March 5, 2012

Sustainable Floridians

Ramona Madhosingh-Hector
Urban Sustainability Agent

Get Started with Sustainability
For many of us, sustainability is a challenge and we don’t know where to start. The University of Florida recently introduced a new training program to help citizens learn about sustainability and connect with others who are already involved in local, sustainable community projects.

Sustainable Floridians is a 7-week course that provides a forum for education and action to address Florida specific concerns about water, transportation, energy, and land use. The program uses a hybrid teaching approach with instructor led sessions and facilitated peer-to-peer exchanges to create and provide a lively classroom learning experience. UF/IFAS Extension faculty teach all sessions and participants receive valuable sustainable living devices like rain barrels and energy materials to promote behavior change. Although this is a non-credit adult education program, UF faculty provide many opportunities for ongoing learning through the UF/IFAS Extension network and monthly mentoring meetings.

In order to be considered for the program, participants must submit an application to the program coordinator. This year, the Pinellas County Extension office will offer two training opportunities -

Classes meet every Thursday during the 7 week session from 9 am to 1 pm. Participants must complete the training and required volunteer hours to be considered a certified Sustainable Floridian graduate. Participants meet the 30 hour volunteer requirement and 15 hour ongoing training requirement by completing Extension approved projects. These may include working at community outreach events, writing articles, and working with schools to educate youth about sustainability.

Pinellas County Extension is currently the only Extension office in the Tampa Bay area that is providing this training. Since the pilot launch of this program last year, Pinellas County trained 47 volunteers who contributed more than 700 hours to extend the mission of Extension.

When you complete this program, you will be a sustainability aware citizen who will be able to work at the grassroots level to improve the resiliency of your local community.

Join us for this exciting program and become a part of the Sustainable Floridian network of graduates!

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