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TCC : Our College : Our Leadership : President's Blog

The Wakulla Environmental Institute

1/14/2013

WEIheader.jpg

​First of all, I want to thank Doug Blackburn and the Tallahassee Democrat for their article in last Sunday’s paper on the Wakulla Environmental Institute (WEI), as well as the follow-up editorial on January 9th. As Doug put it, we are “gung-ho” about the Institute and its potential, and we appreciate the shared enthusiasm. 

It is true that WEI is going to be a big deal. That’s an understatement, really. When it is finished, this multi-million dollar project will become a world-class destination for education, conservation and recreation. The initial facility, which we hope to break ground on this year, will be situated at the heart of the fifth hottest biodiversity spot in the nation on 158 acres and will feature landscapes so beautiful, it will make you want to come back again and again. (We’re counting on it.) It is also important to note that from this location, the Institute will have direct access to over one million acres of state and federal land and water.  

For more information on the Wakulla Environmental Institute, visit: www.tcc.fl.edu/WEI​​​

For students, WEI will mean innovative classes on the cutting-edge of environmental studies that result in focused degrees and in-demand job opportunities.  For county residents, it will mean 900 permanent and sustainable private-sector jobs in fishing, aqua culture, green business and more. For visitors, it will mean access to beautiful hiking trails, a private sink hole and a plethora of plant and animal life as part of a working research area. 

We believe Wakulla has a lot to offer. With the Institute, we look forward to showcasing the county’s best qualities. Of course, there is still a lot of planning to do and hurdles to overcome. I applaud the continued hard work of individuals like Trustee Allison DeFoor and Executive Director Bob Ballard as well as the amazing people who have agreed to serve on our new WEI Advisory Board who is helping to bring the project together. I especially appreciate Wakulla County leaders’ readiness to come together, roll up their sleeves and make this happen. A community in action like this is truly an awesome sight to behold. In the meantime, I hope everyone will please bear with us as we plan, build and realize this dream of ours. Stay tuned for more updates. 

Jim


A college is more than a collection of buildings or an online presence. A college is a community—a group of people with the same goal: to learn and to prepare for the future. And a great college is more than just a destination—it is a partner in the success of each student.

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