UW-Extension Community Newsletter (December 2015)

Spotlight on Botany in the Classroom

UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) have contributed 140,000 hours of volunteer service to community projects since 1998. MGVs are amazing people, bringing a variety of skills, talents and dedication to service with them when they start training. Their continued and consistent efforts on projects have great impact on the community. Although all MGVs deserve recognition and thanks, there is one who has reached a milestone this year that deserves celebration. Burt Blomgren has been a MGV since 1993, and has volunteered 5,348 hours on community projects. Many of Burt’s hours have been dedicated to one of the most successful and impactful MGV projects in Racine, “Botany in the Classroom”.

For 20 years Burt Blomgren has devoted his time to working with school administrators, teachers, parents, and many MGVs to develop and deliver plant science lessons and activities to elementary age children in Racine Unified schools. If your child has ever brought home a soda bottle terrarium or a grass-eared bunny, Burt Blomgren and the MGVs working with him have impacted your child’s education. Introducing plants to children at an early age has been shown to increase interest in science and nature. Experiencing nature at any age results in real benefits to health and well-being with research showing improved cognitive function, increased healing, and overall feelings of wellness after as little as one hour per week working with plants.

MGVs are a significant part of UW-Extension outreach in Racine County, and their contributions to the community are greatly appreciated by UW-Extension. Volunteerism is strong in Racine; thank you to all who continue to look forward with a “green” eye, planting and maintaining gardens for all to enjoy.

 Youth In Governance Program Nominations

Racine County is currently accepting nominations of teens for the Youth In Governance program. The Racine County Board of Supervisors created the Youth In Governance program in 2013, with the goal of bringing youth voice to community issues and concerns while fostering the development of confident, independent, and motivated youth leaders

Youth selected will gain leadership skills and knowledge through mentoring and by serving on one of five County Board committees. To participate youth must:

  • Be a Racine County resident
  • Currently be a high school freshman, sophomore or junior at time of application
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or greater on a 4.0 scale
  • Be able to attend the monthly meetings, typically occurring once or twice per month

All youth must be nominated by an adult. Nominated youth will then receive a letter and application materials, which includes a written application and written recommendation. Completed applications will be due in mid-February. Nomination forms can be obtained by contacting Racine County UW-Extension (262)-767-2929 or at https://racine.extension.wisc.edu/ or the Racine County website http://www.racineco.com.

Directories Help Racine County Families Find Resources

The updated Racine County Family Resource Directory and its companion brochure, Quick List: Resources for Families are now available. The directory focuses on community resources for families with children under age 18. Topics include abuse and neglect, child care, youth programs, mental health, crisis intervention, disability services, education, employment assistance, financial resources, food and nutrition, health, housing, legal, military and veterans, parenting, transportation, and utility assistance. Racine County UW-Extension in collaboration with Racine County Human Services compiles the Directory and Quick List, which are available online at Racine County UW-Extension’s web site https://racine.extension.wisc.edu.

List Your Business in the 2016 Farm Fresh Atlas

The Farm Fresh Atlas™ of Southeastern Wisconsin is currently accepting applications for the 2016 issue.  The Atlas connects consumers in Southeastern Wisconsin with local farmers, farmers’ markets, restaurants and small businesses that are primarily food or farm related. The cost to list a farm in the Atlas is $50. Business and restaurant listings are $100 and farmers’ market listings are $25. Applications are due January 15th and Atlases will be distributed in Spring 2016.  For more information, visit www.farmfreshsewi.org.


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