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Dale Mabry Science Courtyard Outdoor Classroom

Students walking to and from classes through the science building courtyard will notice a big change in the landscape. Over the semester break, the courtyard greenspace that was nothing more than weeds and dirt used as a large ashtray by students has been transformed into a beautifully landscaped outdoor classroom.
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The idea to both utilize and beautify the science building courtyard was conceived in the Fall of 2006. The Earth Science department wanted a boulder garden where students could observe large boulder size rocks, most of which are non-native to Florida. The Biology department wanted natural Florida plantings and a small water feature. Dr. Chunn consented and the administration agreed to fund the project. An ad-hoc faculty committee developed tentative plans, we received proposals from landscape contractors, and finally chose Bruce Adams of Adams Lawns and Gardens (wetrocks.com). We developed a tentative design and Earth science faculty went shopping for rocks, big rocks.
Work was done over the semester break to minimize the impact on students and classes. We now have a beautiful garden for all to enjoy. But it is also an outdoor classroom. The earth science faculty have already taken students outside to study the rocks and biology faculty are planning ways to incorporate the plants and the pond in class exercises. So now we can take students on a field trip, and the great thing is that we just have to step out the door!
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