June 25, 2013


JUPITER, Fla. (June 25, 2013) – In addition to the general high school curriculum, students in the Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy (JERFSA) at Jupiter High School learn about wildlife, ecology, conservation, ecosystems, and green building solutions through a variety of classes ranging from APES (AP Environmental Science) to Zoology.

As a requirement for completion of the JERFSA program, all students are asked to embark on a Senior Project that falls into one of four categories including: Environmental Action, Eco-Political Action, Ecological Research Investigation, or Environmental Education.

For his senior project, Bryan Pepper (JHS/JERFSA class of 2013) chose to design, plant and maintain a butterfly garden composed of locally grown Florida native plants. In search of a meaningful location for this garden, Bryan met with John D. Couris, President & CEO of Jupiter Medical Center (JMC), who was enthusiastically supportive of the idea. After touring the campus of JMC, Bryan decided that the grounds of The Pavilion (JMC's sub-acute inpatient rehabilitation and long-term care facility) would be the ideal location for bringing joy to patients and their families.

After researching the benefits of therapeutic healing gardens for nursing home patients, and meeting with local expert Connie Roy-Fisher of Studio Sprout, Inc., Bryan developed a plan to use colorful native plants of varying textures and fragrances that are easier for older patients to appreciate. He initiated a fundraising campaign to raise money for plants and supplies and began preparing the area for planting.

As Bryan started his work on the garden, he quickly realized that patients and their families of JMC’s Pavilion were enjoying being outside watching the garden take shape. In order to further engage the patients in this process, Bryan spoke with Mary Hodge, Activities Director at The Pavilion, to ask for permission to have them paint and decorate "butterfly shelters" that Bryan crafted by hand.  The result was amazing. The patients did a great job painting and decorating the shelters. Once the garden was completed, they all gathered in the garden to watch as Bryan hung these structures in strategic locations. During the ceremony (which was also attended by Couris, Hodge, Kristina Edwards, Rehabilitation Services Program Manager, and Betsy Heartfield, VP, Post-Acute & Pavilion Administrator), several additional guests made an appearance - BUTTERFLIES! Bryan provided The Pavilion with a guide that he created to help patients and staff identify these colorful visitors.

“Bryan’s butterfly garden is a wonderful addition to the grounds of The Pavilion at Jupiter Medical Center,” said Heartfield. “All the hard work and dedication he put into this project is a true attestation of the support Jupiter Medical Center receives from our community. The butterfly garden is here for patients and their families to enjoy for years to come.”

With graduation behind them, the students of the Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies at Jupiter High School will have more than just great memories. They take with them the values of contributing to the community while preserving the environment for generations to come.

For more information about JERFSA, please visit http://jerfsapartnership.org/.     

About Jupiter Medical Center
A not-for-profit 283-bed regional medical center consisting of 163 private acute care hospital beds and 120 long-term care, sub-acute rehabilitation and Hospice beds, Jupiter Medical Center provides a broad range of services with specialty concentrations in oncology, imaging, orthopedics & spine, digestive health, emergency services, lung & thoracic, women’s health, weight management and men’s health. Founded in 1979, the Medical Center has approximately 1,500 team members, 520 physicians and 700 volunteers. Jupiter Medical Center is the recipient of the HealthGrades ‘America’s 50 Best’ Award™ for three years in a row (2011-2013) and the Distinguished Hospital Award - Clinical Excellence™ for nine years in a row (2005-2013). For more information on Jupiter Medical Center, please call (561) 263-2234 or visit www.jupitermed.com.

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Press ReleasesPR 2013