University of Illinois Extension, Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit 2016 Annual Report

Page 1

Master Gardeners and 4-H Spark Tank teens built a hoop house to serve Peoria’s South Side.

2016 Annual Report


TAZEWELL MAIN OFFICE 1505 Valle Vista Blvd Pekin, IL 61554 309-347-6614 fax 309-347-5472

FULTON BRANCH 15411 N IL 100 Hwy Lewistown, IL 61542 309-547-3711 fax 309-547-3713

MASON BRANCH 127 S. High St, Ste 1 Havana, IL 62644 309-543-3308 fax 309-543-6239

PEORIA BRANCH 4810 N Sheridan Rd Peoria, IL 61614 309-685-3140 fax 309-685-3397

OFFICE HOURS Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Closed Noon - 1 p.m.

Note from the County Director With my administrative responsibilities, I do not have the privilege of directly participating in our unit’s program offerings as much as I would like. When I do, I definitely enjoy the interaction. One of those opportunities came this summer when I visited the Jr. Chef School in Avon. I am always proud of the work our staff is doing for the people of our four county unit, and it is very satisfying to spend time directly with our clientele of all ages. For me, the best part of working for University of Illinois Extension is having a direct hand in making people and communities better through education, which our unit succeeded at doing again this past year! At the end of 2016, we found ourselves in a good spot. Many positive impacts were attained in spite of the fiscal tightening that was necessary due to the state budget environment we faced. Credit goes to our great staff, great volunteers, and great partners! This year’s annual report highlights some of those impacts. We have chosen to emphasize four areas: our 4-H community service efforts our successes in completing the two-year U of I cross campus initiative program our commercial agriculture programming our nutrition education expansion Keep in mind, this report highlights just a portion of what we do. Enjoy the review, and thanks for your support.

Earl Allen County Extension Director

Unit at a Glance

Unit Strategy Statement GUIDING PRINCIPLE Making people and communities better.

MISSION To extend research-based information, technology, and best practices from the university arena into public and private arenas in order to strengthen local communities and improve people’s lives.

VISION To adapt research-based knowledge into accessible forms so that every person we serve will experience and recognize a positive impact from our work.

Financial Report REVENUES Federal State University Local Taxes & Donations Other

$2.9M 46% 25% 8% 18% 3%

EXPENDITURES Personnel Program Overhead Equipment

$2.9M 75% 15% 9% 1% Fiscal Year 2016

PROCESS Extension Council Members

Education, facilitation, and collaboration.

SCOPE Agriculture Horticulture Natural Resources Nutrition & Wellness 4-H Youth Development Community & Economic Development

The People Staff






John Asplund, Chairman Sally Bair Terry & Riley Baum Shundell Broomfield Cindy Chaffin Meghan Curless Erika Eigenbrod, Secretary Nicole Forsberg, Vice Chair Clara Gonzalez Rosemary Palmer Pamela Rumba Kelvin Sampson Sunita Shastry Steve Waterworth Amanda Woodruff Cody Zeeck

Farmington Astoria Morton Peoria Ipava Havana Lincoln Pekin Peoria Manito Peoria Ellisville Washington Havana Lewistown Havana

The Processes Videos




9 Pages 2,630

Print and Electronic

YouTube video views



New Releases


Print and Electronic



TV/Radio appearances


1.1 M




Summer Cooking Schools Throughout the summer, University of Illinois Extension staff conducted Junior Chef Schools in Fulton, Mason, and Peoria Counties that reached a total of 406 youth. Junior Chef Schools are one of the many programs supported by Extension’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—Education (SNAP-Ed). The Jr. Chef School format included a nutrition lesson, physical activities, and preparing and tasting a variety of recipes related to the lesson. These lessons revolved around the food groups in MyPlate, as well as learning various kitchen essentials such as handwashing, measuring, using different knives, and kitchen safety. In Peoria County, the cooking schools represented a collaboration among Extension’s 4-H, EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutrition Program), and SNAP-Ed programs. During each session, 4-H Teen Teachers worked alongside Extension staff teaching a nutrition FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL 4 2016 ANNUAL REPORT

lesson, assisting with food preparation, and serving as positive role models to the younger children. To measure the success of the program, a pre- and post-test, developed by researchers from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, was administered to each consenting child. Preliminary scores showed encouraging results: • Children developed more positive attitudes towards cooking and gained in their belief that they have the skills to cook. • Children recorded improvements in their fruit and vegetable preferences and their understanding that they can select and eat healthy foods. • Female students began the Jr. Chef Schools with higher baseline scores, but the male students experienced significantly greater positive changes in scores. Since children tend to consume more of the foods they personally prepare, teaching them to make nutritious meals and snacks is one way to encourage healthy eating.

