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4H Wildlife Stewards
 
Bringing Science and Nature Together...one school at a time.


HISTORY AND AWARDS

Our Awards

National Awards    

2010 Excellence in Natural Resources and Enviormental Education Team National Winner presented by National Association of 4-H Extension Agents
2010 National Program of Distinction for 4-H Wildlife Stewards presented by USDA National 4-H Headquarters
2010 National Program of Distinction for 4-H Urban-Rural Exchange for a Sustainable Future presented by USDA National 4-H Headquarters
2009 4-H Programming National Winner presented by the National Association of Agriculture Agents
2006 National 4-H Extension Agents Assocation National Urban Program of Excellence
2005 National 4-H Program of Distinction
2005

NRCS Youth Environmental Awards Program Recipient

2005

National Wildlife Society Group Achievement Award

2005

Association of Natural Resources Extension Professionals. National Gold Award Winner for Video

2005

National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Communicator Award: National Award Winner for Team Promotional Package.  

2003

Association of Natural Resources Extension Professionals. National Silver Award Winner for Educational Package (4-H Wildlife Stewards brochure and newsletter).

2003

National Association of 4-H Extension Agents National Communicator Award for Published Photo

2002

National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Communicator Award. National award winner for Individual Educational Package (4-H Wildlife Stewards curriculum, brochure and PowerPoint presentation). Plaque.

 

2002

USDA Cooperative Extension Service Natural Resources and Environmental Management 2002 National Flagship Program Award Winner. Publication of program in National publication and website.

 

2000

National 4-H Youth Development Programs of Excellence 2000. U.S. Department of Agriculture 4-H. 4-H Wildlife Stewards Program was one of 62 out of 134 entries as one of the best 4-H programs in the nation. Letter of congratulations.

 

1998

The Presidents Service Award Citation. Certificate signed by President Bill Clinton for the 4-H Wildlife Stewards Program.

1998

National Association of Extension 4-H Agents. Environmental Stewardship Award. Selected the outstanding Environmental Stewardship Award for 4-H Wildlife Stewards Program.

State and Regional Awards

 

 

2003

Oregon Association of 4-H Agents State Winner for Excellence in Teamwork.  

2003

Oregon Association of 4-H Agents Communicator Award. State Winner for Team Award for Newsletter.

2002

Oregon Association of 4-H Agents Communicator Award. State Winner for multi-media Presentation.

1999

National Association of Extension 4-H Agents. Regional Communicator Team Award/Educational Package for the 4-H Wildlife Stewards brochure, handbook and newsletter.

1997

National Association of Extension 4-H Agents. Regional Communicator Award/Promotional Piece for the 4-H Wildlife Stewards brochure.

1997

Oregon State University Extension Association. Search for Excellence Winner. One of 3-4 outstanding Extension programs selected each year.

1997

Oregon State University Extension Association. OSU Extension Annual Conference. Peer reviewed Poster Presentation. Second Place.

             

2005 NRCS Youth Environmental Awards Program Recipient

National 4-H Council 

The 4-H Wildlife Stewards Program was one of three programs selected nationwide for the 2005 NRCS Youth Environmental Awards Program.

The 2005 NRCS Youth Environmental Awards Program recognized three of the best 4-H environmental stewardship and conservation programs.  Through the generous support of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), National 4-H Council recognized  three on-going exemplary conservation and environmental stewardship programs with awards of $7,500 each.

National awards winners were selected through a competitive process based on scientific principles, the projects met the standards established by the Programs of Distinction, have strong leadership support from paid and volunteer staff, their programs' incorporate youth-adult partnerships, and provide youth leadership opportunities. The three awarded programs design, implementation, outcomes and evaluation, will be shared in a “promising practices” document and sent to the 4-H system in an effort to continue to develop 4-H professionals in environmental education.  The awards will ultimately assist in the development of a knowledge base for youth programs in science, engineering, and technology, and that will serve as a resource for professional development.

