SMA Prep Mangroves are Centerpiece at Sarasota Bay Watch Fundraiser Event

In April 2017, SMA Prep’s AgriScience teacher Deb Walker loaded her car with over 500 mangroves to deliver to the UF/IFAS Extension for the Sarasota County Arbor Day celebration! Her 6th-grade cadet assistants worked hard to get all of the propagules ready using recycled tennis ball containers to hold them with an attached info sheet on their care and about our school.

SMA-MAJ Walker has been working with Sarasota Bay Watch for years. The group contacted her requesting the mangroves be used in centerpieces at Sarasota Bay Watch’s 8th annual fundraiser – “Scallopalooza, It’s Clamtastic!” The event was held at the Sarasota Yacht Club Saturday evening.

Last year, SMA-Maj Walker’s Agriscience classes started the SMA Prep Garden which now includes conventional raised beds and hydroponic systems. The garden has received numerous awards in this short time: Florida Agriculture in the Classroom (FAITC awarded the Prep Garden the “Golden Shovel Award” in 2016 for the BEST FIRST YEAR GARDEN (secondary schools) in the state of Florida.

A few weeks ago the National Wildlife Federation announced that the campus is a Certified Schoolyard Habitat, due to the biodiversity on the campus grounds. SMA-MAJ Walker has received numerous grants from such organizations as the Florida Farm Bureau, the FAITC, the Florida extension service, and the Education Foundation.


  • Prevent erosion due to their strong roots securing the sand or dirt.
  • Provide nesting sites in their branches.
  • Have protective roots which provide shelter and act as a nursery to many organisms.
  • Use their roots to filter out dead organic matter from the water, keeping it clear.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy is a public charter, middle school, and high school located in Sarasota, FL. As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, SMA provides students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at

About Project Earth

Project Earth is a student and faculty-driven collaborative effort spearheaded by Agri-Science, the Interact Club, and Project Inspire. Our goal is to become an Eco-School, a new certification backed by the National Wildlife Federation. It is a seven-step process that requires audits in twelve sustainable categories such as water consumption, energy use, and campus biodiversity. The certification would be a year-long effort that would promote environmental awareness of the cadets and a chance to lessen the carbon footprint of our school. To find out more about upcoming speakers go to Project Earth

About Sarasota Bay Watch

Sarasota Bay Watch is a grass-roots, non-profit, citizen-based organization dedicated to preserving and restoring Sarasota Bay’s ecosystem through education and citizen participation. You can become an active participant by joining as a member and volunteering in Sarasota Bay Watch’s on-going effort to protect and restore this valuable natural resource. For more information visit

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