SNAP-Ed Recognized for Success in Multi-layering of Programs Supplemental Nutrition Assistance ProgramEducation (SNAP-Ed) is very beneficial for helping those within the community make healthful choices. The SNAP-Ed framework has recently transitioned to a multiintervention layering approach, referred to as the Social-Ecological Model. In order to create maximum impact, the goal is to target the family unit where they eat, sleep, play, and live, rather than only one-dimensionally. Peoria Heights School District #325 is a great example of successful layering within a school district. Our unit’s great work in this school district was recognized and celebrated at the Illinois Nutrition Education Program Annual State-wide conference this fall. In this particular district our staff implemented a variety of programs to reach the target audience in multiple ways: Nutrition lessons in Kindergarten and 1st grade Vegetable tastings during lunch Food of the Month posters in cafeteria Smarter Lunchroom Assessments with Food Service Director Administering the interventions from the assessments






Social-Ecological Model

staff, Peoria Heights applied for and received the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Program Grant. Peoria Heights School District plans to team up with SNAP-Ed staff to revive the school wellness committee and improved wellness policy.



Peoria Heights has seen great improvement with food consumption and lunchroom atmosphere since SNAP-Ed began their efforts. The district Food Service Director, Suzanne Cranford stated, “I appreciate the information given from Extension. Rather than calling ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education), I now have an approachable local source that is there to help.”

Additionally, SNAP-Ed staff assisted with increasing healthy messaging and improving school synergies using Team Up for School Nutrition resources. With the help of SNAP-Ed

SNAP-Ed programming efforts are coordinated to target the family unit where they eat, sleep, play, and live. Walk-by demonstration tables are one way our SNAP-Ed staff reach families with nutrition information and recipe samples.



EFNEP Positive Impacts The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) reached their goal of serving more adults for the 2015-2016 program year. The staff of nine people, including three bilingual Spanish speaking, worked hard to see an increase of 27% in the number of families reached, which in turn increased the total number of family members impacted by 29%. 1,724 families were served by the program 7,719 family members were impacted by this program 835 adults were enrolled and graduated from the program (completed a series of at least six lessons) A total of 835 youth were taught this year in agencies, after school programs, or summer cooking schools Adults were served at 41 sites which included agencies, faith-based organizations, food pantries, as well as in-home visits

The EFNEP staff administer a pre-test and post-test to participants that completed six to eight sessions. Improvements were made in the following areas:

FOOD RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 47% more often planned meals in advance 47% more often used a list for grocery shopping

NUTRITION PRACTICES 47% more often planned meals in advance 52% more often used the “Nutrition Facts� on labels to make food choices

FOOD SAFETY PRACTICES 47% more often followed the recommended practices of not thawing foods at room temperature

FOOD RESOURCE & NUTRITION 81% showed improvement in one or more food resource management practices 82% showed improvement in one or more nutrition practices

EFNEP & SNAP-Ed Reach Schools EFNEP - 8 SNAP-Ed - 29 Pre-K/Early Childhood SNAP-Ed - 59 Community Based Adult Agencies EFNEP - 12 SNAP-Ed - 11 Community Based Youth Agencies EFNEP - 12 SNAP-Ed -16 Food Pantries EFNEP - 29 SNAP-Ed - 13 Summer Cooking Schools Fulton - 4 Mason - 3 Peoria - 8 FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL 6 2016 ANNUAL REPORT


Fulton Tazewell



42,708 Direct Contacts Fulton - 7,493 Peoria - 22,437

Mason - 4,761 Tazewell - 6,586

36,674 Indirect Contacts Fulton - 8,924 Peoria - 20,764

Mason - 3,788 Tazewell - 4,629

111 Sites

RACE Caucasian African American Other

70% 29% 1%

ETHNICITY 41,345 1,363

Non-Hispanic Hispanic

97% 3%

AGE 39,798 2,910

Youth Adults

Extension nutrition staff capacity was expanded this past year in order to add more impact to our local program offerings. Funding was provided through an increase in federal grant monies received locally. The expansion benefitted other program areas in that the share of overhead costs paid for by local dollars was reduced. One area of expansion was in the SNAP-Ed


