The drought may be over in Georgia, but the message from Georgia 4-H remains clear: Water conservation is important each and every day.
To get that message across, Dawson County 4-H members will be involved with water conservation this year through a 4-H2O Replenish Project grant.
Dawson County 4-H was selected as one of 10 counties in Georgia to be part of the project.
The statewide incentive is for 30,000 young people to save more than 100 million gallons of water within one year, an effort supported by the Coca-Cola foundation.
Georgia is one of four states in the nation to receive the $30,000 grant. Each of the five Georgia 4-H centers will also be part of the project.
“What a great opportunity Dawson County 4-H members have,” said Ian Cowie, Dawson County 4-H agent. “This project is designed around the middle school students and their ability to adopt new habits using water.”
As part of their monthly educational program, sixth grade students will learn about water saving tips. They will then be challenged to involve families, neighbors and fellow students to make saving water a habit. A water learning field trip later in the school year to Wahsega 4-H Center in Lumpkin County is also planned.
State climatologists have stated that the drought is over in Georgia, for now.
The state must always be prepared to deal with a drought, however, and the best way to accomplish this is by establishing a culture of conversation.
State project coordinator Melanie Biersmith points out: “By centering water conservation in the lives of youth, we are better preparing young citizens to deal with water issues in the future. They will become excellent stewards of our most important resource.”
Georgia 4-H has had the environment and natural resources at its core since its inception over 100 years ago. Today, such an important issue also incorporates three state and national issues: SET (science, engineering and technology), citizenship and healthy living.
Each year, about 37,000 students visit the five 4-H centers across the state and participate in the Georgia 4-H Environmental Education Program.
Since its inception 30 years ago, the Georgia 4-H Environmental Education Program has served more than 800,000 participants.
For more information about the Dawson County 4-H water saving project, contact the Dawson County Extension Office at (706) 265-2442.