Camp Everglades has welcomed the incoming student since the first year of the magnet. Originally it was a two-day camp to familiarize the students with the school since they came from many different areas. The first day students learned school policies/areas and the second day involved a field trip to familiarize the parents with site visits and field trip forms.
In the early days the two-day program was free to students and then funding expired so the camp ended up as one day joining the Paladin Round Up led by student government in the morning and the magnet's Camp Everglades in the afternoon.
In January, the entire Paladin Family open its arms to share the total high school experience for students and parents interested in the magnet program at the 2023 Open House.
In addition to all the magnet offerings, students and teachers from 56 school organizations had displays showcasing the clubs, athletics and curriculum currently at SPHS.
Once the health restrictions eased, magnet activities began in August 2022 with Freshman Orientation and Camp Everglades. Students visited SGA's club displays in the amphitheater before enjoying a pizza lunch in the cafeteria.
Then 'Alligator Ron' Bergeron kicked off the camp. Partners of the magnet presented hands-on activities for the campers in different classrooms of the magnet building.
Professionals from the Youth Environmental Alliance (YEA!) had students examine scientific specimens. The Science Eye showed campers how to tie on a fish hook. The Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS) brought its mobile learning classroom, and Broward County Libraries explained how to access its materials. At the end of the day, students wrote their academic, activities and behavior goals for the year.
Each year, magnet students gather for one last time to receive their Gold Medallions and Green Cords exemplifying their dedication to environmental stewardship for the past four years.
Seniors with exemplary work earned scholarships provided by patrons and FERM, the magnet's parent organization. Parents also helped produce the event.
Students with successful projects and symposium presentations, won awards as well as cash. In addition to producing the side show that highlighted each senior's accomplishments and college plans, Daley Eisenmann, also created the Magnet Annual Report. Silas Ramos earned the Florida Marine Association scholarship as well as one from the ER Ambassador for his community service and maintaining the fish tanks at school.
Once school was back in session, students were able to open the doors of the school to the community in an effort to raise funds to pay for the animals in their care.
After advertising at the local dog parks and through social media, dogs of all types came to be washed, dried and groomed. Some even enjoyed treats in the "Barkery" that were made by the students or store bought. The successful event will be repeated.
Open House 2021
Because of the Pandemic, in-person Open Houses were replace by other unique events.
Interested parents drove around the campus, stopping at different tables to see and learn about classes, clubs and sports using their phones with QR codes.
Before ending the drive, students gathered curriculum materials and magnet items to review at home.
Newcomers into the Environmental Science and Everglades Restoration Magnet once again got their feet wet at Camp Everglades in August before school began.
For the first time campers merged with the Paladin Roundup to gather more information about the start of school.
The Roundup shared general information about South Plantation High and Camp Everglades focused on the magnet program itself. Students had their first look at visually sampling water and its inhabitants.
Guest speaker Ron Bergeron, a sitting member of the Fish and Wildlife Commission explained his
love for Florida's Everglades and how everyone could enjoy Florida's unique habitat.
Former ER Ambassador Jacob Ewert shared how magnet program activities and opportunities have shaped his future. He was the 2018 Broward County P3 High School Environmental Student of the Year.
Usually the ER Ambassadors go off-campus to share their knowledge about environmental stewardship. But in February, children from Broward Estates Elementary came to the South Plantation campus for Immersion Day 2017.
In modules developed by the ER Club, the youngsters rotated through different venues both inside and outside to learn about habitats plants, animals and water conservation. ER President, senior Casey Horland, coordinated the event.
Magnet students continue to explore environmental issues as they participate in the Fairchild Challenge in Coral Gables under the guidance of Ecology, Pine Jog (dual enrollment) and AP teacher Jessica Brown.
For the past 10 years, South Plantation students have successfully competed in the options created by the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens personnel.
Former Magnet Coordinator Pam Krauss began competing and with different teams won seven consecutive titles, a feat still unmatched in 2016.
Options vary from art, debate, essay writing and community service enabling students of varying talents to explore different environmental issues. Fairchild offers different workships at the gardens in Miami to assist the students throughout the competition.
A government shutdown did not keep students in the Environmental Science and Everglades Restoration magnet program at South Plantation High from celebrating National Public Lands Day known as the Green Apple Day of Service on October 4, 2013.
More than two dozen students and community volunteers worked during the morning to refurbish and maintain the hardwood hammock that former magnet students created at Jack Carter Harmony Park in Plantation. The seedlings other students planted six years ago have grown into mature trees and shrubs proving a refuge for local wildlife and cool shade for residents who walk in the park.
Later the volunteers worked in the wildflower garden that skirts the parent drop-off road at the school and includes powderpuff, tickweed, blanket flower and Florida's state wildflower.
Nature continues to replant the wildflowers
that bloom but the students must remove weeds and add mulch to help control the weeds. Students will continue to work both gardens during the year under the guidance of Magnet Coordinator Pamela Krauss and student coordinator Katie Van Winkle.
Before they left, the students prepared the school vegetable gardens for a winter planting. Last year the vegetables were donated to a local food bank.