29,718 12,363 627

Nutrition Staff Expanded to More Effectively Reach Communities

93% 7%

program. A program coordinator was added midyear to provide support for our SNAPEd educator’s program workload which was growing rapidly in its second year. The program coordinator additionally helped our SNAP-Ed instructors market and deliver new types of programs in schools and arrange for a more concentrated offering of programs in targeted areas of the four county unit. The second area of expansion occurred in our offering of EFNEP bilingual programs. Two new bilingual staff were added during the year to bring our number to three. The Hispanic audience in our unit has been growing in recent years according to census data, and this growth is projected to continue. By hiring staff in 2016 who can teach in both English and Spanish, we are now positioned to offer Hispanic programming in sync with the growth of the local Hispanic population.

GENDER - YOUTH 20,219 19,579

Male Youth Female Youth

51% 49%

GENDER - ADULTS 954 1,956

Male Adults Female Adults


4-H Youth Development 4-Hers Call International Space Station Members of the Space to Ground 4-H Special Interest (SPIN) Club spent several weeks of their summer learning about amateur radio the history of the technology, how it works, and how it is used on the International Space Station. The club’s culminating event was a call using amateur radio to the International Space Station (ISS) as it orbited 200 miles above the surface of the Earth near Italy. The call was made possible through a partnership with University of Illinois Extension FultonMason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit, the Peoria Riverfront Museum, and the Peoria-Area Amateur Radio Club. Over 300 youth and adults were in attendance for the pre-call presentations and the official call to Astronaut Col. Jeff Williams on the ISS. Fifteen youth received the special honor of speaking directly to Col. Williams. The youth were members of the Space to Ground 4-H SPIN Club, as well as participants of the Makers in Motion summer camp (also a collaboration between University of Illinois Extension and Peoria Riverfront Museum).

4-H Spark Tank

Five teens from Common Place were selected to be part of the statewide 4-H Spark Tank pilot. The Peoria area Spark Tank group’s goal is to change the face of the South Side of Peoria through a beautification project. As part of their project, they built a hoop house on Common Place property to grow native Illinois plants and vegetables. This will benefit the community by providing community members with plants grown in the hoop house to plant in their yard to create curb appeal. Garden produce grown in the hoop house will be distributed to local families. The hoop house was constructed in July of 2016, with assistance from University of Illinois Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists, City of Peoria Neighborhood Enhancement members, Peoria Citizens Committee for Economic Opportunity (PCCEO), Greater Peoria LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation), and Illinois 4-H Foundation. This fall, the Spark Tank teens harvested their first crop of lettuce, which they served to families and Common Place youth at the Lights on Afterschool event on October 19.


4-H Youth Development Stats 4-H Clubs 65 Community Clubs 32 Special Interest Clubs

7 One-Day Programs 52 Embryology Groups 15 Other Groups 3 Short Presentations

8,239 Youth Reached 1,608 in 4-H Clubs 1,202 in One-Day Programs 4,828 in Groups 1,001 in Short Presentations

906 4-H Volunteers 180 Traditional 82 Special Interest 93 Superintendents 551 Group/Special Event


4-H Community Service 4-H members pledge their hands to larger service. Each year 4-H clubs work together to plan at least one community service project. Many clubs participate in several projects per year. During the 2015-2016 4-H year, clubs were invited to send in stats and highlights of their service projects. Our survey results are just a sampling of the positive impact our 4-H clubs make to their club, community, country, and world.


BLOOD DRIVE Mason County 4-H Federation Havana, Illinois The 4-H Federation hosted a blood drive during the 2016 Mason County 4-H and Jr. Fair. Summer months see an increase in the need for blood donations. Federation members recruited blood donors before the fair, and during the fair they took turns wearing the blood drop costume. The Central Illinois Community Blood Center was pleased with the 22 people registered to donate and 14 successful donations.

TORNADO CLEAN UP Avondale 4-H Club Avon, Illinois A tornado near Avon on March 15 damaged several homes and farmsteads. 4-H families coordinated a clean up day to assist two families in the hard work of picking up, sorting, and hauling debris, in addition to trimming damaged trees and bushes. A large crew of approximately 80 youth and adults worked for three hours on the clean up project.

