The University of Illinois Extension Knox County Unit is pleased to announce that Kari Houle has been hired as the new Extension Educator in Horticulture. Ms. Houle holds a Masters Degree in Education and Interdisciplinary Studies and a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture Business with an emphasis in Horticulture. She brings extensive academic horticultural expertise to the position as well as varied experience within private industry. Ms. Houle can be contacted at 309-342-5108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. with your horticultural inquiries.
Teens in the Family and Consumer Science Parenting class at Williamsfield High School were taught four lessons from the Healthy Relationships curriculum by Extension staff. The purpose of the curriculum is to help students become wiser about relationships, skilled in communication and more informed about marriage and families. Ninety-one percent of the youth indicated they would use at least one idea from the program and ninety-one percent said the sessions should be repeated for the next group of seniors.
Alberta LaFollette, Family and Consumer Science teacher at Williamsfield High School, also recently received a mini-grant of $500 from the U of I Extension Healthy Relationships Task Force to conduct the Relationships Smart Plus curriculum during the next school year. She attended a two day training in Champaign/Urbana and will pilot the project in Williamsfield. Congratulations!
May brings an end to the Family Nutrition Program (FNP) after school sessions. During the past school year the Family Nutrition Program staff collaborated with the Knox County YMCA to present monthly programs that addressed the food groups of "My Pyramid", healthy snacks from each food group, a fun activity and a taste sample at each session.
FNP staff members have conducted programs at Gale, Silas Willard, King, Steele and Neilson Elementary schools in Galesburg; Knoxville Mable Woolsey Elementary and Williamsfield Elementary. They have also presented after school programs at the Knox County Housing Authority sites at McKnight, Iowa Court and South Street. At each session, there was an average of about 20 students reaching nearly 200 students during the school year. University of Illinois Extension looks forward to collaborating with the Knox County YMCA next summer and during the upcoming school year to provide students with activities that will help them make healthier food and activity choices.
July Stats Reported
Knox County Site: 13,149 hits
State Site: 4,673,057 page views for a daily average of 150,744
University of Illinois Extension Knox County Educators Carrie McKillip and Kyle Cecil facilitated a Strategic Planning session with the Board of Directors of the Knox County United Way in July. The Board Retreat focused on the direction of the organization councils and plans for the coming year. By reviewing the mission statement, board roles and responsibilities, and standing councils, board members were able to develop issue statements for each standing council.
These issue statements served as foundations for planning for each council (committee). According to Carrie McKillip, Knox County Community and Economic Development Educator, "This group really took the planning process to heart. Each council had a plan that can be implemented easily by the time the afternoon wrapped up." This session represents an new initiative by Knox County Extension Educators to provide direct services to the local not for profit community for board development, program planning, and grant writing.
During the months of June and July, University of Illinois Extension Knox County, with the assistance of summer intern Peter McAvoy and Macomb Center Consumer and Economic Development Educator Kathie Brown, began the planning process for a new initiative in Galesburg called "Community Matters". This relatively new Extension Program, which brings students to a community to assist in engaging local citizens in the planning of a project through a Charrette process, will be a collaborative effort between Extension and the City of Galesburg.
In Galesburg, the program will focus on community driven plans for the Main Street Corridor, from I-74 in the East to the US 34 by-pass on the West. Summer planning activities included creating a photographic map of the entire corridor, developing a video walking tour of the area, researching the issues involved in corridor planning, and determining the unique aspects of the Galesburg Corridor that need to be addressed. A steering committee was also established to direct the planning process. The committee will meet for the first time in August, to establish a time table for the project, which is expected to take six to nine months.
The owner of property on which an abandoned well is located is responsible for sealing the abandoned well as required by Illinois Law. There are many reasons for the owner to properly seal an abandoned well, aside from the legal requirement. Abandoned wells pose environmental and safety hazards including groundwater contamination and possible personal injury. Deemed abandoned after 30 days of non-use, the well sites can serve as direct conduits to our water supplies by allowing surface runoff carrying pollutants to enter the ground water.
Nearly half of all Illinois residents and 65% of community water systems rely on groundwater for domestic use. Industry and agriculture also depend on reliable supplies of groundwater. More than one billion gallons of groundwater are used each day in Illinois.
In collaboration with local partners including the Knox County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Knox County Health Department, Extension provided instruction at a recent well-sealing demonstration near Delong in June. Extension covered the environmental aspects of the process along with a discussion of groundwater-surface water interactions.
