- Contributor: Leslie Jensen
- Contributor: Beth Loof
Curious goats milled around the masked elementary school students who were raking out the livestock stalls. After a year of social distancing due to COVID-19 precautions, the goats were enthralled by the youngsters who visited UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center in San Mateo County.
“The animals were missing kids, they're used to getting more loving,” said Beth Loof, 4-H youth community educator at Elkus Ranch. “Goats are really social. They get distressed when they are alone.”
Tucked behind the rolling green hills of Half Moon Bay off state Route 1, Elkus Ranch is a working landscape that, in a normal year, hosts people from all over the San Francisco Bay Area for field trips, conferences, community service projects, internships and summer camps.
During the pandemic, UC ANR has limited visitors to "social bubbles" of children and adults for outdoor education at the 125-acre ranch, which has implemented a variety of COVID protocols for the safety of visitors. During Adventure Days, young people spend four hours caring for animals, tending gardens, making a nature-themed craft project and hiking around the property.
"We would love to bring children from urban areas of the Bay Area to Elkus Ranch," said Alameda County Director of UC Cooperative Extension for Alameda County and San Mateo.
Read Full Article by Pam Rice, Here: https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=50272
For more information about Elkus Ranch activities, visit ucanr.edu/adventure or contact Jensen at LKJensen@ucanr.edu.
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources brings the power of UC to all 58 California counties. Through research and Cooperative Extension in agriculture, natural resources, nutrition, economic and youth development, our mission is to improve the lives of all Californians. Learn more at ucanr.edu and support our work at donate.ucanr.edu.
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- Author: Leah sourbeer
The many months of COVID19 shelter-in-place have been full of challenging changes. We have had to alter the ways we work, play and connect. For the Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP), our remote environment has led us to invent new ways to continue serving our communities. The EFNEP youth team in Alameda and Contra Costa counties eagerly embraced the challenge of creating lesson materials for remote delivery. Educators are creating numerous video lessons for students from kindergarten to middle school, covering concepts from handwashing to MyPlate to label reading, and more!
Video lessons with nutrition educators guide students through asynchronous learning. Lessons include time working independently at home, paired with live class interaction withEFNEP educators.
Check out a sample of the educators' videos here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u3tnutLTq4
For more information, contact Leah Sourbeer, EFNEP Program Supervisor email@example.com
- Editor: melanie weir
On December 8th, 2020, Dr. Mary Blackburn Was Acknowledged by the Alameda Board of Supervisors, For Her Contribution to Residents
Click here to view Dr. Mary Blackburn's Resolution
Dr. Blackburn has served the Bay Area community for over 50 years. Her work provides Nutrition Education to Seniors, Youth and Families, with a focus on offering dietary recommendations for “At Risk” community members and Black People at risk for chronic disease. Her work with UC Cooperative Extension expanded this research to assessment and evaluations focused on providing policymakers with an opportunity to support social and public health efforts. Blackburn's work has focused on increasing fresh food access, decreasing childhood food insecurity, increasing food allotment and providing health education classes for families struggling to make ends meet.
Dr. Blackburn has won numerous local, state, regional and national awards over the years, including the NEAFCS National Excellence through Research award five times. On September 14, 2020, she was inducted into the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) Hall of Fame.
Dr. Blackburn is well known for pioneering work that addresses social and community health needs across Alameda County and the Bay Area. Her work includes a focus on black and multi-ethnic people, at risk for chronic disease, pregnant women, children and adolescents. She delivers research-based nutrition and quality of life education to at-risk and vulnerable communities. More recent work involves collaboration with UC CalFresh Healthy Living program staff and UC Master Gardener Program volunteers. This work includes a gardening project for senior citizens designed to increase physical activity, improve nutrition and overall well-being in affordable housing in Oakland.
- Contributor: beth loof
- Contributor: leslie jensen
Schedule an Adventure Day at UC Elkus Ranch in beautiful Half Moon Bay.
Due to the popularity of our new Private Family Tours, we are expanding upon this tour experience to a half day of adventure: UC Elkus Ranch Adventure Day!
Adventure Day is a private outdoor day of fun at UC Elkus Ranch for social bubbles of children and adults. Participants can spend the day caring for our animals and gardens, making a nature-themed craft, going on hikes around the property, and so much more! Social bubbles can contain up to 10 children maximum (extra fees apply). Perfect for preschools, babysitting groups, families, and anyone else who wants more quality outdoor time on the ranch.
The extension of the private tour experience stems from the requests we have received from visitors even before the COVID-19 restrictions were set in place. Parents of visiting students and campers have often inquired about opportunities for the entire family to visit the ranch to experience everything Elkus Ranch has to offer. This unique experience can be tailored to each group's interests and ages. Groups can choose to spend their time learning about gardening and botany, small and large livestock animals, animal training, or local wildlife and plants. The learning opportunities are endless in our outdoor classroom!