SAFE TRICK-OR-TREAT NIGHT Mason County 4-H Federation Havana, Illinois The 4-H Federation coordinates this annual event to provide a safe, indoor location for families to bring their children to trick-or-treat. Local businesses and organizations participate by decorating a door and handing out candy. The event impacted 450 community members and was planned and coordinated by 24 youth and two adults, who invested nine hours of service. FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL 10 2016 ANNUAL REPORT

OPERATION GRATITUDE Laura Winners Laura, Illinois For Operation Gratitude, the club members sewed “cool ties” to be shipped overseas to our military. Cool ties are soaked in water and worn around the neck to help our enlisted men and women keep cool. The club members made 27 cool ties.

MIDWEST FOOD BANK Several Clubs in Peoria & Tazewell Counties Peoria and Morton, Illinois The Midwest Food Bank gathers and distributes food donations to not-for-profits and disaster sites without cost to the recipients. Four 4-H clubs and two 4-H Federations volunteered this past year at Midwest Food Bank distribution sites in our area. Youth and adults helped sort and repack food donations. The youth gained valuable insights into the needs of many in our community and the valuable work being done at the food bank. One 4-H leader said of her club members, “they had to work together, help each other, ask questions, and take direction. They all did a great job and had a lot of fun too.” Approximately 70 4-H members and 22 adults volunteered 18 hours of service.

THE GREAT GARDEN ADVENTURE Tazewell Country Club Hopedale, Illinois The 4-H club participated in a gardening project with the Hopedale Medical Complex’s assisted living residents. The youth and adults planted vegetables, weeded the garden, and harvested the produce. The 4-H club worked with the residents and staff to build relationships and learn gardening skills. The garden included pollinator plants, tomatoes, green beans, onions, herbs, strawberries, and pumpkins. This multi-generational project included 24 youth, six 4-H adults, 12 residents, and an estimated 41 hours of service. FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL 2016 ANNUAL REPORT 11

Agriculture Farm Safety Day

The Spoon River Valley Farm Safety For Just Kids Chapter held its annual day camp at the Mason County Fairgrounds in Havana, June 17. Over two hundred people attended from Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell Counties. The event is a collaborative effort by University of Illinois Extension Fulton-Mason-PeoriaTazewell Unit Fulton and Mason County Farm Bureaus, Cargill, and Sunrise FS. The day focused on a variety of safety topics, and not just for those that live on a farm. Eleven volunteer presenters used hands-on, visual, and simulation activities to help youth understand the importance of their specific safety topic. Youth attended eight different sessions: grain bin safety, livestock safety, personal/cyber safety, farm equipment, ATV, heat, water, and fire safety. The final presentation was a lesson about Illinois River Aquatic Life, by biologists from the Illinois River Biological Station.

Commercial Agriculture Programs Although the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit does not have a commercial agriculture educator in house, we are still able to provide education, resource materials, research results, and program offerings to local commercial agriculture clientele through U of I Extension’s statewide network of commercial agriculture educators and specialists. Two regional commercial agriculture educators serve our unit directly, Angie Peltier and Travis Meteer.

Livestock Management Travis Meteer is affiliated with U of I’s Orr Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center near Perry, Illinois. He has subject matter expertise in livestock production with an emphasis on beef cattle nutrition, genetics, reproduction, grazing, and marketing. Some of Travis’ statewide work includes serving as the State Beef Quality Assurance coordinator, managing the Illinois Performance Tested (IPT) Bull Sale, and organizing the annual Illinois Cattle Feeders Meeting. He also orchestrates on-farm demonstrations and oversees tour and research updates at the Orr Center. Travis shares his expertise in support of our four counties through traditional media interviews and news releases, developing website content, and maintaining a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and his Cattle Connection blog.

Frank Hofreiter of Stelter-Hofreiter, Inc, a local New Holland implement dealer, was one of the presenters at Farm Safety Day. He demonstrated to over 200 youth how difficult it is for an operator to see people or objects around large farm equipment.


Livestock Management Programming Highlights BEEF QUALITY ASSURANCE 10 meetings conducted statewide 534 participants certified

ILLINOIS CATTLE FEEDERS MEETING Illinois has 165,000 head of cattle on feed (NASS) that are conservatively valued at $297 million One-day program held annually in Northern Illinois (Dixon, Oregon, DeKalb) 242 participants since 2012 Dissemination of research findings and cutting edge production technologies Awareness and education regarding regulations related to the cattle industry

ILLINOIS PERFORMANCE TESTED BULL SALE Provides commercial cattlemen with elite genetics that will yield higher valued calves Adds a premium to bulls for Illinois seedstock producers Two-day program held annually in Springfield 4,576 bulls sold for over $7.9 million in a distinguished 46-year history 69 seedstock producers consigning bulls since 2014 1,855 sale catalogs distributed annually 259 commercial bull buyers registered since 2014 7 sponsors contributing $14,000 in program support In 2014, the sale had the highest average price in its history

ORR RESEARCH CENTER FIELD DAY Meeting conducted annually in Perry, Illinois 345 participants taught since 2011

Close to 4,000 youth were reached through the Embryology in the Classroom program.

