Education in Action
The District was recently honored as the Hillsborough Education Foundation 2002 District Business Partner of the Year. The award was presented to the District at a ceremony for 700 business, community and education leaders at the Tampa Hyatt Regency in October. More than 100 businesses that enhance education through volunteerism or the donation of goods and services were nominated for awards. The 2002 District Business Partner of the Year Award recognizes the District’s contribution of time, staff assistance and funding as well as the District’s long-standing dedication to and partnership with the Hillsborough County Public Schools.
The District’s partnership with the Hillsborough County School District began in 1968 with a land use agreement for 265 acres for the Nature’s Classroom environmental education program. Since then the District has supported the program with classroom grant programs, additional elementary and high school environmental programs for students, and by providing District staff to train Nature’s Classroom staff, Florida’s Wetlands teachers, and other teachers in Hillsborough County on a regular basis. More than 300,000 students, teachers, parents and community members have experienced Nature’s Classroom since its inception.
In 1995, the District stepped in to assist the school with financial support when state funding for the Nature’s Classroom program was severely reduced, threatening to close the hands-on environmental education program. The District’s financial assistance helps pay for part-time teacher salaries, workshops, curriculum development and program coordination.
In 2000, the District also helped support the Hillsborough Education Foundation with its Students First campaign. The District partnered with Kisinger, Campo & Associates to provide funding to renovate the old boardwalk and extend the boardwalk by nearly 1,000 feet. The following year the District also committed to fund some of the more difficult renovation work at Nature’s Classroom, including the fencing, roads and sidewalks.