- Author: Susana C. Bruzzone-Miller
UC HAREC began hosting 4-H Sustainable You! Summer Camp in 2014. Since then, the education staff has trained other UC Research and Extension Center (RECS) staff to deliver this curriculum created by Dr. Roslyn Brain of Utah State University. Similar Sustainable You! Summer camps are in progress at Desert REC in Imperial County and Hopeland REC in Mendocino County.
Sustainable You! interactive activities are based around the five major areas of sustainability: land, air, water, food, energy and aim to develop an appreciation and respect for our natural environment. Each day, campers learn simple actions they can implement to lessen their impact on the environment. And while these are serious topics, it's summer….so it's all about having fun while learning.
2019 Sustainable You! Summer Camp Staff:
Kelsey Hammond, Environmental Specialist, City of Ventura
Alli Rowe, Education Specialist, UC Cooperative Extension-Ventura County
Ben Zeko, Jr. leader, Student-Foothill Technology High School
Gwyn Vanoni, Education Specialist, UC HAREC
Annabel Faris, Program Coordinator, UC HAREC
Susana Bruzzone-Miller, YFC Program Manager, UC HAREC
We are excited to welcome our 30 campers that included, for the first time, youth from Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Paula, Piru and Fillmore.
Day 1: Air
Why is clean air important?
What pollutes our air?
How can you improve the air you breathe?.....all good questions our campers pondered today. But first day camp tradition calls for getting acquainted with each other while tie dying camp shirts.
- Guest Blogger: Joseph Nosrat-CSUCI Student
Alli explained that the State Water and Efficiency Sweep is one of the programs she works on that is focused on irrigation upgrades, pump retrofits as well as any practice that reduces water and energy use. This is important to avocado growers along with almost any kind of tree grower who might have access to a pump and can manage irrigation networks. She also runs the Healthy Soils program which is focused on any practice that helps sequester carbon in the soil to reduce greenhouse gases. The soil demands are different with each system which creates complex needs with each grant project. Alli explained, “I kind of act as a communication bridge between scientific advisors and the farmers or ranchers”. Alli does the grant writing for these programs as well as helps farmers implement new practices acting as a helpful intermediary. A 32-acre plot that will be transitioned from row crops to avocado crops is one noteworthy grant project Alli discussed. The problem is the soil was heavily tilled by previous owners which stripped it of carbon rich nutrients. Alli explained, “the research component is looking at different cover crop mixes with each season to build up organic matter”. In this project reducing the disturbance of soil and reintroducing organic matter are the key factors to restoring the soil to grow avocado crops.
Alli will also be a guest educator explaining climate smart agriculture at HAREC and she will help deliver the 4-H Sustainable Youth Summer Camp 2019 in June.