Youth Wetlands program wins national award

Linda Benedict, Bogren, Richard C.  |  1/5/2011 3:47:17 AM

An LSU AgCenter 4-H program has been chosen for a national award by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Youth Wetlands Program was selected to receive the U.S. Fish and Wildlife-4-H 2011 Connecting Youth with Nature Through Natural Resources Conservation Education Award.

The award consists of a $10,000 grant to the LSU AgCenter 4-H Youth Development Department plus travel for five program representatives to attend an awards reception at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resource Conference March 16, 2011, in Kansas City, Mo.

"We’re thrilled to receive this recognition," said Mark Tassin, state director of 4-H. "It’s a testament to the strong work of a whole lot of people."

The Youth Wetlands Program is a statewide initiative by the Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration, Tassin said. It’s designed to heighten students’ awareness of Louisiana’s wetland loss.

Louisiana 4-H provides participating teachers with lessons and activities at no cost, said Ashley Mullens, Youth Wetlands Program manager.

Teachers present the lessons throughout the academic year, and the program culminates during Youth Wetlands Week, which is in April, Mullens said. The program curriculum is endorsed by the Louisiana Science Teachers Association, and lessons are designed to follow Louisiana’s Grade Level Expectations. Students complete pre- and post-tests, and the results reflect increased knowledge of main science concepts.

During the summer, 4-H offers four camps that use the program curriculum and provide wetland-related, hands-on learning activities.

Rick Bogren

(This article was published in the fall 2010 issue of Louisiana Agriculture.)

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