EUGENE, Ore. — Two public forums will be held in September to discuss the restoration of the 4-H development program in Lane County. Interested parents, volunteers, funding partners, and community member are invited to attend the meetings held by the Oregon State University Extension Service.
The first meeting will be at Springfield City Hall from 6-7:30 p.m. on Sept. 19. The second meeting will be at the EWEB Training Center from 3-4:30 p.m. on Sept. 23.
The OSU Extension of the 4-H program, which served 500 students, was cut in May 2010 because it was too large and expensive for Lane County to help fund. Two years later, a new plan has been developed that would fund the program with user fees, state resources, endowment funds and community sponsorships, Punches said.
“We’ve been working behind the scenes for months to pull together the many pieces necessary to rebuild 4-H in Lane County,” said John Punches, the regional administrator for the OSU Extension Service’s programs in southwest Oregon. “We’re confident that, if the people of Lane County would like this program back, we can work together to make it happen.”
“Restarting 4-H in Lane County is one of our biggest priorities,” said Scott Elmshaeuser, executive director of the Oregon 4-H Foundation. “Partnerships with community friends like Coastal Farm & Ranch will allow us to serve Lane County families in the near future.”
The 4-H program serves children in 4th through 12th grades through activities, clubs and camps. It emphasizes youth leadership, responsibility, citizenship, and community involvement in a non-sport environment. Educational activities include backpacking, sewing, carpentry, cooking, raising animals and building robots.
To help restore the OSU Extension of 4-H, Coastal Farm & Ranch in Eugene has agreed to match every dollar raised up to $30,000 through Sept. 30. If successfully started up over the next three years, Coastal Farm & Ranch will continue to provide funds for the program.
“Coastal’s generous support is a great first step in being able to provide programs for Lane County’s youth,” Elmshaeuser said. “Garnering input from the local community on how to sustain funding and program support for the county office is a critical next step.”
Details on the match program are available in Coastal Farm & Ranch’s Eugene store. For more information on the discussion forums, click here.