Author: Ivette Lopez

2022 Long Island Sound Research Conference Announced

  • Clean waters and healthy watershed
  • Thriving habitats and abundant wildlife
  • Sustainable and resilient communities
  • Sound science and inclusive management

Deadline for abstract submissions is April 8, 2022. Registration deadline is May 6, 2022.

Download the flier here. Information: syma.ebbin@uconn.edu

Watch for more details!

What is UConn Extension’s People People Empowering People (PEP) Program? #AskUConnExtension

UConn Extension People Empowering People (PEP) opens doors, brings people together, provides training, builds skills, and more for participants to follow their passion and make a difference. On this week’s #AskUConnExtension Showcase meet Sheri Amechi, and learn about her transformative experience and development as a community leader in Meriden, CT.

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UConn Extension’s People Empowering People (UConn PEP) program elevates voices by empowering individuals through community-based parent leadership training. People Empowering People builds on the unique strengths and life experiences of the participants. The program emphasizes the connection between individuals and community action. 

We collaborate with community organizations to offer UConn PEP. Trained facilitators guide participants through 10 educational sessions plus additional weeks for completion of individual or group projects before graduating from the program. Over 3,110 participants have graduated from UConn People Empowering People programs located in three states.

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Meet Sheri Amechi. Sheri Amechi, a 2017 participant in the UConn PEP program, says that her initial involvement with UConn PEP was a catalyst for transformative changes in her life and for her community. From the beginning, her goal to serve on the Meriden Board of Education was a driving force in her personal and professional growth.

Stories like Sheri’s come from our amazing partnering organizations across the state and beyond.

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“When I interviewed for PEP in 2017, I had mentioned that my goal was to run for a seat on the Meriden Board of Education. I had participated in other Parent Leadership programs in the Meriden community prior to UConn PEP. These programs reinforced what I already knew, I wanted to make a difference in my community. Through People Empowering People, I learned valuable lessons in communication, problem-solving, and I improved my leadership skills. These lessons prompted me into taking the step to run for a seat on the Board of Education in Meriden in 2019. Sadly, I was not successful in my attempt to win a seat (losing by 41 votes), but I am determined to run again in 2021. To my excitement and surprise, I was appointed to fulfill a seat on the Board of Education, achieving my goal I set many years ago.”

“After graduating from UConn PEP, I continued my community involvement when I was elected to the Local Advisory Committee of Meriden Children’s First non-profit,” Sheri continues. “From this group I was eventually elected as President of Meriden Children’s First. Currently, I am the Vice President of the organization.”

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Sheri knew what she wanted, set her goals and continued until she achieved her goals. People Empowering People opens doors, brings people together, provides training, builds skills, creates connections, and opportunities for participants to follow their passion and make a difference in their communities.

#DoOneThing theme of 2021 #DontTrashLISound campaign

The Connecticut Sea Grant program, joined by volunteers from Save the Sound, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk and other groups, will launch the fifth annual #DontTrashLISound

campaign with a cleanup at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport on Aug. 16.

This year’s campaign, run by the Connecticut and New York Sea Grant programs with support from the Long Island Sound Study, will run through International Coastal Cleanup Day on Sept. 18. It will consist of cleanup events in both states, social media posts and giveaways of “Protect Our Wildlife” stickers for reusable water bottles and travel mugs.

The theme of this year’s campaign, #DoOneThing, encourages people to take at least one action to reduce litter on streets, parks and beaches before it gets carried into waterways and ultimately Long Island Sound. Social media posts will emphasize positive steps people are taking to address the problem.

“Campaigns like this one help keep people aware of the larger marine debris problem affecting Long Island Sound,” said Nancy Balcom, associate director of Connecticut Sea Grant. “They also help people focus on doable actions that we can all undertake with as much or as little effort as we have time to commit.”

For information on cleanup events, visit: https://www.savethesound.org/2021cleanup/

For information on the #DontTrashLISound campaign and how to obtain “Protect Our Wildlife” stickers, email CT Sea Grant Communications Coordinator Judy Benson at: judy.benson@uconn.edu

Catch Up on the Latest Trail News with the CT Trails Program

bikers and woman walking a dog on a bridgeLast month the Connecticut Trails Extension team launched The Connecticut Trails Blog on the Connecticut Trails Website! This blog will serve as a place where Connecticut Trails faculty, staff, and partners will discuss the things that are important to them, work-related and in the broader, global community. They are very excited to share with you the experiences, stories, and journeys of their team, and we are very excited to read them!

As part of the blog, the Connecticut Trails team will also be featuring a blog series known as My Environmental Story, which will highlight individuals and their reflections as an environmentalist. The aim of this blog series is to emphasize that one’s journey as an environmentalist changes as one learns more about the world around them. It is vital to understand that each person has a unique story that is reflective of their different backgrounds and experiences. We are thrilled to be able to read this series of blogs and we hope you enjoy reading them as well!

