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LLCC Unveils New Learning Space

Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) celebrated the inauguration of its latest educational facility, the West Lake Nature Grove, situated on a 2.1-acre plot at 2320 West Lake Shore Drive. The outdoor lab, located near the LLCC campus, encompasses a range of features such as an apiary housing beehives, fruit trees, shrubs, and inviting benches.


Robbie Robert Jr., president of Robert's Seafood in Springfield, generously donated the land to LLCC in memory of his dear friend Lloyd Inslee Jr., a nature and wildlife enthusiast who resided on the property for over five decades. Robbie expressed his wish for the land to be used to honor Lloyd's legacy by providing students with educational opportunities.


Brent Todd, LLCC's dean of natural and agricultural sciences, expressed enthusiasm for the Grove's potential integration into biology and agriculture classes. The facility's amenities, including the apiary, orchards, succession plots, and pollinator gardens, are poised to enhance the college's curriculum by offering practical learning experiences.


The establishment of the apiary was made possible through the collaboration of Biology Professor Dave Cox and local beekeeping groups such as the Prairie State Beekeepers, Lincoln Land Beekeepers Association, and Steamship Bees. Cox highlighted the West Lake Nature Grove as a valuable community resource for promoting agricultural and environmental awareness.


Bill Harmon, LLCC agriculture program coordinator, emphasized the significance of bees in crop pollination and production. With Illinois being a major producer of various fruits and vegetables, the Grove will allow students to grasp the pivotal role of bees in sustaining these specialty crops and their potential profitability.


During the dedication ceremony, attendees had the pleasure of witnessing the sponsorship and decoration of one of the beehives by young men from the Outlet. The Kreher Farm Perpetual Charitable Trust, administered within the LLCC Foundation, played a vital role in making the land enhancements and the construction of the adjacent greenhouse and Kreher Agriculture Center possible.


Following the ceremony, LLCC hosted an open house at the newly constructed greenhouse, offering a glimpse into the college's commitment to fostering hands-on learning experiences in agriculture and related fields.



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