The second round of the Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center’s (SU-EFC) GREEN-PR Program concluded with a graduation ceremony held at the Hacienda Mi Remanso in Caguas, Puerto Rico on October 1, 2016. The natural setting of the Hacienda Mi Remanso–an “eco-adventure” center–provided the perfect backdrop to recognize Stewards, Hub Coordinators, and mini-grant recipients for their work on environmental education projects implemented under the program in the last year.
Facilitated by SU-EFC staff members, participants presented the progress and results of their projects, which ranged from the creation of school gardens, composting systems, and rain gardens, to organized events such as litter cleanups and school environmental club meetings.
The SU-EFC awarded certificates to each of the graduates and presented each Steward with a different type of plant symbolizing a unique quality they bring to the group. Twenty Stewards graduated from the program. Gypsy Córdova, President of the Vieques Municipal Assembly, offered brief closing remarks on the connection between nature, peace, and environmental education.
Other key speakers at the event included Carmen Guerrero, EPA Region 2 Executive Director in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean; Grisell Díaz-Cotto of the EPA; and Weldin Ortiz Franco, President and Executive Director of the Environmental Quality Board.
Following the ceremony, the group had the opportunity to enjoy lunch, guided nature walks, and hiking at the Hacienda Mi Remanso.