Community service opportunities planned for  ISU Extension Week

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Week is Monday through April 21. This year Iowa?s 100 county Extension and Outreach offices, including Jefferson County?s, will host community service activities during the week and throughout the month of April.

?Community service is one more way ISU Extension and Outreach engages Iowans to build a strong Iowa,? said Colleen Matson, the Jefferson County ISU Extension office assistant.

?We do have two service projects,? she continued. ?One is a [Paper] Clover campaign with a 4-H booth at Tractor Supply Company through Wednesday. That is [Jefferson County ISU County Youth Coordinator] Rachel Wonderlich?s Extension Week activity.?

The TSC store is hosting its Paper Clover fundraising campaign to benefit 4-H programs. Customers can participate by purchasing a paper clover ? the emblem of 4-H ? for a donation during checkout at the store or online.

The booth will have information about the local 4-H program, as well as information about how to become involved.

For the second service project, Jefferson County ISU Extension Horticulturist Taylor Sickels and the Jefferson County Master Gardeners are hosting a Donation Garden workday Wednesday to prepare the garden for summer production.

Sickels said anyone who would like to volunteer is welcome.

Three shifts are planned throughout the day: 10 a.m. to noon; 1-3 p.m.; and 5-7 p.m., but volunteers are welcome to come as their schedule allows, and no registration is required.

?If you only have an hour at lunch or if you have to leave at 6 to go to a church thing, no big deal,? said Sickels.

Snacks and drinks will be provided to volunteers, but they are asked to bring their own rakes, shoves and gloves if available.

Sickels said the volunteer workers will be moving logs, pulling weeds, filling beds with soil, spreading mulch, building a potting bench and installing a fence that she hopes will keep the deer out of the garden.

Sickels plans to have signage posted to direct volunteers to the garden, which is on the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, back behind the camping and parking areas.

All produce grown this summer in the Donation Garden will be used to educate and nourish members of the community.

In case of rain, the Donation Garden workday will be April 19.

?Wear your Iowa State gear, because Jefferson County?s community service project also will be part of CY?s Days of Service,? Matson said.

Since May, ISU alumni, family and friends have been wearing their cardinal and gold and participating in service projects of their choice. They report their hours to showcase CY?s Days of Service. It is hoped that at least 500 participants log more than 30,000 hours of service statewide by the end of April.

ISU Extension and Outreach educational programs cover the entire life span, from Iowa?s youngest to oldest residents. More than 1 million people directly benefit from ISU Extension educational programs each year. Extension connects with millions more online.

ISU Extension is part of the federal Cooperative Extension Service ? a network of more than 100 land-grant institutions, including ISU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving communities and counties across the United States. Every county in Iowa has an elected extension council that decides how to support ISU Extension educational programs at the county level.

For more information about Jefferson County ISU Extension, Master Gardeners and 4-H, call the Jefferson County ISU Extension office at 472-4166.