Coming Together for the Environment


One of the hallmarks of the UCF Arboretum has always been bringing people together.  We strive to foster and develop a deep sense of community around education and the environment. What better way to embody that notion in 2020 than through a Fall pond planting project joining UCF students, faculty, and staff with local, nonprofit environmental groups?

UCF has a wonderful and well managed watershed on campus that includes more than 10 manmade and natural water bodies. Stormwater management is important for the health of both developed and undeveloped areas. UCF’s stormwater system is managed by the natural resources team as part of the Econlockhatchee River basin and regulated by the St. John’s River Water Management District (SJRWMD).

In Spring 2020 a team of students in the Environmental Studies capstone class worked with Landscape and Natural Resources (LNR) and Arboretum staff to design a stormwater shoreline planting plan that was approved at the close of the semester. At the same time the Arboretum was approached by IDEAS for US UCF, a registered student organization (RSO) and IDEAS for US Orlando two groups with strong community and international links who had received a grant from the Green Latinos to invest in the community. We jumped at the “idea” of working with these groups to make the students planting design a reality. We put the word out, and as always, the response to get involved was immediate.  This November the shoreline restoration plan developed by the Capstone class was successfully planted with the help of students, staff, and community members.

We worked together to organize a successful, socially distanced event with 25 student volunteers from the UCF Latino Medical Student Association, representatives from the Green Latinos, IDEAS, and UCF LNR and Arboretum staff and students.  We even had Arboretum Learning by Leading™(LxL) alumnus come back to join in the fun.  Our roots run deep, and our campus watershed is cleaner and more beautiful because of it!

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