Youth ages 9-12 will have an opportunity to learn what it means to be sustainable through fun activities in a virtual summer camp. The camp will be held July 20-24th, with campers meeting online daily from 10-11:30 a.m. The camp is free of charge, but pre-registration is required.
The Sustainable You! Summer Camp is hosted by the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) 4-H Program, in partnership with the UC Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center (UC HAREC), and the City of Ventura Environmental Sustainability and Water departments.
UCCE Community Education Specialist Gwyn Vanoni noted that:
“The Sustainable You! Summer Camp is an engaging way for kids to think about their role in creating a sustainable future while having a lot of fun. This has been a summer day camp at UC HAREC for a number of years. While we're going virtual this year, we are working hard to ensure that the fun and focus of the camp remains true for the participants.”
The virtual camp will explore sustainability across five major theme areas: land, water, food, air and energy. A typical day will include:
An introduction to a sustainability topic with an ice breaker and simple journal questions or an art activity;
A discussion or video on the day's topic;
A demonstrated activity; and
An activity that youth can do on their own.
The virtual camp is part of the online educational programs being organized by UCCE Ventura County. Learn more here.
- What: 4-H Sustainable You! Virtual Summer Camp
- Ages: 9-12
- When: July 20th-24th (Monday-Friday)
- Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
- Cost: FREE, but pre-registration is required! Register: harec.ucanr.edu
For more information, email Susana Bruzzone Miller.
On Friday June 5th, UCCE Ventura will launch a local campaign as part of UC ANR's statewide giving day, which we're calling “Big Dig Day”...a day to “dig deep” to support the UCCE programs that you care about in Ventura County.
Ventura County Master Gardener Program
We invite you to support our mission to extend research-based knowledge about home gardening, pest management, and sustainable landscape practices to our communities. Our program is driven by 209 active volunteers who use UC science-based information to offer solutions to gardening, landscape, and pest challenges. Last year, our volunteers donated 12,561 hours of service to the program.
The Master Gardener Program helps Ventura County grow in many ways, including:
Offering water-wise workshops to help residents optimize use of a scarce resource
Staffing a helpline to answer questions for home gardeners
Working with other community organizations to maintain 9 demonstration gardens throughout Ventura County
- Delivering dozens of educational and hands-on outreach programs and talks each year
Ventura County 4-H Program
Since 1914, the Ventura County 4-H Program has served generations of youth and families. Our motto is “To Make the Best Better.” Through our volunteer-driven experiential programs, we help Ventura County youth develop life and leadership skills that enable them to succeed. In the last 100 years, Ventura County has changed. But some things never change, including our belief in the power of youth.
4-H grows here:
7,300+ youth reached across Ventura County each year
14 community and 2 military clubs providing educational opportunities in STEM, healthy living, animal husbandry, leadership, and civic engagement
Outreach programs delivered in classrooms and virtually that connect youth with one of our county's most important resources: agriculture
Efforts driven and supported by 150 motivated and highly-trained volunteers
Help us serve even more youth by donating on “Big Dig” Day.
What We're Asking
Now more than ever, we all know the value of community. In times of crisis and beyond, we are here. We live where you live.
By donating to the Master Gardener Program and the 4-H Program, you help us extend the knowledge and resources of the University to our community. Join us on 6/5 and #DigDeep to support our UCCE programs.
Mark your calendar, spread the word, and stay tuned for more details.
This week marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. This year, consider celebrating the day with gardening and other stay-at-home resources curated by your local UCCE office.
History of Earth Day
Earth Day was launched in 1970. Many factors contributed to the call for a national day focusing on environmental stewardship, including the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring - serialized in the New Yorker - and the catastrophic oil spill that occurred off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969. The Santa Barbara oil spill galvanized U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin) to call for a national day of locally inspired and organized "teach-ins" on the environment - a national "Earth Day." The Earth Day model was inspired by the spirit of campus activism at the nation's colleges and universities. It wasn't top-down, but rather a grassroots effort that encouraged communities to develop educational and service events around issues and topics important to them.
Earth Day struck a chord; some estimates suggest that 1 in 10 Americans participated in the first events. Earth Day is widely credited with "sparking" the modern environmental movement. Landmark environmental legislation swiftly followed (including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act). The Environmental Protection agency was founded that same year. Twenty years after its launch, Earth Day became a global movement.
You can learn more from the Earth Day Network by linking to this website.
Home Garden Resources
There is a wave of renewed interest in gardening as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about "crisis" gardening - and a new "Victory Garden" movement - in this article from the New York Times.