Embryology in the Classroom In the 4-H Incubation and Embryology Project, students ranging from pre-school to high school learn about embryonic development as they care for developing chicken eggs. This year, 52 groups in Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell Counties participated in the program. A total of 3,932 students were reached. During the three-week incubation period, students learn not only the scientific facts of embryology, they learn life involves caring, nurturing, struggles, and joys. Students study embryonic development by incubating eggs, hatching and caring for chicks, and developing exhibits that demonstrate what they have learned. The 4-H program provides teachers with the incubators, egg turners, fertile eggs, student manuals, a teacher’s guide, and training. The training sessions provide information on setting up the incubator, how to increase odds of a successful hatch, and how to care for the chicks. FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL 2016 ANNUAL REPORT 13

Agriculture Annie’s Project

The mission of Annie’s Project is to empower farm women to be better business partners through networks and by managing and organizing critical information. Annie’s Project is designed to help farm women develop their management and decisionmaking skills in the dynamic, complex world of agriculture. Annie’s Project was offered in 2016 by University of Illinois Extension FultonMason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit and cosponsored by the Fulton County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee in Lewistown. Locally, 19 ladies attended the three-week, sixsession course. Fulton County was one of 22 locations throughout the state of Illinois which reached 215 participants. Annie’s Project was sponsored at the state level by University of Illinois Extension, Farm Service Agency, and 1st Farm Credit. The statewide facilitation of Annie’s Project was made possible by live webinars. Sessions were interactive between statewide keynote speakers, local speakers, and the participants. The course focused on the five broad areas of agricultural risks - human, financial, marketing, production, and legal.

2016 Ag Programs in our Area Illinois Farm Economics Summit Pesticide Safety Education Program Illinois Crop Management Conference Soybean Summit Soil & Water Management Webinar Certified Livestock Manager Training

Crop Management Angie Peltier is affiliated with U of I Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center in Monmouth. She has subject matter expertise in plant pathology, integrated pest management, and general agronomy. Angie shares oversight of regional and statewide crop management programs offered to certified crop advisors, crop producers, and other agricultural professionals, including those held within our unit and adjacent counties. She conducts applied corn and soybean research and incorporates plant pathology factors into many of her studies. Additionally she extends her expertise through electronic and traditional media outlets by conducting regular interviews on local radio, writing news releases, providing website materials, and highlighting current topics in crop production and U of I research on her blog, Hill and Furrow.


Janis Hackman, Linda Rock, and Julie Serven were a few of the local presenters during Annie’s Project at the Fulton County site. The statewide program included live webinars and local speakers.


In 2016, two Bi-State Crop Advantage Conferences were developed in collaboration with educators from Iowa State University. An existing conference in Burlington, Iowa was expanded, and a new conference in Moline, Illinois was launched to bring the most current research results from both Iowa State University and University of Illinois to more than 450 crop producers and certified crop advisors from our two states.

Crop Management Programming Highlights

Fair Spotlight: Fulton County 4-H


Extension staff and over 100 4-H volunteers coordinated seven special events in which Fulton County 4-H members exhibited their projects this summer. Overall, 225 youth exhibited 632 projects. Many of the exhibits are conference judged during the one-day General Show. Throughout the week-long Fulton County Fair, 4-H members participate in the Livestock Shows, Dog Show, and Fun Horse Show. In addition, they operate the 4-H Food Stand.

Nearly 4,000 people received 8-13 hours of training statewide since its start in 2005. In 2016, survey respondents reported: farming, managing, or consulting upon a median of 9,000 acres per participant for a total of 11 million acres (representing 52% of total corn and soybean acres in Illinois) nearly all respondents indicated their knowledge increased as a result of participating 58% intended to implement one or more of the crop management techniques they learned 100% of 2016 attendees who also attended in 2015 reported implementing one or more practices learned previously 67% of 2016 attendees who also attended in 2015 reported implementing two or more practices learned previously

Of the general 4-H projects selected to exhibit at the Illinois State Fair Junior Division, 42 youth participated, of which 15 earned the top Superior award. Approximately 40 youth exhibited livestock projects in the following Illinois State Fair Jr. Livestock Shows: beef, sheep, swine, horse, and poultry.

