4-H Publications and Projects WSU Extension

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Promoting a Healthy Environment

Natural Resource Stewardship is "Where You Are"

Many 4-H families live in places where residential and commercial development intrude upon fragile natural resources. Frequently, the protection of those natural resources can, in turn, intrude upon the agricultural interests of rural farmers and families. This is not a new set of problems, but ongoing challenges all of us face in the healthy stewardship of the environments in which we live. Positions taken on environmental stewardship issues can often be contentious, and conflicts can arise before issues are thoroughly understood. 4-H Educator Michael Wallace realized that 4-H youth and families have a lot of interest in natural resource stewardship, since, in many cases, it is the cornerstone of their livelihoods.

Michael used a small grant from the Norcliffe Foundation to design and build an on-line curriculum to promote learning and service opportunities that are significant to youth and families and Whatcom County. The on-line curriculum, which borrows from many well established models, also focuses on helping youth develop science and technology skills as they explore
their local environments.

“The goal is to help youth understand that stewardship really begins in your own backyard and then extends out, over and beyond fences, to all of the living systems in your local community.” Michael has far-reaching goals for the curriculum, which he says can be adapted for use in other counties, providing 4-H educators, youth, and families opportunities to connect locally with their own stewardship stakeholders. “Although some of the links on the website are specific to Whatcom County, the activities could apply to anyone in northwest Washington.”

King County 4-H Group Supports Relay for Life

King County’s Teen Leaders of Tomorrow 4-H Club formed Russell Johnson’s 2012 Relay for Life team, called Wayner’s Crusaders, honoring Russell and Steven Johnson’s dad, Wayne, who is a cancer survivor.

Their team tent, at the Kent, Washington, event, became a 4-H information booth, educating people that 4-H is much more than just agriculture. Participating 4-Hmembers raised over $1,000 for the American Cancer Society during the event on June 1-2.

You can view their fundraising status and support them at: http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?pg=team&fr_id=38381&team_id=1088987
Front row (L to R): Maranda, Gabriella, and Ankit. Back row: Steven, Russell, Brendan, and Chris
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WSU Extension State 4-H Office, P.O. Box 646248, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6248 USA