Deep Ecology Education Program

by Highland Support Project
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Deep Ecology Education Program
Deep Ecology Education Program
Deep Ecology Education Program
Deep Ecology Education Program
Deep Ecology Education Program
Deep Ecology Education Program
Deep Ecology Education Program

Project Report | May 17, 2024
DEEP Collaboration for Community Pollination

By Ben Blevins | Project Leader

  • The collaboration between the Highland Support Project Project's (HSP) Deep Ecology Education Program and the York School of Engineering represents a groundbreaking initiative aimed at integrating STEM education with social and environmental sustainability. This partnership has embarked on an ambitious project to design and install a Deep Horticultural Center at Richmond Community High School, under the guidance and inspiration of Summer Schultz, a remarkable educator with a profound dedication to nurturing students' interest in science and sustainability.


    This project was conceived out of the need to provide meaningful, hands-on STEM learning experiences that directly address social and environmental issues, particularly the impact of historical redlining on educational opportunities within urban settings. The initiative aligns with both HSP's mission to promote deep ecological understanding and the York School of Engineering's commitment to fostering innovative engineering solutions that serve community needs.

    Project Components:

    The proposed Deep Horticultural Center includes several key components designed to enhance the educational landscape at Richmond Community High School:

    • Garden Bed Infrastructure: Installation of versatile garden beds to support diverse botanical experiments and teaching opportunities.
    • Spirulina Testing Site: Development of a dedicated area for cultivating and studying Spirulina, a nutrient-rich algae, as part of a broader investigation into sustainable food sources.
    • Shade Structure with Land Recognition Elements: Construction of a shade structure that not only provides necessary protection for plants and students but also incorporates elements that acknowledge the historical and cultural significance of the land.


    Pedagogical Approach:

    This collaborative effort embodies a pedagogical strategy that engages students in the practical application of STEM disciplines while emphasizing the importance of social responsibility and environmental stewardship. By involving students in the design and implementation of the Deep Horticultural Center, the project aims to cultivate skills in innovation, problem-solving, and collaboration, alongside a deep appreciation for ecological balance and community well-being.

    Addressing Educational Inequity:

    A central ambition of this initiative is to confront the long-term effects of redlining on access to quality educational resources in Richmond. By establishing a state-of-the-art horticultural center, the project seeks to create equitable learning opportunities that inspire and empower students from all backgrounds.

    Circular Economy Objective:

    An innovative aspect of the program involves the production of pollinator plant starts by students, intended for sale to suburban congregations and Rotary clubs. This venture is designed to generate funds to subsidize plant production, thereby making gardening more accessible to low-income residents. This model of a circular economy not only supports environmental sustainability but also promotes community engagement and economic resilience.


    The partnership between HSP's Deep Ecology Education Program and the York School of Engineering, in support of Summer Schultz’s inspiring work at Richmond Community High School, stands as a testament to the power of collaborative innovation in education. This project not only aims to enrich the academic experience of students but also strives to make a lasting positive impact on the community and environment. Through this endeavor, we look forward to fostering a new generation of leaders who are equipped to tackle the challenges of sustainability and social equity.

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Jan 23, 2024
Student Led Projects

By Caroline Perez | Outreach Assistant

Sep 4, 2023
College Students Create DEEP Lesson Plans

By Muna Hijazi | HSP Program Coordinator

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Organization Information

Highland Support Project

Location: Richmond, VA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @HighlandPartnrs
Project Leader:
Richmond , VA United States

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