An update from Friends of the Everglades Education and Outreach Director, Amanda Purnell:

Our youth education program Young Friends of the Everglades has spent a busy spring sharing our passion for the Everglades with youth throughout South Florida. Whether in the field or the classroom,

momentum is building among young scientists to protect our vital ecosystem. 

In the heart of the Everglades, we spotted wildlife at Shark Valley on an open air tram tour and saw panoramic views at the observation tower. We learned Seminole history as we kayaked in Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park. We navigated the food chain as we dissected owl pellets at Tropical Audubon Society’s Bird Day. At the Miami Youth Climate Summit, we discussed threats facing South Florida due to climate change and the role the Everglades plays in mitigating its impacts.  

In the classroom, complex Everglades concepts came to life with authentic artifacts, gameplay, and immersive experiences. During interactive presentations, students discover:

  • Biodiversity & Invasive Species
  • Food Chains and Webs
  • Historic & Current Water Perspectives 
  • The Biscayne Aquifer
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Everglades Learning Exploration Kits have been in high demand. So far this year, we have delivered kits packed with 35 books, maps, materials, and lessons to 19 classes. 

As we wrap up this school year, we’re looking forward to a field trip to Anhinga Trail and more school visits. We’ll be sharing what we’ve learned with educators at conferences and exhibiting at community events, like the St. Lucie Earth Day Festival on April 20th. We hope to see you there!

Interested in seeing Young Friends of the Everglades curriculum in your classroom? Find out more by clicking here or reaching out directly to Friends of the Everglades Education and Outreach Director, Amanda Purnell, by sending an email to