Rose Flores takes lead role at Eco Centro, SAC’s environmental sustainability center
January 27, 2023
Eco Centro, San Antonio College’s center for community and environmental sustainability, has a new director. Rose M. Flores joined the center at the beginning of January.
She comes to Eco Centro after serving as assistant professor and program lead for the horticultural sciences program at Palo Alto College since 2015. Along with teaching, she oversaw the development, installation and operation of the campus community garden and one-acre vineyard.
With her background, she’s uniquely qualified to lead the center, which focuses on water resources, urban agriculture, and green building practices.
Eco Centro has been a hub of community education on conservation and sustainability since opening in 2014. The center offers a wide variety of events and programs on subjects ranging from composting and rainwater catchment to home efficiency.
While the center will continue its outreach to the public, Flores also wants to prioritize connections between Eco Centro and SAC students.
“We’re wanting to see where we fit in with the community and also get re-established within the SAC community,” Flores said. “The SAC community will be our first priority going forward. We’re excited to move in that direction.”
She recently led center staff in identifying connections with campus programs and departments and discovered some interesting connections. For example, Eco Centro shares an interest in growing food hydroponically with the Scobee Education Center. Biology students share a natural connection with the center, and Eco Centro hopes to host children from SAC’s Early Childhood Center for experiential learning opportunities.
“There are applications where the center fits in with every degree,” Flores said.
Flores also plans to renovate the on-site urban garden at Eco Centro headquarters on the SAC campus. She hopes to attract students who are interested in urban gardening, planting and harvesting, along with their families and others who are part of the SAC community.
“The idea is to get the garden freshened up and get more people involved,” Flores said.
As Eco Centro’s director Flores will also oversee the Garcia Street Urban Farm, a four-acre urban food-producing site on the city’s East Side, operated in partnership with Opportunity Homes San Antonio (formerly the San Antonio Housing Authority) and St. Philips College. The farm is one of the only housing authority, community and higher education-led farming and food production initiatives in the nation.
With a passion for community gardens, sustainable agriculture and addressing local food insecurity, Flores is a natural fit for guiding Eco Centro into the future. A San Antonio native, she is a graduate of Palo Alto College. She earned a bachelor of science degree in agriculture and a master of science degree in integrated agriculture from Texas State University.
For more information on Eco Centro visit https://www.alamo.edu/sac/about-sac/college-offices/eco-centro/.