Exciting News: Grant Award from Arthrex Charitable Giving Supports SWAMP Program!

We are thrilled to announce that The Alliance for Florida’s National Parks has received a generous $5,000 grant from Arthrex Charitable Giving to support the Swamp Water And Me Program (SWAMP) at Big Cypress National Preserve. This funding will enable us to continue offering this impactful program, which provides every 6th-grade student in Collier County the opportunity to explore and experience the natural wonders of Big Cypress for a day.

About the SWAMP Program
The SWAMP program is a curriculum-based enrichment activity designed to introduce students to the unique ecosystems of Big Cypress National Preserve. The program begins in the classroom with a visiting ranger who prepares the students for their field trip. On the day of the trip, students travel by bus to the preserve where they engage in hands-on, interdisciplinary activities that foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

While in the swamp, students explore three distinct habitats—cypress swamp, open prairie, and pineland. They use radio-telemetry equipment to track a Florida panther (represented by a beanie baby), conduct water quality tests, take soil samples, record weather conditions, and identify local flora and fauna. This immersive experience transforms students into scientists for the day, enhancing their observation and analytical skills.

Impact of the SWAMP Program
The SWAMP program aims to provide students with hands-on, curriculum-based field experiences that help them understand their connections and responsibilities to the environment. The program’s goals include:

Offering interdisciplinary learning that leads to lifelong environmental stewardship.
Instilling a new environmental ethic in students through inquiry-based learning.
Demonstrating the positive effects of nature exposure on children’s physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development, including stress reduction and improved attention spans.
With a 19-year reputation for success, the SWAMP program has been a leader in environmental education in the region. It has consistently demonstrated significant learning gains and has great potential for long-term positive outcomes.

About Arthrex
Arthrex is a global medical device company and leader in new product development and medical education in orthopedics. Headquartered in Naples, Florida, Arthrex is committed to improving patient outcomes and advancing minimally invasive surgical techniques. Their charitable giving program focuses on supporting education, community development, and environmental sustainability initiatives.

Thank You, Arthrex!
We are deeply grateful to Arthrex Charitable Giving for their generous support of the SWAMP program. Their contribution will ensure that thousands of 6th-grade students in Collier County can continue to benefit from this transformative educational experience. Together, we are fostering a new generation of informed citizens, community leaders, and environmental stewards dedicated to preserving the fragile and unique ecosystems of South Florida.

For more information about Arthrex and their commitment to community and environmental sustainability, please visit Arthrex.