The Clarke County 4-H Program is seeking to enhance the life skills and opportunities for youth of Clarke County. By providing hands-on educational programs, youth can attain life skills and become productive citizens by participating in “hands-on” educational activities and events. The Clarke County 4-H Program also seeks to help our youth to better citizens by teaching them leadership and life skills and to give back or contribute to their community. This year, Clarke County 4-H sought funds to be able to purchase supplies and provide opportunities for educational programs. Due to Covid this year, Clarke County youth were not able to attend face-to-face meetings. Hurricane Zeta also destroyed the new archery shed completely. We were able to use the funds to purchase a new archery shed to replace the one destroyed by the hurricane and be able to get ready to offer the archery program to local youth.
K9 Unit Project ROCKY
K9 Unit Project ROCKY is an ongoing, ever evolving project that was created to build and maintain a state of the art K9 unit. This unit currently employs three K9 Officers and each has a dual purpose K9. The dual purpose K9’s are able to detect narcotics and apprehend.
Equipment can be an enhancement tool used to make this unit more efficient and transparent. All Thomasville Officers have a body worn camera and now our K9’s do as well. The MOHOC camera is a helmet mounted system that can be remotely viewed from a mobile device. K9’s are able to search a facility or area while keeping the handlers safe and at a distance.
Pine City Farmers Market
The Pine City Farmers Market project is an on-going community food system project designed to provide the structure and space for local farmers, artists, and craft-people to sell their products directly to the public. As a state-sanctioned market, seventy percent of the products sold at Pine City Farmers Market must be locally produced food within a 100-mile radius of Jackson, Alabama. The other 30 percent may be locally produced arts and crafts. This season our market featured locally produced fruits and vegetables, jams, pickles, honey, baked goods, plants, wooden creations, original artworks, and other items. We consider the Market an essential community destination because it located in a low access/low income tract, which is considered a food desert by the USDA. Our weekly market provided a much-needed access point to fresh food within walking distance to many low-income residents. In addition, Pine City Farmers Market participated in activities to promote garden education and community outreach.
Garden at Pecan Loop: A Community Teaching Garden
The City of Jackson will partner with Clarke-Washington Community Food Alliance (forming) and Jackson Middle School to create a community teaching garden. This community garden will serve as a teaching, learning, and demonstration garden with gardening, culinary, and nutrition education at the core of its mission. Engaging market vendors, local residents and market patrons, the teaching garden will connect people to their food, addressing issues surrounding food access and equity, health and nutrition, and environmental stewardship. Upon completion, the community garden will feature raised beds to be leased or sponsored each season. There will be a wheel-chair accessible growing area, a children’s sensory play garden, composting and pollinator areas. Perimeter fencing will create vertical growing opportunities. The site will have a structure that will house a tool storage area, single use bathroom, and small office. An outdoor demonstration, food preparation, and produce handling area will be built off this structure.
GHASA (Grove Hill After-School Adventure) is a 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC). We serve students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through Twelfth Grades. Students are housed at one cost center and that is Grove Hill Elementary. Students receive remediation services, STEAM activities, nutritional and physical fitness opportunities, and exposure to community service learning projects.
Upon receiving a greenhouse, one of our goals was accomplished. We strive to provide aid to the Grove Hill Senior Center. The students worked in conjunction with the Clarke County Extension Agency to plant several plants in container beds. The plants were taken care of by students, and they journaled their progress through the duration of growth. After the plants were mature, the students donated the harvest to the Senior Center. Our representative Christine Dickinson was on hand to receive the harvest.