Center Hill Mine

Orlando, Florida, United States

Certified Silver through 2023

Project Name
Project Type
Pollinator Garden next to SEEC
2nd grade
Formal Learning
Project Learning Tree Educator Workshop
Support for EPIC Students
Formal Learning
About the Program
The CEMEX Center Hill Mine is located in Sumpter County, Florida.  The Center Hill Mine is comprised of a 996-acre active rock quarry and includes 229 acres of actively-managed habitats like lakes, wetlands and forest. Since 2006, the company has hosted students from local schools. The company has 4 qualifying projects: 3 environmental education projects and a pollinator garden. The company modified projects to work with Covid closures and restrictions.

Practices and Impacts
  • Sumter County EPIC Teaching Academy trains high school students to teach environmental topics to 2nd grade. Normally, students would lead the in-person field trips of 2nd grade students at the company’s site. Due to COVID, in-person field trips on site were cancelled. As EPIC students are required to have hands-on experience in leading students in lessons, so the lessons were revised to be taught virtually. CEMEX offered to coach these students in virtual field trip lesson plans for habitat and ecology.
  • Project Learning Tree is an environmental education curriculum for environmental educators that provides instructional materials and activities for grades K-12. The company provides free classroom space, registrations, food and materials for local educators to participate at no cost. Topics include forests and trees as habitats, economics and management of private forest lands, and an understanding of the conditions that trees need to live and grow. Educators completed a written evaluation of the value and possible improvements for the class.
  • A formal learning program for 2nd grade was started in 2006. The class reaches 270 students each year. The curriculum provides an outdoor classroom where students discover Florida's ecosystems. Topics include a nature hike, scavenger hunt, lessons on nocturnal species with a focus on bats and owls and a hands-on owl pellet dissection. Students learn about the interdependence of plants and animals and how habitats must meet basic needs.
  • A small pollinator garden of 600 square feet was created at Center Hill mine facility in 2014 for habitat, viewing pleasure and education. Plants were selected for value to pollinators (bees and butterflies). Employees monitor the plants annually, and record pollinators observed in the garden monthly. They also conduct repairs and routine maintenance. The original plants were a mix of native and nonnative; when some of those plants did not survive, they were replaced with native plants. The goal is to eventually an all-native plant garden.