2011 Sussex Master Gardener helpline is open, ready to answer garden questions

For Mary Perkins, spring begins volunteering at the Helpline. In 2010 Sussex County Master Gardeners volunteered more than 5,600 hours to the community.

The Sussex County Master Gardeners are pleased to announce the opening of their Garden Helpline for the 2011 gardening season. The Helpline is a free and valuable gardening resource for the residents of Sussex County. Master Gardeners are able to provide information and help on a wide variety of gardening topics including:  lawns, vegetable gardens, perennial gardens, shrubs and insects.

The Helpline will be open from April 15, 2011 through October 15, 2011.  Master Gardeners will be manning the phones from 10:00 a.m. –Noon and 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Call 302-856-2585, extension 535, to speak with a Master Gardener or leave a message.  A Master Gardener will respond to your questions as quickly as possible.

Master Gardeners are working volunteers and are supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Extension offices. It is Delaware Cooperative Extension’s policy that that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran or handicap status.

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Delaware youth attend 4-H National Conference, meet their representatives

During the first week in April, more than 200 delegates from across the country attended the 2011 National 4-H Conference held at the National 4-H Headquarters in Chevy Chase, Md. Delaware 4-H was proud to send an outstanding delegation of eight youth leaders to this event.

Delegates took time to soak in the sights and sounds of our nation’s capital as the gorgeous blooms of spring enveloped the city and surrounding areas. Workshops and seminars focused on a variety of topics important in the lives of our teens today such as bullying, distracted driving and healthy living. Opportunities were also made available for delegates to meet and hear leading public officials in government like USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Education Secretary Arnie Duncan.

In addition, Delaware 4-H teens were able to connect with members of their Congressional delegation in their Capitol Hill offices as they met with U.S. Sen. Christopher A. Coons and U.S. Rep.  John Carney. Both members of Congress took time out of their busy schedules to answer questions and share insights on their experiences representing the people of Delaware in our nation’s capital.

Funding to attend National 4-H Conference is provided annually thanks to generous contributions from the Delaware 4-H Foundation. All of us in the Delaware 4-H family thank the Foundation for their tremendous support.

The 4-H youth attending were: Jackie Arpie – Sussex County, Haley Gerardi- Kent County, Melanie Jackson-Kent, Seth Kurz – New Castle County, Mary Catherine Lagano-Sussex, Renee Moore-New Castle, Hunter Murray- Sussex, and Bree Wilkins- Kent.

4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. It is supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and Delaware State University. Click here for more 4-H National Conference photos.



SEDAC and University of Delaware Host Economic Gardening Network on May 5

Are you interested in seeing Sussex County business and job creation grow? Are you involved in economic development issues affecting southern Delaware communities?

Then join the University of Delaware Coastal Community Initiative and Sussex Economic Development Action Committee (SEDAC) for a combined networking and workshop featuring the special presentation “Economic Gardening” by Christine Hamilton Pennell, president of economic development consulting and training firm Growing Local Economies.

The event will be held Thursday, May 5, 2011 at the Cordrey Center, 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Free to attend, this special network-shop is a perfect opportunity to mingle with area business people and economic development officials, as well as receive interactive training to help you grow business in your community.

Christine Hamilton Pennell has a long history of community economic development, formerly as Economic Intelligence Specialist for Littleton, Colorado and currently provided training and consulting to both national and international community and business groups. She will discuss the concept of Economic Gardening, an entrepreneurial approach to business growth utilizing information, infrastructure and strategic connections to foster local entrepreneurial development. The network-shop will include opportunities for attendees to have direct participation and interaction to provide enhanced take-away knowledge.

The May 5 network-shop is also an opportunity to meet SEDAC board members and learn more about upcoming events and offerings developed by this dynamic group. Formed in 2008, SEDAC is a coalition of southern Delaware’s business, government and education leaders focused on creating resources and programs to support self-sustaining, long-term economic growth in Sussex County. A 501(c)(3) corporation, SEDAC provides an intersection of public policy and private commerce to foster job and wealth creation for Sussex County.

There is no charge to attend the Economic Gardening network-shop, but pre-registration is required.  Light refreshments and beverages will be available. To learn more information, contact Michele Walfred at the University of Delaware Coastal Community Initiative, or call her at (302) 856-2585 x 550.  Or register here!