Making A Constant Difference in Our County
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is working hard for its constituents. The following are examples of Extension’s impact in the county over the past year.
Last year, all face to face 4-H summer programming was canceled due to the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). This meant that Catoosa County staff were faced with the challenge of delivering youth development programs and opportunities at a distance or in a virtual format. While the Catoosa County 4-H staff succeeded in finding creative ways to implement virtual learning and hands-on summer activities, thankfully this year is not the same.
Summer camps and in-person meetings and activities have started back up. The Catoosa County 4-H's Summer Day Camps are scheduled to begin June 7, 14, 21, and 28th with Matinee Mondays at the 4-H office in Downtown Ringgold. These Monday events in June are free events from 1 to 3pm for 4th through 12th graders. Be sure to bring blankets, pillows, and more to get comfy and enjoy a Summer movie!
On June 11th, Catoosa 4-H will be taking a trip to the Tennessee Aquarium from 9am to 3pm for 4th through 12th graders. Registration is $20 and 4-H'ers are to bring bagged lunches. Also in June, the Sew Crafty Club will be meeting again on the 18th from 3 to 5pm. Cost for supplies will be $5 and this event is for 4th through 12th graders.
On June 24th, Catoosa 4-H will once again be having an Explorers Day Camp from 9 to 11:30am for 1st through 4th graders! Registration will cost $10 and the location of the event will be announced soon. Into July, Sew Crafty Club will meet again on the 23rd from 3 to 5pm for 4th through 12th graders with registration again only being $5. And finally, the final Summer Day Camp will be a day trip to Paradise Garden and Sloppy Floyd Park in Chattooga county on July 20th for 4th through 12th graders. The day will include exploring the artworks of renowned artist Howard Finster at Paradise Garden, as well as hiking at Sloppy Floyd State Park.
For all of these Summer Day Camp events (except for the Monday Matinees), please call our office to register at 706.935.4211.
But that's not all. Summer camps are also happening again at Georgia 4-H's Rock Eagle 4-H Center. Senior EXTREME camp will be in June for high schoolers, Cloverleaf camp will be in July for 4th through 6th graders, and Junior Camp will be in July for middle schoolers. To check the availabilities of these camps, call our office at 706.935.4211.
2019-2020 was the second year that Extension was asked to provided science lessons to 4th grade classes at one elementary school in Catoosa County. The lessons were once a month and focused on “Water” with hands on activities. Lessons included: The Life of a Rain Drop; Severe Weather; Weather Interpretation; Flooding; Plants and Habitats; Habitats and Ecosystems. Teachers said they enjoyed the hands on activities especially the Life of a Rain Drop lesson on the water cycle. One teacher, who participated in the 2018-2019 school year and moved to high school, invited Extension to come and teach lessons for her environmental science classes for 2020-2021.
Extension held virtual programs free for the community on Garden Insect Pests, Invasive Species , Bee Keeping Basics, Back Yard Basics, Bee Communications, and Hay Testing.
We hosted a Trash Pick Up day this summer was in collaboration with other conservation entities in the county and encouraged residents to get out and pick up trash in 3 designated polluted areas. Bags and gloves were provided for those willing to pick up in those areas. 15 folks, including a Boy Scout troop, participated in picking up 26 bags of trash and one couch.
The Extension Agent was interviewed by Chattanooga News Channel 3 and appeared in a news segment about the mysterious seed that were being mailed all around the USA. This segment aired multiple times in the surrounding area. Agent was also interviewed by Chattanooga Times Free Press about the mysterious seeds. Agent focused on spreading information on what to do if a person receives the seeds, as well as informing the public to no plant the seeds as they could be an invasive species.
Catoosa Extension created social media accounts using Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to promote office activities as well as to display educational material. Extension Agent created educational videos and infographics for media pages. Educational videos included nature walk videos where agent identified tree leaves and insects, as well as a series called “The Bug Plug!” which are short videos highlighting insects pertinent to the citizens of Catoosa County and the state of Georgia. The Bug Plug! series has been the most popular of the educational videos with over 1,000 people reached with each video.
Catoosa County Extension recognized the need for educational and general information in the county on the environment and natural resources. The Extension office provided free and accessible material to the citizens of Catoosa County. The newest endeavors for the year 2021 is the start-up of the Catoosa County Garden Club. We look forward to new opportunities to serve our community in 2021.