FWC discusses Youth Conservation Centers June 22
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Media contact: Patricia Behnke, 850-251-2130
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) will meet June 22 in Lake Mary near Orlando for a
briefing and discussion on the Florida Youth Conservation Centers
Network Initiative (FYCCN). The session will begin at 2 p.m. and is
open to the public.
With new studies pointing to more and more of a
disconnect between youths and nature, the FYCCN developed goals to
create destinations that provide opportunities for youths to get
outside. The FWC, along with the Wildlife Foundation of Florida,
Inc., proposes to form private-public partnerships to foster
Florida's youths to become the next generation of conservation
stewards. There are several outdoor youth centers in Florida that
will provide the basic foundation from which the FYCCN will grow
and prepare to open other centers around the state.
Brett Boston, executive director of the Wildlife
Foundation of Florida, Inc., will update the Commission on the
progress of the centers that are in various stages of development.
Most of the existing centers include fishing spots, archery,
shotgun and small rifle ranges, and provide wildlife viewing
opportunities and boating activities, such as kayaking and
canoeing. Boston's presentation will include plans for other
potential elements, such as hiking trails, fields for games and
tournaments, a pool, and horseback and mountain biking areas,
depending on the topography of each location.
He will present architectural plans that
incorporate a campus-style design with classrooms, hands-on habitat
restoration work, wet labs, greenhouses and butterfly gardens.
"This is an opportunity for the commissioners to
enter into a discussion on the future of these innovative youth
centers," Boston said. "They will be giving us direction on the
next steps, and they will be listening to what the public has to
say as well."
The meeting will be at the Orlando Marriott Lake
Mary, 1501 International Parkway, Lake Mary. The Commission will
hold its regular meeting the following two days, on June 23 and 24,
at the same place.
Anyone requiring special accommodations to
participate in the meeting should advise the FWC at least five days
prior to the June 23 meeting by contacting the FWC's Office of
Human Resources at 850-488-6411. If you are hearing- or
speech-impaired, contact the FWC using the Florida Relay Service at
800-955-8771 (TDD) or 800-955-8770 (voice).