Wednesday, November 26, 2008

4-H Million Trees Project

What better way to celebrate the Florida 4-H Centennial than to "Make the Best Better"? Florida 4-H members have a unique way to celebrate Florida 4-H's birthday by being part of a national initiative - The 4-H Million Trees Project. This project was started by a Pacifica, California 4-H'er who wanted to do something big to help combat climate change. The goal is to mobilize the approximately 7 million 4-H members in North America to participate by planting 1 million trees. These trees will then play a part in reducing atmospheric CO2.

It is estimated that there are 90,000 4-H clubs and units in the U.S. and Canada. If each club or unit planted twelve trees, this goal would be reached. The good news is that 4-H will be continuing this project for the next few years, until the goal is reached. This is a great idea for a club community service project and one that will last and continue to serve the community.

Here are some points and tips if you are interested in knowing more:

  • Clubs interested should register at both the national ( and Florida ( websites. Building the network is critical.
  • The Arbor Day Foundation ( is partnering with 4-H, but you may find other partners.
  • Joining the Arbor Day Foundation allows you to buy twelve trees for a dollar each annually for four years.
  • All trees planted must be native. They provide food and shelter for our native wildlife and thrive in our climate.
  • Plant the right tree in the right place. Large trees need large spaces.
  • Ask at your church, school, or community park for possible planting areas.
  • Planting is just the first step; please plan on follow up care. Newly planted trees need water daily.
  • Participating in this project teaches a 4-H member that they can personally change the world.

In 4-H we teach life skills. The 4-H Million Trees Project will contribute to empowering the next generation of leaders who will know they can make a difference individually and as a group.

For more information please check the websites listed above or call Jean Rogalsky at (727) 582-2597 or email

Friday, November 7, 2008

District IX Holiday Party and Potluck Dinner

Pinellas County 4-H is part of 4-H District IX, along with Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Polk, and Sarasota Counties. Each year 4-H members from throughout the district come together for a variety of reasons. District counties may camp together or hold district-wide competitions. Some of these events are hosted by our District Council, a group of teens from our district counties. District Council is best known for their fabulous 4-H District Congress, a day of workshops and activities open to 4-H juniors and intermediates.

A new tradition began last year with the Annual District IX Holiday Party and Potluck Dinner, held at the Pinellas County Extension Office. This year's event is December 12, beginning at 6:00 P.M. Each person attending is required to bring in one toy for admission. As part of our Florida Centennial Initiative, participants will be wrapping these toys at the party. These toys will later be delivered to needy families. The goal is to collect 100 toys to honor 100 years of 4-H in Florida.

Participants of the Holiday Party will take part in exciting activities and meet 4-H members from across the District. One of the activites will be to tour the beautiful holiday lights in the Florida Botanical Gardens. As this is a potluck dinner, each family is asked to bring two dishes to share.

To register your family for this event, please contact Sean Russell, president if District IX Council at

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

4-H Operation Military Kids Essay Contest

4-H Operation Military Kids has teamed up with the American Legion Auxiliary to offer the “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: How American Veterans Have Shaped the World” essay contest open to all students in 10, 11, and 12th grades. The essay winner can receive an all-expense paid tripe to the Auxiliary’s Americanism Youth Conference March 5-9, 2009 at Valley Forge, PA. The application deadline is December 1, 2008.

Please contact Georgene Bender at or Cliff Lewis at for more information. The Student winner will be notified by January 14, 2009.