Crowley, Jasper (William Jasper), 1900-1976 donated Crowley lands to the community in 1972. He was a teacher at the Old Miakka one-room Schoolhouse from 1933-1943. When Fruitville Elementary School opened up he became the first principal and the Old Miakka Schoolhouse was closed. Jasper believed he witnessed the birth of delinquency in children first hand. In the 1930s and 1940s, “Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child” philosophy was widely practiced. Also, children worked on the farm–nearly all people lived on enough land to keep a garden and some chickens and chores needed to be completed before fishing could take place.
Jasper felt, as many pioneer families did, that if children worked in the garden it connected them to natural systems and taught them to be self-sufficient, which also gained them self-confidence. He also thought it was important that children understand where their food came from and also learning self-reliance skills were necessary tools for life. Jasper would bring young men to work the farm who had gotten into trouble or ran away from home. Oral histories from some of these young men are testament to the notion that bringing them to the farm and teaching them about wild plants and how to build shelters, purify water, and other survival skills helped them to know they could provide for themselves if necessary. This gave them self-confidence and many young men became productive citizens when the odds were against them.
Following the early mission of Crowley, we bring children to Crowley to understand natural systems and where their food comes from. We teach them about completely self-reliant early cultures and impart them with a desire to become more self-sufficient and more mindful of preserving natural resources.
THE CROWLEY STORY “Come on inside now, with the rest of us…” pleaded the counselor from the girl’s club. A suspicious looking 9-year-old girl held the door cracked and peaked in at the rest of the girls and the dog. The girl looked up at the counselor and shook her head, refusing to open the door all the way. When further encouragement met with opposition, the counselor gave in to her and the group headed for the picnic tables outside. “Why don’t we begin by asking if you have questions or concerns you want to share?” offered the...read more
The Children’s Discovery Path is a 3/8 mile long nature hiking path with five discovery stations where a child can stop and learn about animals, birds, and insects that are native to southwest Florida. Along this path, there are five interactive stations: Birds of Prey, Bats, the Gopher Tortoise, Spiders, and the Florida Panther. Each station has a fun, hands-on activity where path explorers can jump, climb, see, and feel what it is like to be one of these...read more
A Day in the Life of a Florida Pioneer Program On Site Field Trip or In-Class Exploration Students studying life of early Florida pioneers will delight in this experiential learning program. Hands-on activities allow students to imagine what it would be like to live in Florida at the turn-of-the-century. A Day in the Life of a Florida Pioneer 2 hour on site tour Students will be met by period costumed, living history facilitators who will divide the students into 4 groups for their pioneer experience. Each group will visit: Museum,...read more
The environmental program teaches children about Florida natural history–identification, life history, distribution, abundance and interrelationships among and between individuals, populations and species. Ecology components include exploration of relevant notions of ecological diversity and stability. In-class or On-site. WHEN: Please call or email to make arrangements. Click here to access the Field Trip Information Form. COST: Staff led program Preschool – 12th Grade – $5 student Includes admission for teachers...read more
Eagle Projects, Past and Present There are young men who break away from the pack, and these are Eagle Scouts. Within this group there are Super Eagles, who soar above the rest. Meet Dreke Cuthbert, one of the Suger Eagles. Derek went above and beyond with this project, a moveable chicken coop. Not satisfied with creating yet another chicken tractor Derek built a replica of the Tatum House as a Coop Deville. Not only did he create this amazing and beautiful tractor, he also wrote and illustrated a how to booklet for others who may want to...read more
Teachers! Crowley is a great place to bring your students for a field trip! All you need to do is fill out the Field Trip Form by clicking on the link below. Download the field trip form in PDF Formatread more
Crowley is offering Horse Whispering classes for all ages. Horse Whispering involves communicating with horses in such a way as to instill a sense of safety and confidence. Contact us for more details.read more