Closer to home, we have a wealth of gardening resources for you.
One of our favorites is the California Garden Web, designed by our UC Master Gardeners. You'll find a wealth of gardening information and a helpful glossary.
Ventura County is blessed with a wonderful growing climate and many of us have backyard fruit trees. Learn more about cultivating and caring for your home orchard here.
Resources for the Home Classroom
Many of us are working with our children in home classrooms. The UC 4-H Youth Development Program has a range of resources available to engage young learners. In honor of Earth Day, take a look at our 4-H Vegetable Gardening Project sheet. We also recommend our 4-H Water Conservation Project sheet, which provides engaging, science-based activities the entire family can enjoy. 4-H is one of the oldest youth development programs in the nation and we'll be sharing other educational resources in upcoming posts. #Head #Heart #Hands #Health.
Be Kind to the Earth by Reducing Food Waste
Nearly 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. is wasted and much of that waste ends up in landfills (definitely not good for our environment or the economy).
The National Resources Defense Council estimates that the average family of four throws out nearly 1,000 pounds of food each year, wasting roughly $1,500.
Consumers as a group waste more food than farms, grocery stores or restaurants. For tips on ways you can reduce #FoodWaste, click here.
History lesson: The image on the left is a poster that was used during World War I and World War II to promote food conservation. First printed in 1919, it contains tips that are helpful today.
This image is from a collection held by the Museum of County. Photographer: Aysen Tan.
Related reading: What a World War I Poster Can Teach Us About #FoodWaste.
Thank you, Volunteers!
This week is National Volunteer Week and we want to thank the hundreds of volunteers who are part of UCCE Ventura...and who make our work possible. Thanks to our 4-H, Master Gardener and HAREC volunteers. You are central to our mission and we value you. Youth, Families and Communities Education Program Manager Susana Bruzzone-Miller created this video to express our appreciation.
Our COVID-19 landing page provides links to important resources about the pandemic, including information for the agricultural community. In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) illness, our office is closed for face-to-face service through May 15th. While we regret the inconvenience, these are the precautions we are taking to support one other and comply with University, local, county and state government recommendations. Our staff is telecommuting and can be contacted via phone and email. We are here to serve you.
- Author: Susana Bruzzone Miller
Specially trained and dedicated volunteers work alongside staff to deliver fun and hands-on agricultural based lessons. For many Kindergarteners, this is their first time on a farm. Getting a glimpse of where food comes from, planting seeds and learning what makes them grow are unforgettable experiences. Older students delve deeper into plant growth and development, discover the important role pollinators play in our food system, and learn about the agricultural county where we live.
Picking and sampling farm fresh vegetables such as beets, carrots, sugar snap peas, and lettuce are favorite activities with all ages and a great way to introduce MyPlate, the newest USDA guide to healthy eating choices, and encourage daily physical activity. What can be better than getting your hands dirty, smelling the rich Santa Paula soil, and eating vegetables you helped harvest? Children aren’t the only visitors. Over 300 parents and teachers will visit, learn, and munch alongside youth.
The cost of buses makes a trip to the farm prohibitive for many schools. When visiting the farm is not an option, lessons delivered in the classroom bring the farm to life. The 4-H Classroom Outreach Program is an opportunity to learn about agriculture without leaving the school grounds.
Yes, it’s a busy and exciting time. Happy spring!
- Author: Cris L. Johnson
The 4-H teams were assigned to build and program a robot that was capable of cleaning a hypothetical environmental spill of birdseed, rice and macaroni that stood in for spill elements considered too dangerous or difficult for humans to handle. Teams were supplied masking tape, straws, string, paper cups, index cards, a toothbrush head, foam and a digital battery. Utilizing these materials they worked to fabricate tiny robot sweepers that would be able clean the mess before being swept out to an improvised ocean.
The challenge tested their imaginations, patience, skills and ingenuity as they took their contraptions through timed trial runs, making adjustments and modifications along the way. A three-second breathing period was required whenever a robot needed manhandling during a run which allowed participants a short space to react with a more considered response.
Two members from the Citrus Valley club, Allison Sim and Patrick Bello, finished first with an 87% spill removal. The 10 and 11-year old experimented by overcoming obstacles that allowed their robot, Brushie, to achieve the winning score.
Millions of youth throughout the nation participated in the 4-H National Science Experiment and the EcoBot Challenge complements the robotics and engineering programs that are a significant part of the 4-H science curriculum. Learn more about the EcoBot Challenge here.