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ESF Receives Central New York Community Foundation Grant

In support of Service Learning


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) will use a recently received grant from the Central New York Community Foundation to further develop the college's service-learning curriculum which links academic study with community service.

The $13,500-grant will be used to increase the opportunities for service learning and enhance the existing programs. In the past, ESF has provided more than 15,000 hours of community service in one year through service learning.

Past service-learning projects include students enrolled in environmental interpretation courses providing nature programs for inner city youth and urban parks; landscape architecture students developing and designing proposals for community organizations, schools and neighborhoods; and engineering students devising bio-retention basins for treating storm-water runoff in urban Syracuse environments.

"While we currently have a few designated service-learning courses, our desire is to increase the number of courses resulting in a service-learning curriculum," said Dr. Julie R. White, associate dean of student life and experiential learning. "We'd like to change the approach such that ESF is more proactive and responsive to community-identified needs."

A portion of the grant money will go directly to individual courses that employ service-learning as part of the curriculum. The remainder will be used for transportation, purchases for the community within particular service-learning projects and production of end-of-course reports for the community.

The college will also be cultivating community partnerships as consistent and on-going service-learning collaborators and establishing a Service-Learning Advisory Council consisting of community members, students, and faculty to keep abreast of community needs and possible interfaces with ESF's curricular objectives.