FGCU lands 32nd spot for ‘Top 50 Green Colleges’ in the US

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
15-acre solar photovoltaic array on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University. Credit: FGCU / fgcu.edu

Southwest Florida is now home to one of the “Top 50 Green Colleges” in the nation.

The Princeton Review awarded FGCU the 32nd spot on the list. One of the programs that helped the university make the list was the FGCU Food Forest, a staple for education on environmental sustainability on FGCU’s campus.

“It’s validation of the things that we do every day,” said Kathleen Crawford, FGCU’s sustainability coordinator.

Crawford has always known her school was sustainable, but she said this new title reinforces that and helps to let people know what they offer, including the FGCU solar field.

“It enables us to use our money much better for our students and for our programs rather than the electric bill,” Crawford said. “Everywhere, we can we really try and build these efficiencies in.”

Back in 2010, FGCU received $100,000 to start up the food forest.

“It’s not season yet, but they’re growing,” said. “So these are fruit students are allowed to come in here in season and pick them freely.”

FGCU senior Celeste Daniele works in the colloquium department and gives tours through the food forest. Her goal is simple.

“It’s really just about community and education,” Daniele said.

Daniele also values the hands-on experience.

“I actually interact with different students, and they tell them about plants like this one right here, this tree, which is a mulberry tree,” Daniele said.

Jennifer Jones is the director of the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education, and she says, while this title is amazing, there’s still a lot left to accomplish.

“We’re doing a terrific job of preparing our students to be the next generation of leaders in sustainability” Jones said.


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