Stetson University

Volusia Sandhill Ecosystem

April 2011 June 2011 June 2013 May 2014

This ongoing project, located on the south lawn of the adjacent Rinker Environmental Learning Center, is an outdoor learning area with a focus on a significant but vanishing ecosystem in Volusia County. The purpose of the landscape is to provide opportunities for environmental programs, demonstrations and hands-on work in native plantings and sustainable practices.

The initial planting, which took place throughout the summer and fall of 2011, was funded by the Tree Replacement Grant Fund of the Environmental Management Department of Volusia County. The current landscape continues to take shape with support from the Gillespie Museum, the Department of Biology, the Department of Geography and Environmental Science, the College of Arts and Sciences, Stetson University's faculty/staff Tree Initiative and staff from the university's Office of Facilities Management. Watch us continue to grow, through this website or a visit to campus!

For more information, contact project directors, Cindy Bennington, Ph.D., Biology ( or Karen Cole, Ph.D., director, Gillespie Museum (

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