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Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT : Linda Holtz
561-297-3029, lholtz@fau.edu


FAU’s Pine Jog Environmental Education Center Turns 50
Milestone Marked with Special Events and Activities

BOCA RATON, FL (June 17, 2010) – Florida Atlantic University’s Pine Jog Environmental Education Center is commemorating its 50 th anniversary this year. To mark this milestone, Pine Jog will celebrate with the community through a series of public and educational events and activities.

“Instilling a sense of stewardship toward the Earth and its inhabitants, the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center has been a leading state and national influence in the environmental education movement since 1960,” said Glenn Thomas, interim director of Pine Jog and assistant dean of FAU’s College of Education. “Pine Jog hosts an average of 40,000 children and adults each year through a variety of programs and services. In this 50th anniversary year, we will look back at our past and plan for the future.” 

Summer at Pine Jog will continue to be a celebration of nature, as day and residential camps will once again provide children with in-depth opportunities to learn about the environment.  The Pine Jog Fellows program in August will continue to offer high school and college students an immersion program that explores environmental issues specific to South Florida.   

In September, Pine Jog plans to celebrate its 50-year-history with a screening of a 30-minute video produced in conjunction with the Palm Beach County School District’s Emmy Award-winning Education Network.   Pine Jog also has been selected as the venue for the South Florida chapter’s Slow Foods USA Conference on Saturday, September 25. The conference is open to the public and is a fitting way to celebrate Pine Jog’s rich history of accomplishments.  

“Learn Green: A Green Schools Conference and Expo” will take place on Friday, October 15 at Palm Beach Central High School, 8499 West Forest Hill Blvd., in Wellington. Geared toward school administrators, teachers and parents, this workshop is coordinated by Pine Jog in recognition of its golden anniversary.  The all-day event will highlight Pine Jog’s commitment to school sustainability and going “green.”  The month of October will feature a stewardship celebration of the Pine Jog Forest, and festivities in December will center on the dedication of new facilities at Pine Jog.   

The Pine Jog story actually began in 1946, when Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Kay purchased 150 acres of West Palm Beach wilderness from the Lake Worth Drainage District.  The land was used by the Kays to grow flowers, fruit and vegetables until 1960 when they turned their property into an official wildlife sanctuary which they named Pine Jog. A nature center, one of the first of its kind in the country, was built on the grounds.

The building provided a gathering spot for environmentalists of all ages and was managed by the Florida Audubon Society for its first 10 years, before FAU took over operations in 1970.  Since 1987, Pine Jog has been a unit of FAU’s College of Education, serving as a living, learning resource for children, teachers, university students and concerned citizens who appreciate and seek to understand and sustain nature.   

Today Pine Jog is best known for helping people better appreciate their world, training teachers, providing unparalleled outdoor experiences, developing curricula and conserving the land.  In 2004, Pine Jog administrators, partnering with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, assumed management and operation of the Everglades Youth Conservation Camp, situated within the Corbett Wildlife Area at the northeastern waters of the Everglades. Historically, Pine Jog has maintained a close relationship with the School District of Palm Beach County, exemplified by annual contractual agreements dating back to 1962. 

In 2006, the School District and the FAU Board of Trustees agreed to build the state’s first LEED gold-certified green elementary school.  The location for this school was a 15-acre, joint-use parcel of land within the Pine Jog borders. The Pine Jog Elementary School opened its doors in August 2008.  That same year Pine Jog’s original nature center was replaced by the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, a brand new two-story, 15,000-square-foot facility, that is strategically situated alongside of the green school.  The collaboration between public school, environmental learning center and public university is said to be the only one of its kind in the country.

For more information, contact Glenn Thomas at 561-297-3977 or gthomas@fau.edu, or visit http://pinejog.fau.edu.

-FAU-

About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit www.fau.edu .

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