Preserve taking water lessons to schools with mobile lab
By Ronnie Blair
CRYSTAL SPRINGS – The educators who teach visiting schoolchildren lessons in water conservation and the environment at Crystal Springs Preserve consider their wilderness classroom a special place.
"This is like working in a pocket of paradise," said Karen Pate, vice president of the Crystal Springs Foundation.
Starting today, the 525-acre preserve is expanding its reach, using a 53-foot customized mobile lab to share those lessons with students who live too far away to venture to the facility in southeast Pasco County.
The vehicle features hands-on activities to educate students about Florida's water and to help them make environmentally conscious decisions.
Some activities take place inside the vehicle, some outside.
The mobile lab, dubbed WaterVentures, will make its first stop today in Miami and is booked through June for school visits in South Florida.
At an unveiling Wednesday, the preserve invited 100 fourth-grade students from Wesley Chapel Elementary to give WaterVentures a test run, of sorts.