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Why build high school in Alva?

May 10, 2017
Lehigh Acres Citizen

To the editor:

The choice between locating a new high school in the Gateway area off State Road 82 or the Alva area off State Road 80 is an important one. I know you will want to make a decision that is best for the whole community and that looks ahead to the future.

Because of congestion, population tends to be flowing to the east in Lee County. The roughly 100,000 people currently living in Lehigh Acres, an unincorporated area, may soon become a municipality. There are many of us who would like to see Lehigh maintain its semi-rural nature. Although the area was divided up into mostly quarter-acre lots, there are those who would like to see many of them combined to allow for cooperative gardening and other cottage-industry type of businesses that would provide employment and food security for the future.

The health crisis in America is directly related to our compromised food supply. Larger environmental issues are impacted by the huge mono-culture agricultural system that requires shipping produce and livestock hundreds of miles to market. The answer is to locally produce and consume nutritious food. Small is good and sometimes the old ways are better than the new ways when it comes to agriculture. Plus, there is a huge untapped human resource potential in our aging populations who would love to be productively involved on a part-time basis. Worker owned co-ops answer many of these challenges. I can see Lehigh Acres becoming a "cooperative community."

And what better way to support this vision than to have a high school on the northeast corner of our county that offers, beyond its basic curriculum, studies in agriculture, food production and the environment. With acres of undeveloped preserves in its "backyard" and the Caloosahatchee River a stone's throw away, with the capacity on its 102 acres to eventually include a K-8 school, I can see a generation of young people growing up to learn the best methods of growing and consuming in a way healthy for both our bodies and our planet. And a short walk down Joel Boulevard, in the planning stages, is an eco-park of 30 acres, further supporting ecological awareness.

Ecological and agricultural wisdom is the way of the future if we are to have one. Why not invest in educational decisions that point to that future?

Will Bronson

Lehigh Acres



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