Healthy Environments for Children
The Healthy Environments for Children (HEC) initiative strives to protect and improve the physical and psychological health of children through education and training.
HEC develops age-appropriate, culturally sensitive programs and materials in three areas: (1) helping children to understand how to prevent and manage environmental health problems, such as lead poisoning and asthma; (2) helping parents, educators, community leaders, trainers, and other caring adults to understand, prevent, and improve environmental conditions that adversely affect children’s and their own health; and (3) strengthening the psychological environment for children by promoting developmentally and educationally sound practices and skills.
HEC materials and programs include Adventures of the Lead Busters Club/Aventuras del club de los detectives del plomo, How Mother Bear Taught the Children about Lead, and Supporting Family Involvement in Children’s Learning: Best Practices for Nonformal Learning Settings. HEC administers the New England Lead Coordinating Committee.
Call (860) 570-9072 for more information or visit http://www.hec.uconn.edu
Urban and Community Forestry
Trees on public property not only beautify our communities and provide inspiration, they also clean the air, keep us cool, and provide a multitude of other environmental and economic benefits. The Urban and Community Forestry Program helps municipal officials, tree wardens and community volunteers learn to properly care for and conserve this essential public resource. Volunteers interested in participating are encouraged to call the statewide office below. You can learn more about this program at http://www.canr.uconn.edu/ces/forest>
The statewide office of Urban Community Forestry can be reached at (860) 570-9257
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Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP)
The Pesticide Safety Education Program targets those who are hired to apply pesticides or those who use restricted-use pesticides in agriculture. The goals of this training are to ensure that pesticides are used only when necessary and are applied in a manner that protects the applicator, the public, and environment and our food supply.
This educational program is mandated by the Federal government and administered through the Cooperative Extension System. All applicators must be certified and periodically re-certified to keep up with changing regulations and the latest Integrated Pest Management strategies. Examples of workers required to take this training would include those in turf, ornamentals, golf course, nursery and other agricultural industries.
Call (860) 570-9010 for more information.
The Sustainable Landscaping Program encourages homeowners and groundskeepers to work with the natural environment to protect water quality in Connecticut. Through public television and educational outreach, residents learn how to work with nature to obtain the landscapes they desire without negatively impacting the environment. The program provides information to transform yards into low maintenance, low cost, water saving, wildlife friendly and more naturally beautiful places to be. Sustainable landscaping topics include using native and low maintenance ornamental plants, the importance of using a variety of plant material and practices such as recycling and sustainable lawn care.
Call (860) 570-9060 for more information about this program.
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)
website: Hartford County EFNEP
The objectives of EFNEP are to assist low-income families and youth acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and changed behaviors necessary for nutritionally sound diets and to contribute to their personal development and the improvement of total family diet and nutritional welfare. Participation in the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program should result in:
- Improved diets and nutritional welfare for the total family.
- Increased knowledge of the essentials of human nutrition.
- Increased ability to select and buy food that satisfies nutritional needs.
- Improved practices in food production, preparation, storage, safety, and sanitation.
- Increased ability to manage food budgets and related resources such as food stamps.
Call (860) 570-9061 for more information.
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Master Gardener and Advanced Master Gardener Programs
Extension Master Gardeners are members of the community who take an active interest in gardening and the environment. What sets them apart from other home gardeners is special horticultural training and an enthusiasm to share their knowledge with others.
To become a Master Gardner, trainees attend a full-day class once per week from January to April. There they receive in-depth raining in botany, entomology, plant pathology, soils, Integrated Pest Management and the environmental needs of a wide range of plants.
In exchange for training, participants fulfill the following community outreach commitment.
- 30 hours at an Extension Center providing horticultural information to the public
- 30 hours toward an educational outreach project in the community
Learn more about this and the Advanced M.G. Program through the contacts below.
Hartford County Master Gardener Office
Open April to September 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(860) 570-9013 or 9014
Home & Garden Center in Storrs
Open year round 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Toll free number: 1-(877) 486-6271
Web site: http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu
Online plant database: http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/
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Children, Youth, Family and Community
Children, Youth, Family and Community programs encompass a wide range of special initiatives and projects throughout the state that address conditions preventing low resource and at-risk youth and families from meeting their full potential. Programs strive to improve people’s lives and the communities in which they live. Examples of the types of programs that have made and impact include:
After-school activities promoting positive self-esteem and behavior, All Children Considered newsletter for child care program providers, partnerships between the University and community agencies promotion of high quality care of Connecticut’s children and youth and workshops in parenting skills, empowerment, and leadership, 4-H curriculum that enhances employability through computer and life skills.
These initiatives are supported by grants from federal, state, and private charitable organizations. Due to the success of the projects many are sustained by other community or state collaborators once grant cycles are completed.
Call (860) 570-9077 for more information.
4-H Youth Development
website: Connecticut 4-H
The 4-H Youth Development Program is a non-formal education program for boys and girls ages 7-19. Through “hands-on” projects, educational programs and activities, youth members acquire knowledge and learn life skills that help them meet the challenges of both today and tomorrow. They develop leadership, communication, and decision-making skills and build a sense of citizenship.
4-H Program staff and trained volunteers guide youth members with a “learn by doing” philosophy. This flexible, non-formal educational program encourages youth to discover their potential and accommodates individual needs and learning styles.
4-H activities are found in club settings, homes, schools, camps, after-school programs, and in partnership with community organizations in rural, suburban and urban areas.
Call (860) 570-9074,or visit Hartford County 4-H
for more information.
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4-H Center at Auerfarm
158 Auer Farm Road (Off Route 185)
Bloomfield, CT 06002
The 4-H Center at Auerfarm is an educational facility on a 120-acre working farm complete with animals, orchards, pastureland and gardens. It is a private, non-profit agricultural center that was given to the CT 4-H Development Fund in 1976 by the Beatrice Auerbach family. The 4-H Center offers hands-on educational experiences and activities that help students and the public become more aware of the significance of agriculture in their daily lives. Activities range from year round interactive classes, fairs, festivals and hayrides to pick-your-own and local produce sales.
Programs and activities are open to school groups, clubs, families and individuals. 4-H Center Staff can conduct lessons at daycare centers and school classrooms as well as provide training to teachers and youth leaders. There is also a range of volunteer opportunities. While many activities are free of charge, others require advance reservations and fees.
Call (860) 242-7144, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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