Projects to preserve and promote the environment are underway all this week in Iowa as part of 4-H Week, with this year’s theme "Keeping It Green." Cheryl Entriken, the 4-H coordinator for Hamilton County, says the club’s been producing positive results for Iowa’s youth for more than a century — in areas like wildlife, forestry, camping and fishing.
Entriken says: "We have young people involved in practically every area. We’re using our young people as team leaders, as partners, with our adults. This is what’s helped make our program as strong as it is." Various projects underway this week include plastic bottle recycling in Jones County, a rainwater recycling project in Warren and Poweshiek counties, and a 4-Her in Mitchell County has woven 65 snack chip bags into a colorful purse.
Entriken says a full one-quarter of Iowa’s young people in all 99 counties are involved in 4-H, which is also the nation’s largest youth organization. Entriken says, "Seeing our young people being able to share their knowledge and their skills with younger 4-Hers has really, really made an impact, because they’ve been wonderful role models and examples and have encouraged younger members to get involved in our program and to excel also."
There are more than 125-thousand 4-H members in Iowa, along with 11,000 adult volunteer leaders. Nationwide, 4-H membership tops six-million. The 4-H program has been around since 1901.