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4-H’ers learn all about H2O

ATTENDING 4-H’S WATER CAMP are, from the left, Branch Austinson, Journey Austinson and Jacob Christie; back, Kameron Landeen, Jacquira Hopson, Anders Austinson, Kierra Newton and Bethanie Robinson.

By LINDSEY BELL

4-H Coordinator

What do 130 youth, a 120-pound striped bass and a center pivot irrigation system have in common?

Three days of amazing 4-H2O Day Camp!

4-H2O is a project designed by 4-H to help youth learn about water quality, water conservation and watershed issues. The 4-H2O summer program is a water quality outdoor classroom experience with hands-on activities.

Much more educational and challenging than an ordinary day camp, these programs teach students about the value of water resources to wildlife, ecosystems and people.

This year’s 4-H20 summer program was a collaboration of the C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park, the Flint RiverQuarium and Mitchell County 4-H. This is the fourth and most widely attended year of 4-H2O Day Camp.

It was a three-day summer educational event to help educate our young people about agriculture and the environment, in particular the importance of irrigation and water conservation to southwest Georgia.

Teresa Adkins, Decatur County 4-H program assistant, and her colleagues in surrounding counties brought 4-H groups to participate in this program.

Decatur County students attending the camp were Kameron Landeen, Bethanie Robinson, Branch Austinson, Jacquira Hopson, Anders Austinson, Jacob Christie, Kierra Newton and Journey Austinson.

On June 27, the students and chaperones spent the day touring the Flint RiverQuarium while learning about the Flint River, its chemical and biological diversity, and the animals that call it home.

Students learned how important the Flint River is to our way of life. They were given a special behind- the-scenes tour where they were able to hold an alligator, view the RiverQuarium and watch a fun movie about prehistoric sea creatures!

The second day of camp was held at C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park near Camilla where students were taught that agriculture and water resources are intricately related in this part of the state. Students learned about aquifers and how they work to produce and filter clean water for humans.

They also played in the sprinklers, took the 40-gallon water challenge, and made rain sticks, along with participating in various workshops and games.

The final day began with a long trip to the George Andrews Dam in Columbia, Ala., where campers met Rome Ethredge, Seminole County Extension director, who spoke on the importance of a dam in relation to electricity, energy and water quality.

Afterwards, campers ended the fun-filled three days with a trip to Dothan, Ala.’s Water World, playing fun water games and riding awesome water rides.

For more information on 4-H projects and educational events, please contact Lindsey B. Hayes, 4-H Agent (linsbell@uga.edu) at the University of Georgia Extension Service in Decatur County or phone 248-3033.