Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Planting Project along the Watauga River

A great blue heron walked along the shoreline as the student’s hauled mallets, shovels, potted plants, soil, loppers, pruners and livestakes down to the river for a lesson on river conservation and protection. Valle Crucis Park Director, Caroline Poteat and Watauga County Extension Agent, Wendy Patoprsty walked the park property in the Fall to discuss ecosystem enhancement at the park. We quickly identified a few places along the river and its tributaries that could use a little more vegetation to provide long-term bank stabilization.

On March 25 & 26, ASU Sustainable Development students planted 50 various native trees and shrubs, and 800 livestakes along the Watauga River. The Watauga River Conservation Partners purchased most of the plants and Foggy Mountain Nursery donated a few extras. Vegetation planted at Valle Crucis park included: Blueberries, River Birch, Sycamore, Hazelnut, Green Ash, Ironwood, Paw-Paw, Spicebush, and livestakes including Silky Dogwood, Elderberry, Silky Willow, and Ninebark.

Part of the project also included cleaning out some plastic erosion control matting that was bundled up and not serving a purpose anymore. The plastic mesh created a space for wildlife entanglement and foot entrapment. The students cut out the matting in areas along the river and disposed of it properly.

In the pictures you will notice the steps of scoring, cutting and pounding livestakes into the soil. The students learned the technique and had no problem installing the hundreds of sticks that will soon become shrubs so long as the beavers don’t eat them.

Monday, March 29, 2010

4-H: Exploring my community and world

Open your home to an exchange student and open your lives to the world. Families will have an opportunity to host Japanese exchange students, ages twelve through sixteen, for four weeks this summer, July 23 – August 19, 2010.

The youth will be visiting the United States as part of a 4-H Exchange Program. You don’t need to be involved with 4-H to host. You just need a willingness to share your lives and your friendship with a young person from another country.

The program is open to families who have a child within two years of the same age and of the same gender to the Japanese youth. One Japanese visitor will be matched to a family based on the host sibling’s gender, age, and interests. The homestays are only for a month during the summer, but the experience will last a lifetime!

For more information, visit HERE

Friday, March 19, 2010

Margie Mansure, Family and Consumer Sciences

Margie Mansure is a Registered Dietitian and member of the American Dietetic Association, Sports, Cardovascular and Wellness Nutrition practice group, and the Society for Nutrition Education, Division of Sustainable Food Systems Group. She holds an M.S. degree from Lamar University with a major in Foods and Nutrition and a B.S. degree from Texas State University with a major in Foods and Nutrition.

Her major community partners include professionals at Watauga County Health Department, Be Active-ASU Partnership, Healthy Carolinians, ASU Foods and Nutrition Program, and the Town of Boone.

Her projects include educational workshops such as worksite wellness programs, nutrition programs for families, healthy cooking classes, food preservation classes, nutrition education in schools, diabetes workshops, and eat smart move more weigh less nutrition program. In 2009 a Farm-to-School program was begun. She serves on the Town of Boone Transportation committee, promoting alternative transportation efforts.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Karee Mackey, 4-H and Youth Development

Karee Mackey has worked for the Watauga County Center of NC Cooperative Extension for 13 years. In that time, she has developed programs that have made a difference in the lives of many Watauga County youth. She constantly strives to stay updated on the latest information and goes to many county and state trainings and workshops throughout the year.

Karee leads many 4‐H activities throughout the year and provides leadership to several 4‐H clubs, including a home‐school club. She assists 4‐H’ers in preparing speeches and presentations for County Activity Days (several have competed and won awards at the district and state levels).  She works with other Extension agents to provide the LEAD camp to involve middle‐school girls in science and leadership skills.  She also carries out workshops for after-school and camps and workshops for summer audiences .

Karee networks and collaborates with many other agencies in the county and state, many times serving on their advisory committees and boards. Some of these have included: Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, Children’s Council, Adolescent Health Committee, United Way, Latino Task Force, and RAPP (Relatives a Parents Program).  Karee holds a BA Degree from Appalachian State University in Anthropology and a Masters Degree in Human Development and Psychological Counseling from ASU.