While you indulge in their blog posts, please understand that the opinions and words are not those of the University of Connecticut or the Connecticut Trails program as a whole, but of the authors only. If at any time you have questions, concerns, or just want to have a conversation about what is shared, the Connecticut Trails team encourages you to communicate with them through their email: trails@uconn.edu.

Click here to check The Connecticut Trails Blog!

 

UConn Extension Welcomes Dr. Nick Goltz

Nick Goltz was recently hired to direct the UConn Plant Diagnostic Lab. Dr. Goltz moved to Connecticut shortly after graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in Plant Medicine (https://dpm.ifas.ufl.edu). In addition to the plant health experience gained through his degree, Dr. Goltz prepared for this position by working at the UF Plant Diagnostic Center since 2019, and by working at state and federal regulatory laboratories since 2016, performing research to develop biological control options for the management of Megacopta cribrariaAchatina fulica, and Solenopsis invicta. Dr. Goltz has a passion for plant health and integrated pest management and is deeply excited to work with growers and homeowners to find holistic and comprehensive solutions for any plant problem they may be dealing with. He welcomes samples to the lab and notes that additional information and sample submission instructions may be found at https://plant.lab.uconn.edu

Nick Goltz

Urban Farmer Trainings in Hartford

Urban Farmers and Hartford area Friends!   

Get ready for Urban Farmer Trainings in Hartford!

 
August 21st and August 28th
At Keney Park Sustainability Project and KNOX Inc
9:00am to 4:00pm
Join the I Got Next Farmers (Lauren Little Edutainment, Samad Garden Initiative, Micro2Life and Derrick Bedward) as they cover topics such as 
  • Community Farming
  • Soil & Plant Health
  • Seed Saving & Plant Genetics
  • Regenerative Soil Amendments
  • Methods of Indoor
  • Soil-less Growing
  • Micro-green Growing
    Register here: s.uconn.edu/urbanfarmerhartford by August 14th to claim your spot!!
    Micro-green Growing

    COVID-19 Vaccine Resources – #AskUConnExtension

    For this week’s #AskUConnExtension Showcase, let’s do our part in keeping our community safe—get vaccinated today.

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    Text: From UConn Extension, let’s all do our part to protect those we care about most. Visit the resources below to learn more about vaccine safety in our community:
    wecandothis.hhs.gov/
    pages.extension.org/excite
    cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19

    Controlling Black Knot – #AskUConnExtension

    black knot on plum and cherry
    Black Knot on black cherry. Photo: Pamm Cooper

    What is Black Knot?

    Black Knot, is a disease commonly found on plums and Prunus species. The fungus causes the plant to produce unusual galls which eventually grow to girdle twigs and branches, restricting water supply and killing portions of the canopy. It is spread to other plants via wind and water.

    Control

    Manage the disease by carefully pruning away the affected tissue. Use sterile pruning tools to make a cut roughly 4 to 6 inches past the lowest point of symptoms on the branch. After cutting the branch, sterilize the tools again by dipping them in a 10% bleach solution (1 part bleach, 9 parts water -> e.g. 1/2 cup bleach, 4 & 1/2 cups water).  You should also spray a bit of this bleach solution on the cut wound on the tree. Repeat this process until all the black growth has been removed. Burn the branches and do not compost them. Prune during dry weather to prevent the spread of the disease. This can be done in the fall and winter if the fruit is still growing on affected branches. The client may need to repeat this process every winter for the rest of the tree’s life or until symptoms no longer appear. 

    More Information

    Black Knot of Plum and Cherry – CAES

    Black Knot Disease of Cherry and Plum – UConn HGEC

    What is a 4-H Escape, and how can I sign up? – #AskUConnExtension

    This week, we put the #AskUConnExtension Showcase spotlight on “4-H Escape,” a UConn 4-H program connecting and teaching students and campers across CT.
    To learn more and start your escape room journey, check out 4-h-escape.extension.uconn.edu
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    Text: This summer, stay connected with 4-H and try your luck at one of their online escape rooms! UConn 4-H is excited to offer “4-H Escape,” a library of virtual escape rooms and puzzles for families and students to enjoy.
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    Text: Escape rooms were first introduced to the program at the Middlesex County 4-H in 2019. Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has made virtual escape room opportunities an extremely important activity for the program, with demand skyrocketing. Marc Cournoyer, a member of the 4-H team, says: “These activities help youth build skills in creative thinking, problem solving and retention of key concepts through the use of gamification. Kids are learning through play.”
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    Text: Escape rooms are not only educational, but they are extremely fun skill-building exercises. Currently, 4-H Escape offers escape rooms in different subjects, such as “The Secret Clover Quest,” “Life on the Farm,” and “Under the Sea.” These activities are available to the public, and are just waiting to be solved!