In 2016 special emphasis was placed on water quality best management practices and Illinois’ new Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS). After the conference, participants were surveyed to gauge changes in knowledge on these topics. Participants who were “very knowledgeable” about water quality challenges facing ag in Illinois increased from 23% to 38% Participants who were “very knowledgeable” about in-field practices to reduce tile nitrate losses increased from 21% to 45% Participants who were “very knowledgeable” about edge-of-field practices to reduce tile nitrate losses increased from 12% to 34% Charlie Hensley of the Fairview Huskies 4-H Club won the Bright Futures 4-H Award for his outstanding crops projects during the Fulton County 4-H General Show. The award was sponsored by Tractor Supply and Greenleaf Incorporated.


Cross Campus Initiatives EXTENDING PARTNERSHIPS Two years ago University of Illinois and people around the state were celebrating the 100th anniversary of Cooperative Extension. At the same time, University of Illinois Extension began working with the College of ACES at the university’s Office of the Provost on an ambitious new initiative. A call went out across the Urbana campus for innovative, high-impact outreach projects – for new partnerships between Extension and faculty and researchers in campus units beyond the College of ACES.

Digital Innovation Leadership Program Peoria was one of three communities across the state participating in the recently completed Digital Innovation Leadership Program (DILP), a collaboration that brings together a diverse array of individuals from higher education and community development. The digital innovation project focused on three learning areas: digital manufacturing, digital media production, and data analytics. Educators Kathie Brown and Judy Schmidt worked locally on this project.

More than 70 proposals poured in and eight were funded. The projects, with partnering units including Center for Digital Inclusion, College of Fine and Applied Arts can be found on our unit website. Working with University of Illinois Extension creates opportunities for faculty to enrich teaching and research - UIUC cross campus initiatives demonstrated a tremendous return on investment for the communities, UIUC, and Extension. During the past two years, Extension staff worked diligently to build community partnerships to facilitate very best practices in campus engagement.

During the two-year grant period, DILP hosted 108 events, reaching approximately 9,965 people statewide. Within our unit, the program reached people through programs such as 4-H Teen Teachers, several STEM camps, teacher trainings, Manufacturing Expo, and new 4-H Special Interest clubs related to digital innovation. Our partners, particularly in the greater Peoria area, have all noted how the DILP grant has opened doors for U of I Extension to contribute to community conversations around digital literacy. In addition, all partners have identified new resources and formed new relationships through DILP, which will continue to support ongoing programming. Local programming partners have included the Specialized Manufacturing Group, CAT, Bradley University, JUMP Trading Simulation Center, numerous school districts, and out of school organizations such as Peoria Riverfront Museum.

4-H Teen Teachers were just one group reached through the digital innovation leadership programs offered through the cross campus initiative.


Health in the Built Environment Project Community and economic development educator Kathie Brown facilitated the cross campus collaboration between U of I Extension and the U of I College of Fine and Applied Arts. Students within the College of Fine and Applied Arts worked with community partners to examine the relationship between health, design, and the built environment in the Peoria region. This project brought researchers and students in design and planning in conversation with local stakeholders and residents to develop proposals for Peoria’s downtown and neighborhoods; host novel learning experiences for advanced students; and present a visible model for the College’s public engagement mission. Together, the group taught each other about the conditions and opportunities that exist in Peoria that might be leveraged to promote the health and well-being of people in the area. Then, over the course of two years, students from five courses and varying groups of researchers worked with community partners to generate concrete and specific plans for creating healthier individuals, families, and communities.

Councilwoman Denise Moore, City of Peoria Innovation Team, and Peoria Southside community residents discuss ideas presented by UIUC School of Architecture Studio Workshop students.

“Working with the City of Peoria and University of Illinois Extension was an incredibly valuable experience for the students. I can already tell their work will be fundamentally improved by our visit and your valuable presence and input.” DANIKA COOPER, PROFESSOR UIUC COLLEGE OF FINE & APPLIED ARTS

SUCCESSFUL OUTCOMES OF INITIATIVE Raised awareness about the capacity of urban design and urban planning to impact the health and well-being of the citizens. Generated concrete examples of how Peoria might be re-designed to create healthier neighborhoods. Identified citizen priorities regarding the possible uses of vacant lots and provided viable options for how to use them to reduce flooding & increase economic development. Developed the Safe Routes to School Plan that met all the necessary requirements to allow the plan to be used to apply for federal funding through the SRTS federal program. Supported the development of grant proposals to continue this work. One proposal, written to the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and submitted by the City of Peoria, was successful. Another proposal was recognized as a finalist in The Play Everywhere Challenge. FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL 2016 ANNUAL REPORT 17


Night in the Garden Series Six Master Gardener food garden projects were featured in this year’s “Night in the Garden” series. Each night began with a short garden tour, followed by informal time for questions and answers with Master Gardeners and horticulture educator Rhonda Ferree.

