Area Students Offered Free Saturday Extra-Credit Experience, Ideal for College-Bound

Special Events Include Field Trip, Group Landscape Architecture Competition


Last updated 12/9/2022 at 11:56am

Nikki Sealey

Interact students from Lake Wales High School helped plant trees on South 4th Street as part of efforts to re-establish the disappearing streetscapes designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. Edward Bok hired Olmsted to create the design shortly after he completed work on Bok' Mountain Lake Sanctuary, now Bok Tower Gardens.

Lake Wales area students in high school or middle school levels are able to sign up for a one-time special Saturday class that will leave them with surprising facts about our community. Those on a college-bound track will appreciate a "Student Naturalist Certificate of Achievement" that will be awarded upon completion of the three-hour program, according to local educator Kyra Love Harriage, who is leading the curriculum for the classes.

The history-making people who founded and shaped Lake Wales are the focus of the program, including the founders of the city, Edward Bok, Frederick Law Olmsted, and others who strove to create a "garden city" here. The program is managed by Lake Wales Heritage, an Olmsted Conservancy, and funded by a special grant from Mountain Lake Community Service.

The programs will take place during the January through April period, in morning or afternoon sessions, each limited to 15 students per class. Students may only take part one time, in order to allow others to take advantage of the program.

Applications for the class are available on the Lake Wales Heritage website.

Lake Wales High School students have made significant contributions to efforts to replant the city's Olmsted streetscapes. The "Student Naturalist" program and certificate is an opportunity for those students and others to benefit from learning about the city's history and patrimony.

The classes will be held at the Lake Wales Public Library, offering easy access for an included "field trip" walk through the garden city landscapes created during the formation al years of Lake Wales. Each class will view a special video series about Lake Wales created in-house by the Heritage video department, headed by videographer Karyn Thompson, a Heritage director. They will also take part in a team exercise in landscape architecture, choosing a variety of trees and shrubs to beautify an area street much as Olmsted did in 1930.

The certificate of achievement will certify each student's participation in the extra-curricular educational opportunity, and is suitable for inclusion in college application packets.

Lake Wales was recently named as a recipient of recognition by The Cultural Landscape Foundation for its unique heritage as an Olmsted Garden City.


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