Making A Difference in Our County
We're working hard for the citizens we serve. Here are some examples of successful projects from the past year:
The Chattahoochee River is an invaluable natural resource, providing drinking water and jobs in Muscogee County and across Georgia. The Extension office works to maintain and improve the health of the river and the surrounding watershed. In 2016, 1,289 homeowners and landscape professionals were trained on topics including pesticide and fertilizer application, irrigation and watershed health. Programs related to watershed health also reached 520 youth in the area. “From the Chattahoochee to the Tap,” a publication highlighting the Chattahoochee’s water quality, was distributed to an estimated 67,000 citizens, including municipal water subscribers. Over 8,000 youth and adults participated in Help the Hooch. They removed over 100,000 pounds of trash from the Chattahoochee River watershed during the cleanup festival. Muscogee County Master Gardeners volunteered 14 hours to monitor streams in the Chattahoochee River watershed throughout the year.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
In 2016, Columbus-Muscogee County 4-H delivered services to over 1,300 families in Columbus-Muscogee County, Chattahoochee County and Fort Benning. Over 500 fourth-graders received monthly educational programs on healthy lifestyles, and over 500 fifth-graders received training based on monthly College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) curriculum. A team of three 4-H’ers traveled to Athens, Georgia, to compete in the State 4-H Horse Judging Competition. A team of five 4-H’ers placed first in the Area Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Competition. Forty members attended summer camp at Rock Eagle 4-H Center over the summer, where they attended educational classes in environmental science. Over 25 members participated in the Farm-to-Fork Day Camp and received instruction in nutrition, agriculture and food preparation. Twelve 4-H’ers traveled to district competitions for District Project Achievement, where they competed in different project areas with prepared resumes and demonstrations.
COLUMBUS-MUSCOGEE GREAT START GEORGIA
Great Start Georgia programming allows UGA Extension to implement two evidence-based home-visiting programs – Healthy Families Georgia and Parents as Teachers – and one universal parent-support program, First Steps. These programs provide families with support, education and connections to community services that allow families to grow and thrive. In fiscal year 2016, 879 families received parenting information packets and referrals to community resources in Muscogee County through First Steps. Home-visiting programs provided 1,463 home visits to 180 families enrolled in home visitation services.
As the Family and Consumer Sciences agent talked about ways to save money at the grocery store and still buy healthy food during the Save with Smart Shopping program, one participant said that she did not know what to buy at the grocery store that would save her money and still be healthy. The agent told her that she would go to the grocery store with her. Immediately, the agent and the participant made plans to go to the store the following Saturday. They took the EFNEP “Is It In Season in Georgia?” magnet and used it as a tool to decide what fruits and vegetables were in season, and the participant purchased meats that were on sale. The participant was pleased to know that she purchased some healthy foods and still had money left on her EBT card when they were through. After the first visit to the grocery store, she wanted the agent to go with her the next month!