Adventure Day is currently being offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10am-2pm. At least 1 adult is required to attend to assist with any issues that require close contact so that our educators can remain socially distant. For information on scheduling and pricing, please visit http://ucanr.edu/adventure. Adventure Day must be scheduled in advance and all statewide and San Mateo County Health Department restrictions are being enforced. Current information on San Mateo County health restrictions can be found at https://www.smchealth.org/health-officer-orders-and-statements.
Elkus Ranch, property of the University of California, conducts educational outdoor programs for urban, disabled and inner-city youth in environmental science, California history, animal care and agricultural programs year-round.
Located on the central California coast in Half Moon Bay, the ranch offers diverse programs including those specifically designed for students with special needs, allowing participants to learn about the inter-relationship of the environment and themselves in a rural setting. Under normal circumstances, Elkus Ranch hosts more than 9,000 youth and adults each year from all over the San Francisco Bay Area including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco and San Mateo counties.
Elkus Ranch also has a conference center that can be leased separately. The 4,400 square foot educational and conference facility is available for daytime retreats, meetings and workshops year-around. Current COVID-19 restrictions may affect availability. The commercial kitchen is available for onsite meal preparation or catering. Additional information about the ranch and conference center, can be found at http://elkusranch.ucanr.edu/Visit/Conference_Center.
For more information about UC Elkus Ranch, please visit http://elkusranch.ucanr.edu or contact Leslie Jensen at LKJensen@ucanr.edu or (650) 712-3151.
- Contributor: Pam Kan-Rice
COVID-19 has highly impacted?under-served and vulnerable populations. The working poor, persons with disabilities, youth, indigenous peoples, and seniors are struggling to cope.?During these challenging times, our Bay Area Advisers and Educators are continuing to work with local populations and partners by adjusting community programs to deliver value-based programming and methodologies across the entire region. In the words of our team member, Leah Sourbeer, “We Continue to Show?Up!”.?UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) is committed to continuing to provide our services to the communities we serve, keeping them resilient through these turbulent times. ?
September Spotlight: Dr. Mary Blackburn
Collaborating with a CalFresh Healthy Living, UC educator, and UC Master Gardener Program volunteers, she recently finished a gardening project designed to improve the nutrition, physical activity, and overall well-being of senior citizens living in affordable housing in Oakland.
In her role on the?CalFresh Healthy Living & County Nutrition Action Partnership (CNAP) in?Alameda County?the team recently selected as the 3rd Place Regional winner of the?Community Partnership?award.?She has served in this role since 2006.
September 2020 Team Highlights:
CalFresh (Alameda,?Contra Costa,?San Francisco?&?San Mateo)?mature adult educators currently offer live or pre-recorded nutrition classes via Zoom and FaceTime from their homes. Participants are offered 2 options:?Eating Smart, Being Active,?or?Making Every Dollar Count. Our early Childhood Education educators are producing recorded nutrition lessons for teachers to use for distance learning.
Our EFNEP team has led the way in food distribution events, including items such as diapers, sanitizers, masks, etc. and have spent numerous hours working at Food Banks and distribution sites. Other Educators are developing and conducting live remote courses, benefiting our communities.
This project will use a combination of observational and lab studies to understand the biology and improve management of the three-lined cockroach,?Luridiblatta trivittata, a nuisance pest and invasive species in the San Francisco Bay Area, North Coast, and Delta regions of California.
He also received $91,563 grant from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, Pest Management Alliance Program to renovate the UC research structure?The Villa Termiti?to enhance its use as an interactive training facility for video-based learning, online educational modules, and hands-on continuing education of licensed pest management professionals.
Dr. Igor Lacan, our Urban Forestry Advisor recently received a donation to launch a new program on houseplant gardening to reach a different audience from the traditional Master Gardener. His program will focus on individuals that do not have access to traditional gardens and want to grow plants in and around their home.
In addition to the work done by our educators during this crisis, we have just hired Laura Vollmer, a new Nutrition, Family, and Consumer Sciences (NFCS) Advisor, serving UCCE San Mateo, Santa Clara & San Francisco. She will be focusing on low-income and economic urban disparities related to food and food systems, nutrition education, and relationships between food systems and environmental health for optimal nutrition and health outcomes.
We have and will continue our work in all program areas to help and improve the lives of all people in our communities during this situation and beyond. Our websites provide access and links to a wide array of community resources in both English and Spanish. Areas include Agriculture, Nutrition, Youth Development, Gardening, Environment and Health and Wellness. It's the place to find practical and credible information about things to do and all things COVID.