Student Projects

Student Creation of an HCC Green Fund!

In partnership with the United Tiny House Association, 15 HCC students accompanied Sheila McNamara, Sustainability Manager, and Kathleen King, Honors Institute Director, on a trip to St. Augustine to attend the UTHA 2016 Florida Tiny House Festival from November 18-20, 2016. The students represented the Honors Society, Emerging Green Builders, and Students for the Environment - Ybor clubs.

Our students braved a Florida cold front, with temperatures in the low 30s, and camped out! Twelve of the fifteen had never camped out before and quickly realized the importance of energy efficient insulation in living quarters. While at the festival, we had the opportunity to tour alternative living structures (tiny houses, retrofitted school buses, campers, etc.), speak with vendors, and attend workshops on sustainable topics.

Our students also took turns representing HCC at our display table. Many stepped out of their comfort zone by using their public speaking skills to answer questions regarding our school, programs available, their majors, and sustainability at HCC. As part of the partnership with UTHA, our students were given free registration to the event, t-shirts, and donations for hours worked to a charity of their choice. Students earned $1,260.00, which they gave to HCC for the creation of a Green Fund! Our students also observed and evaluated the UTHA Festival and made recommendations for adaptation at HCC for our annual Beyond Sustainability Conference to be held April 8, 2017 at the Dale Mabry campus. All donations received at this year’s 2017 Sustainability Conference will be added to the student created Green Fund for future sustainability projects and initiatives.
Contact the Office of Sustainability for information on how you can volunteer at the 2017 Sustainability Conference or

Green group

Eco-Brick Project

... a new and very sustainable way of recycling plastic.
... transforming entire communities.
... used to help solve some of the biggest waste issues found within developing countries.
Students in Professor Emily Brown’s EAP class researched waste management issues in Peru while learning about reducing your carbon footprint. Professor Brown had read, “Trash into Treasure,” written by Tina Montalvo ( which is an eco-bricking story about Chongoyape, Peru. This poor community in Northern, rural Peru learned the concept of the eco-brick as one solution to their waste problem and filled 14,500 plastic bottles to use as building blocks for the construction of a multi-purpose building.
The students presented the information to the HCC community as part of International Education Week, which happened to coincide with America Recycles Day. As part of their presentation, the students worked with HCC’s Office of Sustainability and Facilities to construct a miniature replica of the community center. The replica is on display at the Dale Mabry campus.
eco brick

Food Forest

Students from the HCC Brandon Campus, led by the Students for the Environment (SFE) Club and Student Government Association (SGA), are working on a Food Forest permaculture project. This sustainable garden will serve as a learning tool and resource for the campus and community.  The forest is underway for the next growing season and we can’t wait to show the fruits of our labor, and vegetables too!  We continuously need volunteers to share in the work (and rewards) of the Food Forest. Contact to see how you can become involved.

Sulphur Springs Garden Project

Alpha Beta Beta members from HCC’s Ybor City Campus won the “Outstanding School” award from Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful (left) for their accomplishments and success with their Honors in Action program. They worked during the fall semester with the YMCA afterschool program. Children learned about the components of soil, the purpose of worms and compost, how to apply multiplication and division in the garden, how to identify plant anatomy and function, and the concepts of germination, pollination, the nutrient cycle, the gas cycle, and the water cycle.

Vertical Gardens

The vertical garden towers are the part of the legacy project at HCC Ybor. This project has taken root with action of the Students for the Environment in 2016. The goal of this project was to provide healthy fruits & vegetables to our students and to show them the value of growing their own food. Our next step is to create a wall garden in our upper courtyard and bring some nature into our city.

vertical gardens