The Lake Okeechobee Regional Economic (LORE) Alliance of Palm Beach County is teaming with EcoArt South Florida to enlist a lucky group of 17 Glades youth interns ages 17-21 from Workforce Alliance, and over 100 summer campers ages 7-11, to learn first-hand, through art and science, about the native plant and animal species of the Lake Okeechobee region. This one-of-a-kind EcoArt project commenced on June 25 and is scheduled to be completed by August 3rd. Project manager and EcoArtist, Jesse Etelson, is mentoring and supervising the Workforce Alliance youth interns who will develop and install the wildlife habitat sculptures (see attached conceptual renderings) while fine tuning their communication skills (see attached journal entries) through project documentation, marketing and exhibition. Additionally, Etelson is teaching children from three Pahokee Summer camp programs under the auspices of the Center for Creative Education. These campers will create EcoArt Bird Nesting Habitats as well as masks, large puppets and costumes depicting native plants and animals of the Lake Okeechobee region, and will perform a dance procession on Torry Island, at the City of Belle Glade’s dedication of the demonstration site at the end of July.

Spearheaded by local business owner and Lake Okeechobee ambassador, Ashley Tripp, the LORE Alliance and EcoArt South Florida have garnered support from scientific, educational and arts organizations, and local businesses to develop this six week project engaging Glades youth in working to re-establish habitat around the lagoon in Torry Island’s Nature Park. Some of these supporters include: the City of Belle Glade; Workforce Alliance; Palm Beach State College; SFWMD; Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission; Torry Island Campground; Lawrence E. Will Historical Society and Museum; Belle Glade Elks Lodge; and Manuel Moya Photography. To date we have received in excess of $100,000 worth of goods and services and $8,000 in cash contributions but are still lacking funds to cover the remaining project expenses. As you can see, with the project completion date 6 weeks away, it is of critical, time sensitive importance that we raise the remaining $20,000 needed to complete this project. Therefore, it is our hope that you will help us reach our funding goal and kindly ask for your generous contribution towards this community project.

For more information about the project and to donate, please download this document and visit http://lorealliance.org/