MORTON GIVING GARDEN Grows vegetables that are donated to WeCare and Community Harvest in Morton.

ICC DEMONSTRATION GARDENS The Illinois Central College Demonstration Gardens in East Peoria show the public how to grow herbs, vegetables, fruits, flowers, and much more.

MASON COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS The Junior Master Gardener 4-H Club learns how to grow vegetables and flowers. The extra food is donated to a local food pantry.

FORREST HILL ORGANIC COMMUNITY GARDEN This garden, located in Peoria, was started by community members interested in learning to grow food locally and organically in a more sustainable and nutrient rich way.

PEORIA ACADEMY OUTDOOR EDUCATION CENTER GARDENS The Peoria Academy’s Outdoor Education Center Gardens feature several gardens where students learn plant and flower cultivation, organic farming, and caring for the natural world.

WASHINGTON GIVING GARDEN Produces a large variety of vegetables for Washington Helps Its People (WHIP), plus other charitable agencies in the area. These and the many other Master Gardener food garden projects donate over 15,000 pounds of food to the needy each year. New in 2016 are the Chillicothe Community Garden and North Valley Community Garden in Peoria. FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL 18 2016 ANNUAL REPORT

Jackie Trotter of Canton has been an active Master Gardener since 2000. She has reported over 4,400 volunteer hours serving at Canton’s Jones Park, Veteran’s Park, Gardeners’ BIG Day, Luthy Botanical, and many other projects.

Master Gardener Stats 169

Master Gardeners


New Master Gardeners Trained


Volunteer Hours Reported


Continuing Education Hours


Questions to MG Helpline


Value of Volunteer Hours

Pollinator and Beekeeping Education Resources on pollinators and beekeeping were especially popular in 2016. Extension staff and Master Gardeners provided education in a variety of venues. Examples include: Beekeeping session at Gardeners’ BIG Day Mason County Beekeeping Club Walk by booths at many community events, business fairs, farmers markets, 4-H Shows Speakers Bureau presentations Pollinator event at Peoria Riverfront Museum Ongoing education at Wildlife Prairie Park Kim St John Butterfly Habitat, Jubilee College Historic Site Butterfly Garden, and ICC Demonstration Garden

Master Gardener Tony Anderson provides ongoing pollinator education at Wildlife Prairie Park Kim St John Butterfly Habitat.

Rhonda Ferree’s ILRiverHort Blog 2013










Page Views




Rhonda Ferree’s ILRiverHort Social Media 2013 2014



2016 2013


Facebook 2013


Instagram Followers




2015 2016











Natural Resources Nature Education for Youth

Master Naturalist Stats

University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalists are working hard to address what researchers have labeled Nature Deficit Disorder in youth. Jason Haupt, FultonMason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit energy and environment stewardship educator, points out there are many situations in today’s society that have caused youth to spend less time outside in nature.


“Research has shown us there are symptoms in youth that can be linked to kids being

Continuing Education Hours

disconnected from nature,” Haupt explained. “ADHD, childhood obesity, and a lack of creativity are just a few examples.”

Master Naturalists


Volunteer Hours Reported



Value to Communities

Throughout our unit, Master Naturalists are providing more and more opportunities for youth to get out in nature, learn more about the natural world, and become excited to help protect the environment. Examples of programming in 2016:

CANTON SCHOOL DISTRICT Lakeland Park, Fulton County 200 fourth graders

DISCOVERY DAY Mason County 136 third graders

RIVER WATCH 4-H SPIN CLUB Coal Creek, Mason County 10 members

TREWYN SCHOOL NATURE 4-H CLUB Peoria County 37 members

HOMESCHOOL NATURE CLUB Peoria & Tazewell Counties 15 youth


Master Naturalist Roberta Clifton helped lead the River Watch 4-H SPIN Club in Mason County. The club learned how to monitor water quality of Coal Creek during 2016. The program is designed to focus on monitoring the physical, biological, and chemical qualities of the stream. They worked with National Great Rivers Research and Education Center in Alton, Illinois to complete the research.