Eleven area youth participated in the Dig Into Spring Youth session on March 31 at Carl Sandburg College. Youth learned how to make a chia pet potato, start plants from seed and seed cuttings; pollination, flower arranging, where food comes from; and how to make a hypertufa container. Youth indicated their knowledge about these topics increased at least 40 percent. Knowing that horticulture is fun increased by 50 percent. U of I Extension Master Gardeners were instrumental in helping staff and youth complete the projects for the day!
Eighth graders in Knox County were introduced to U of I Extension's Welcome to the Real World program to help them prepare for decisions made in high school and beyond. It is a decision-making, career building and financial management comprehensive program. Students from Abingdon, Costa, Lombard and Churchill - Galesburg and Knoxville participated with nearly 900 students from the four county area of Mercer, Henderson, Warren and Knox. Local institutions participated by provided educational checks and registers for students to use:
F & M Bank, First Bank, Tompkins State Bank and First Midwest Bank. A grant from the Delabar Vocational Education System provided the necessary resources for the program. More than one hundred volunteers staffed the program at Monmouth College.
Extension staff were pleased to work with four summer program sites to conduct 4-H Camp Clover where youth learned more about 4-H, food science, aerospace and Latino cultures. Nearly one hundred youth participated at Knox County YMCA, Carver Center Boys and Girls Club, Iowa Court Public Housing Authority and McKnight Public Housing Authority. A $500 grant was received from the Illinois State 4-H Office to conduct Camp Clover in Knox County. Youth had four sessions from each of the topics listed above learning common words of Spanish, Latino art, flying paper airplanes and three different types of rockets, factors that contribute to bacterial growth, hand washing principles, and quality of carbohydrates.
At the beginning of camp, youth were only able to list two Spanish-speaking countries, in the Latina Cultural Arts portion of Camp Clover, but by the end of camp, campers identified nineteen Spanish-speaking countries. Ninety percent of youth could identify five of the elements that define Latino/Hispanic culture at the end of the sessions. During the Food Science You Can Eat portion: 90% of youth correctly identified a carbohydrate food source; 98% identified a high fat food source; 30% identified 3 or 4 causes of bacterial growth; and 50% identified a factor that slows bacterial growth. For the Aerospace Adventures, 100% of youth designed and tested an airplane and/or rocket, 91% modified their airplane design, and 88% modified their rocket design.
Extension staff have presented educational workshops for mothers with children under the age of one for the Illinois Department of Human Services Temporary Assistance for Needy Families participants for several years. Topics have included food safety and preparation, indoor air quality, keeping energy costs down, preparing for job interviews and child development. University of Illinois Extension is invited bi-annually to present programs at these weekly sessions.
Five participants completed the Master Food Preserver Training during May 2007. The Master Food Preserver Training is a series of 5 sessions taught by Shirley Camp, Nutrition and Wellness Educator from the Macomb Extension Center and Jananne Finck, Nutrition and Wellness Educator from the Springfield Extension Center. Participants learned about boiling water bath canning, freezing, pickling, pressure canning and jam and jelly making according to the latest USDA information. With this training, the participants can answer questions from other food preservers, assist with future Extension workshops and volunteer as needed with other programs
Over 100 individuals from a nine county region participated in a hands-on streambank stabilization tour near Maquon in July. Where stream banks are eroded, they are re-shaped and seeded, and sometimes protected with rock rip-rap or seeded with bio-engineering materials (stabilized). In some cases special structure (keys) are fitted into the bank to stabilize it and provide fish habitat. Stabilizing the streambank protects water quality, improves fish habitat, and the vegetation provides habitat for birds and small animals.
Mary Lynn Bowman, Maquon, is an 11-year member of the Delong Livestock 4-H club. She was recently name one of six college-bound Illinois 4-H members as recipients of the Legacy of Leadership scholarship. More than 110 scholarship applications were received this year. Her project interests include clothing, foods, visual arts and communications. Participating in 4-H programs including National 4-H Congress and National 4-H Conference, Jr. Leadership Conference, Illinois Leadership Convention, 4-H Legislative Connection and 4-H Camp has helped Mary Lynn to develop strong leadership skills. She is currently serving as a member of the Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team. The 4-H Legacy of Leadership Scholarship was awarded through the Illinois 4-H Foundation and University of Illinois Extension State 4-H office in the amount of $1,000. Congratulations!