 

OUR HISTORY

Stewards planting a gardenThe OSU Extension 4-H Youth Program is committed to improving science learning for our youth, bringing nature closer to Oregon citizens, educating future generations about the importance of protecting our natural heritage, and inspiring citizens to get involved in their communities through the 4-H Wildlife Stewards Program. Today during lunch breaks, after school, and on weekends, young people are working side-by-side with adult 4-H Wildlife Stewards to transform small plots of land into wildlife habitats and living outdoor classrooms.

The Oregon State University Extension 4-H staff began development of the program in 1995 in response to two major issues common throughout the U.S. First, there has been a growing public concern over the deterioration of our environment and the resulting loss of wildlife habitat.   It is recognized that to increase the involvement of the American public in our natural environment, youth must become aware of the issues and be actively involved in some of the immediate solutions: Youth must also become involved in natural resource issues because the solutions to these problems are long-term and involve changing the ways that we think and live.

Volunteer in a gardenSecond, due to diminishing funds for Oregon schools, nearly all science enrichment programs and field trip budgets were cut. At the same time schools and teachers were held accountable to ensure students reached higher education benchmarks. The National Education Goals adopted by many states has set ambitious standards for all schools and students. To achieve those goals collaboration is essential. We must meet a broad range of student's needs through a wide range of services and agencies. Parent and community partnerships are vital to the success of meeting student needs. Studies of individual families show that what the family does is more important to student success than family income or education. This is true whether the family is rich or poor, whether the parents finished high school or not, or whether the child is in preschool or in the upper grades.

Local citizens were concerned about youth, education and our environment and wanted to do something.  While scientists, environmentalists, the agriculture and forestry industry, and lawmakers continued to debate the many issues around the management of our environment, a growing group of enthusiastic and passionate volunteers became actively involved in caring for our environment and educating our youth through the 4-H Wildlife Stewards Program.  The 4-H Wildlife Stewards program gave them that opportunity. In  1996 the program was launched with the first group of 4-H Wildlife Stewards who completed their 40-hour training and began working 6 Portland area schools.  Families and communities realized that the education of our youth is the responsibility of everyone, not just our schools. 

School girl watering flowersIn August 2001, the 4-H Wildlife Stewards Program was awarded a $896,000 grant from National Science Foundation to develop the program into a national model and document the educational and scientific impacts of this project on students, teachers, and communities. The program will not only reach more students, teachers and communities but it will also help bridge the urban/rural divide among citizens on how best to manage our natural resources. Students, teachers, and 4-H Wildlife Stewards working together to create wildlife habitats on school grounds and using research based management practices will help bring greater understanding and appreciation for science learning through stewardship of our natural resources.

Today, the program brings new wildlife to local communities and has community leaders excited. Parents and teachers feel rejuvenated. Furthermore, through the 4-H Wildlife Stewards Program, parents and community neighbors who traditionally have a hard time connecting with their school or community have joined in the excitement. Entire communities have been mobilized and new 4-H Wildlife Stewards have been recruited when a 4-H wildlife habitat project begins. School vandalism has also decreased. When kids put sweat equity into their school it gives them a sense of ownership of their school.

The five-year pilot initiative has assisted 60 schools in transforming their school grounds into outdoor classrooms and habitat areas. While the program began in the in the Portland Metro area, in 2001 the program expanded to Benton County, Linn County, and Deschutes County.  Today the program is active in 19 Oregon counties.  Participating elementary and secondary schools have completed courtyard ponds and plantings; woodland, butterfly, and vegetable gardens; bird and wildflower habitats; and on-site school nurseries. Students have also created interpretive signs, murals, garden banners, and compost bins. Mosaic pathways and paving stones, birdhouses, tool sheds and pagodas were built with assistance from 4-H Wildlife Stewards.

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SITE MAP ~ PRIVACY POLICY ~ DISCLAIMER
4-H Wildlife Stewards, Sunnyside Environmental School, 3421 SE Salmon 1209,
Portland, OR 97214 - 503-916-6074, e-mail: wildifestewards@oregonstate.edu
Copyright 2002-2009. All Rights Reserved.