Botanical Garden at Kapnick Center
Naples Botanical Garden is creating a world class paradise that combines delightful cultivated tropical gardens with beautifully restored natural habitats. Ongoing Colloquium classes have worked to maintain different ecosystems and habitat gardens.

Urban Food Hub—Roots Heritage
Our urban garden and urban farm provides our community with fresh and nutritious food. Colloquium students work on specific projects there that vary by semester depending on Roots Heritage’s needs and provide assistance in maintaining, planting, and harvesting the garden.

“Wings of Hope” A partnership between FGCU & Lee and Collier County Public Schools
This program is an integral part of the Environmental Humanities curriculum and service learning at FGCU. University students are introduced to native Southwest Florida wildlife species, their habitats, water conservation and “green” ways a person can help our earth. They then bring this knowledge to young students in 1st - 5th grade with science-based environmental education programs. Elementary school students are bused to FGCU or programs are presented in their schools - public and private schools in Collier and Lee Counties.

"Fighting Hunger - Feeding Hope" A partnership between FGCU and the Harry Chapin Food Bank
The following program description was taken from FGCU’s President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Application. Lee County was one of the hardest hit regions in the US by the current housing /mortgage crisis. As a result, food insecurity and emergency food assistance in our area have increased substantially. In response, FGCU has built a strategic community partnership with Harry Chapin Food Bank (HCFB) and has come together as a campus of “informed and engaged citizens” to support this agency and its many partner agencies. The mission of HCFB is to overcome hunger through education and by working in a cooperative effort with over 150 affiliated agencies in the procurement and distribution of food.
Learn more at http://www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry/

“Understanding Regional Issues and the Role of Citizenship through engaged service-learning experiences along the Corkscrew Watershed” a partnership between FGCU, CREW, and Bonita Nature Place, student work at The Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW), which is dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of the water resources and natural communities in and around the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed, increased substantially as a result of a STEM Grant supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Florida Campus Compact
(FL/CC), in collaboration with CNCS, partnered with FGCU to bring a STEM Day Institute to its campus. Faculty members submitted applications to become FL/CC STEM Service-Learning Faculty Fellows and then participated in a series of workshops to assist in the creating or retooling of a course that promotes service-learning in the STEM disciplines or a STEM-related community project tied to course curriculum.

Bonita Nature Place
A local nature center, located along the Watershed, that promotes conservation and environmental stewardship through education, has been the recipient of many of these hands-on, course-based, service-learning projects. Fourteen students in the 2012-2013 academic year dedicated 97 hours of service to this agency. This site was also included as a strategic partner in FGCU’s Make A Difference Day, Day of Service, sponsored by a grant with Wells Fargo, procured through the FGCU Foundation. Many of these environmental agencies along the Watershed were also a part of an Environmentally Focused Campus-Community Dialogue sponsored by FGCU’s Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement to build and strengthen partnerships between FGCU faculty, students, and community partners.
Learn more at http://www.fgcu.edu/General_Education/files/SENCER_Journal_Manuscript_DGreen.pdf


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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