Tag Archives: volunteers

4-H builds communities around the world

In a Senegalese village, children grow vegetable seedlings and organize traditional wrestling events as fundraisers in a positive youth development initiative modeled after Virginia Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program.

Virginia Cooperative Extension senior 4-H youth development agent Ruth Wallace (left) poses with a group of children and adults in Senegal. In March of this year, Extension and the 4-H Positive Youth Development in Agriculture Program traveled to the West African nation to scale up programming in the region. Reggie Morris, 4-H youth development Extension agent in Alexandria, Virginia, is pictured in the second row, second from right.

Virginia Cooperative Extension senior 4-H youth development agent Ruth Wallace (left) poses with a group of children and adults in Senegal. In March of this year, Extension and the 4-H Positive Youth Development in Agriculture Program traveled to the West African nation to scale up programming in the region. Reggie Morris, 4-H youth development Extension agent in Alexandria, Virginia, is pictured in the second row, second from right.

At the Ndoumbouji primary school, the main focus is gardening.

“The teachers told us that every break they have, the students run to the garden,” said Ozzie Abaye, a Virginia Tech professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences. “The group wants to try to expand the garden project outside of the campus.”

Through activities such as gardening and leadership training, 4-H’s international programming has helped to improve thousands of lives around the globe.

Kathleen Jamison, professor emerita and 4-H youth development specialist, and her team completed training workshops in March designed to scale up the programs’ outreach efforts throughout Senegal.

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Virginia Cooperative Extension accepting applications for 2017 New River Valley Master Gardener training program

Applications for the 2017 New River Valley Master Gardener training program are due by Dec. 19.

Applications for the 2017 New River Valley Master Gardener training program are due by Dec. 19.

Are you looking for a way to improve your community through volunteer service?  Do you have an interest in horticulture?  Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge?  If the answer to all of these questions is yes, being a Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener may be right for you.

Applications that can be found online are now being accepted for the New River Valley Master Gardener training program and are  due by Dec. 19. Applicants must be able to attend a 60-hour training course and complete 50 hours of volunteer service with Virginia Cooperative Extension during their first year.

The cost for the 60-hour course is $150, which covers the “Virginia Master Gardener Handbook” textbook and other training materials.

The training course will be held from March to May on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1– 4 p.m. at the Hahn Horticulture Pavilion at Virginia Tech. Students will get an equivalent of three college credits worth of knowledge from classes taught by Virginia Tech professors and Virginia Cooperative Extension agents.

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Education is paramount for York/Poquoson Master Gardener volunteers

The York/Poquoson Master Gardeners are helping area residents take an active role in improving the region’s environment through community collaboration and educational outreach.

Master Gardener volunteers Merrilyn Dodson and Pete Peterman measure lawns for homeowners for the Healthy Virginia Lawns Program.

Master Gardener volunteers Merrilyn Dodson and Pete Peterman measure lawns for homeowners for the Healthy Virginia Lawns Program.

“The Master Gardener Program brings scientific-based education to the public to help improve lives through citizen outreach. Our program focuses on the needs of citizens in York and Poquoson based on resident input, environmental assessments, and innovation,” said Megan Tierney, a Virginia Cooperative Extension agriculture and natural resources agent.

For the York/Poquoson Master Gardener Program, community education is key to sustaining environmental responsibility. The program hosts several events throughout the year at which guest speakers and Master Gardener volunteers educate homeowners on topics including landscaping, pruning, beekeeping, lawn care, and native plant care.

Gwen Harris, who has been a Master Gardener in the community since 2012, explained that each program’s responsibilities and educational efforts differ depending on the region they serve.

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Energy Masters Program energizes Arlington County

Volunteers in Arlington County and Alexandria are making a difference — one light bulb and toilet tank at a time. With more than 6,000 hours of volunteer service, these masters of energy efficiency are helping low-income families make their homes more comfortable while reducing their water and energy bills.

An Energy Masters Program volunteer caulks a window to prevent drafts and keep moisture from rotting the wood around the window.

An Energy Masters Program volunteer caulks a window to prevent drafts and keep moisture from rotting the wood around the window.

The Energy Masters Program, funded by the Arlington County Community Development Fund, has made strides in improving energy efficiency for residents living in affordable housing units in Arlington County neighborhoods. The program is a collaboration between the Virginia Cooperative Extension Arlington County Office and two county nonprofit organizations — Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment and Arlington Thrive.

“Training teams of volunteers to go into low-income apartments and do energy- and water-saving improvements helps lower the utility bills of both the residents and the property owners, ultimately improving the environment by eliminating the amount of greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere,” said Jennifer Abel, family and consumer sciences Extension agent in Arlington County. “Since starting the program in 2011, we’ve trained 152 volunteers, and we’ve made improvements in 591 apartments.”

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Energy Masters Program energizes Arlington County

white woman installing a shower head.

A Master Energy Volunteer installs a low low-flow shower head.

Written by Emily Halstead, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and a communications intern for Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Volunteers in Arlington County are making a difference — one light bulb and toilet tank at a time. With more than 6,000 hours of volunteer service under their belts, these masters of energy efficiency have been helping low-income families improve their comfort levels and reduce their water and energy bills.

The Energy Masters Program, funded by the Arlington County Community Development Fund, has made strides in improving energy efficiency for residents living in affordable housing units in Arlington County neighborhoods. The program is a collaborative effort between the Virginia Cooperative Extension Arlington County Office and two county nonprofit organizations — Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment and Arlington Thrive.

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