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“Lettuce” share our appreciation for Millenia Gardens EcoClub!

May 5, 2017
Elementary school students donate greens to rescued manatees.

This morning, students from Millenia Gardens Elementary saw first-hand that the old adage is true…the way to a man(atee)’s heart is through his stomach.

The school’s EcoClub recently began a special partnership with SeaWorld by selecting the park’s rescued manatees to be the recipients of the lettuce grown in their hydroponics garden. Their first donation in February included more than 1,000 heads of lettuce.

SeaWorld Orlando Hydroponics Garden

Under the guidance of their teachers, the garden was planted to foster the growth of important skills including mathematics, environmental protection, and teamwork for the third to fifth grade students in the afterschool club.

For their generosity and hard work, SeaWorld rewarded the young scientists with an overnight stay at the park’s Turtle Trek attraction alongside the manatee habitat. Today, the students were able to see the fruits (well, vegetables) of their labor in action. Check out this Facebook Live video to see the moment the students served breakfast to their bulky beneficiaries.

The rescued manatees who call SeaWorld home have the most expensive diet of any species in the park. For the animals to maintain their large size (a few individuals weigh in excess of 900 pounds), the manatees must eat countless cases of fresh leafy lettuce each day.

The special gift of greens from the elementary students has touched the hearts of the SeaWorld ambassadors who care for the animals. “This donation is a truly amazing one,” said Jon Peterson, Manager of Animal Rescue at SeaWorld, “To have these young kids come together, volunteer their time, learn how to grow lettuce and then donate it to the animals in our care – I cannot think of anything more meaningful and special.”

SeaWorld Orlando Manatees