Unit Honored with Trees Forever Partner Award University of Illinois Extension FultonMason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit was one of the Partner Award winners at Trees Forever’s Annual Celebration and Awards Dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, this past June. “They are wonderful partners to work with and are willing to help whenever needed, whether forming connections between city officials and other groups, or when putting trees in the ground,” Trees Forever Program Manager Debbie Fluegel said. The recognition goes to the unit horticulture and natural resources team including Rhonda Ferree, Julia Pryor, Jason Haupt, Christine Belless, along with all of the support staff. The Extension staff would also share the honor with all of the unit Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists. Specific programs mentioned recognition included: Tree inventory and plantings in Washington, Illinois Tree damage education Tree planting to strengthen Riverfront Park’s floodplain




“In addition to promoting environmental stewardship and providing volunteers opportunities to get involved, the Extension staff leads by example, whether getting dirty planting trees or helping volunteers identify species for a street tree inventory.” DEBBIE FLUEGEL Trees Forever Program Manager

Ferree Member of Horticulture Team Award Rhonda Ferree, horticulture educator, was one of nine educators recognized with the Interdisciplinary State Team Award at U of I Extension Annual Conference. The team worked together to address garden biodiversity with a free webinar series called “The Good, the Bad and the Lovely Plants.” Using distance technology, the team was able to offer webinars to a state-wide audience covering the topics: invasive qualities of common landscape plants control strategies native landscape alternatives the benefits of native plants to pollinators Ferree taught a portion of the series addressing the control recommendations of common invasive plants. Due to this program, participants have started making positive changes that not only benefit their personal properties today, but will also enhance the environment of future generations.

Trees Forever honors partnership with Extension.

Ferree was also recognized for 25 years of service to University of Illinois Extension. FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL 2016 ANNUAL REPORT 21

Staff Directory Serving Fulton, Mason, Peoria, & Tazewell Counties Leadership

Office Support

Sheila Bolliger Office Support

Earl Allen County Director

Becky Campbell Office Support

Paula Lane Office Support


Angie Sassine Office Support

Julann Schierer Office Support

Community Econ. Dev.

Debbie Shelby Office Support

4-H Youth Development

Kathie Brown Educator CED

Cathy Ludolph Coordinator 4-H

Anita Wilkinson Coordinator Communications

Patti Downs Extra Help

Joli Pierson Coordinator 4-H

Judy Schmidt Educator 4-H -Metro

Janis Blout Coordinator 4-H

Katharine Girone Coordinator 4-H

Holly Koch Coordinator 4-H

Julia Hardy Summer Help 4-H

Katelyn Pruitt Summer Help 4-H

Kate Taylor Summer Help 4-H

Christine Belless Coordinator Master Naturalist

Jason Haupt Educator Natural Resources

Natural Resources


Rhonda Ferree Educator Horticulture FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL 22 2016 ANNUAL REPORT

Julia Pryor Coordinator Master Gardener

Nutrition & Wellness

Tara Agama Instructor SNAP-Ed

Nathan Anton Instructor SNAP-Ed

LaNeena Close Instructor EFNEP

Katie Conner Instructor SNAP-Ed

Margaret Cover Educator EFNEP

Jeremy Crull Instructor SNAP-Ed

Debra Donaldson Instructor EFNEP

Petra Eberle Instructor EFNEP

Irene Edwards Instructor EFNEP

Katherine Ellis Instructor SNAP-Ed

Paula Evans Instructor SNAP-Ed

Michell Fombelle Educator SNAP-Ed

Jan Hackman Instructor SNAP-Ed

Angela Jimenez Instructor EFNEP

Mari Lopez Instructor EFNEP

Ronda Mitchell Instructor EFNEP

Kellie Roecker Instructor SNAP-Ed

Cheryl Russell Instructor EFNEP

JoElyn Smith Instructor EFNEP

Kaitlyn Streitmatter

Patty Wiegers Instructor SNAP-Ed

Donna Burke Extra Help

Coordinator SNAP-Ed

Hayley Brienen Summer Help

Matthew Hagaman

Summer Help


Over 8,000 youth are reached in 4-H Youth Development programs.

University of Illinois ~ U.S. Department of Agriculture ~ Local Extension Councils Cooperating University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any program, please contact the county Extension Office. The Illinois Nutrition Education Program is funded by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Š Copyright 2016 University of Illinois Board of Trustees

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.