Community Roots - a Camas Future Homemakers of America
(FHA) Community Service Chapter Project
|Introduction by Camas County FHA Advisor, Tracy Dalin
Members: Bridget Dalin, Angie Pridmore, Brianna Kevan, Ashley Dalin, and Maggi Bennett
The Camas FHA chapter planned and implemented a Community Service Chapter Project. This project was entitled Community Roots. Community Roots was an in-depth goal which encompassed the high school science program and teacher Pete Ridder, the grade school, community members, Forest Service, BLM, US Department of Interior, a national project called Aurora, and technology company, Mountain Visions.
The chapter competed at the district level and won a top gold award allowing them to advance to the State Competition in Boise. The state competition was held in Boise on April 2-4. There were over 250 contestants and only the top winner in each of the 11 categories is allowed to advance to the National Leadership Council which will be held in New Orleans this year in July. The competition consists of specific rules which include a display and an oral presentation. The Camas FHA chapter service project was picked as the top gold winner for the state of Idaho and are very excited about the honor and the opportunity to compete at the national level.
Community Roots was also named as the winner in a state competition for community awareness and service. This is picked from all the chapters in the state. Camas was named as the Idaho State Winner for Community Service. This is additional and separate competition and it also advances to the national level.
This is a wonderful honor and opportunity for these girls and for a small school such as Camas County. A great deal of time and effort was spent by everyone involved. Enclosed is a copy of the girls oral presentation which outlines and demonstrates the steps involved in the process of this project.
Community Roots Project
What do you think of when you see trees? We asked elementary students what they thought and here are some of their answers. Green, Big, Tall, Wood, Swinging, Playhouses.
Actually trees are one of the world's most important natural resources. They are the largest plant known to man. They can be up to 30 stories high. Trees provide shade, beauty, privacy, food, protection from elements and purify our air.
Hi, I am Angie Pridmore, I'm Maggi Bennett, I'm Brianna Kevan, I'm Bridget Dalin, and I am Ashley Dalin. We are members of Camas County FHA. We felt the community should be educated on the important role trees play in our environment.
The problems of our community were evident last spring as Soldier Creek overflowed its banks causing several local homes to flood. Watching families cope with this event and reading of the creeks destruction in our local news caused us to wonder how we could help. Our local chapter discussed the events and decided we could be of service to local families and our community.
The damage done to the river banks and their riparian areas were a large concern to the community. Community Roots met with the mayor and members of the forest service who helped us establish our goals. They suggested several projects that we could do to help. Our main goal was to educate the community about the value of trees in the environment.
We used the FHA Planning Process throughout our project. It gave us direction and helped us stay on track. Our consumer sciences were also a guide for us. They showed us how we, as individuals relate to our family and community, think beyond ourselves, and consider how our actions effects others. A tree planted today helps for the betterment of tomorrow.
Dr. Jack Williams, Sr. Aquatic ecologist for the U/S. Department of Interior contacted our school asking for volunteers to help in a tree restoration project in Camas County. This project coincided with our existing plans so we volunteered. The project involved working with the Bureau of Land Management to plan and implement a flood and restoration plan along the creek through Camas County. To begin this project, members of FHA, other school members, and ecologists from Boise drove to Camas Creek on Soldier Mountain where the ecologist show us how to cut and root cottonwood branches. We cut and rooted 130 branches then took them to Spring Creek Ranch, east of town, where we buried the large pots in a trench to protect them from the winter weather. We will care for them during the summer months and transplant them in the fall along various creeks in Camas. They will help preserve the bank along the creeks, aiding in flood and erosion control.
Dr. Williams was pleased with our chapter and its efforts and wanted to involve us in a National Project called Project Aurora which teaches and demonstrates the value and proper management of stream systems and their riparian areas in the West and is all on a CD-ROM. Mountain Visions of Boise produced this CD-ROM and will give a demonstration to our school in April. Our FHA chapter assistance will be shown in the CD-ROM which will be distributed nationwide.
We wanted to get our school, local and state governments, and the entire community involved in learning how to plant, grow and manage trees throughout the year. We talked to the City Council about the guidelines of becoming a City of Trees. One of the requirements was to make a tree selection and care booklet. We talked to Linda Reis, an ecologist for the Forest Service who gave us the information needed to compile this booklet. We entitled it Fairfield's Community Roots. We made copies available for anyone who wants one in the community. It lists all trees that will thrive in our mountain climate as well as tips for site selection and planting guidelines. Each tree is described, the growth conditions are listed, as well as advantages of the tree and its limitations. This booklet is very beneficial to our community and put us one step closer to becoming a City of Trees.
Community Roots also took action by writing and receiving a grant from Deft, Inc. worth $1000 to plant trees along our Main Street. We attended the City Tree and Sidewalk Committee meetings to discuss the location of the trees to be planted in Fairfield. We picked out the types of trees we wanted to plant and went on a walk with Ms. Reis to look at the other types of trees in the area. Ms. Reis is also teaching us the special requirements in planting and caring for trees.
We gave a presentation at our elementary school, grades k-4th and informed the youth of the significance of trees and told them about our FHA project. To grab the kids attention, we put on a skit where Angie played the role of Leafy the Tree and inform little kids, Brianna, Maggi, Bridget and Ashley about the importance of trees. We designed a coloring contest to increase the interest and education of these students. We chose one first place winner from each class and awarded all the kids who participated. We did our presentation during National FHA Week which also helped us generate more interest in our project. This spring we will initiate a tree planting ceremony at the Elementary School. The youth will learn first-hand about planting a tree and caring for them.
To help educate the community about trees and their role in our environment we placed a weekly "Tree Tip" in our local newspaper. They had information on topics such as pruning, tree selection, winter care, watering, etc. Not only has the community benefited from our project, but we have learned a great deal about trees and our environment also.
As a fund raiser, we are selling trees supplied from the University of Idaho. Our tree guide allowed us to choose five trees that we knew grew well in our environment. We are also offering to plant them for those who need help.
We are also in the process of writing another grant to help our school build a greenhouse where other students will continue our project of creek restoration and beautifying our city. The greenhouse will be used by the science and Ag classes as well as the FHA, FFA, and 4-H organizations.
A big part of our project is the follow up. We feel Community Roots has increased the awareness of the role trees play in our environment and will make a difference in the future. We will continue to help our city become a City of Trees and help in any way possible. Our restoration project will continue for years and we will help with a yearly evaluation on the growth and benefits.
This project also reflected the purpose and mission of FHA/HERO : learning to live better today in order that our lives and those of our families may be better tomorrow. We encourage people to put down their roots, get involved and plant a tree and with the help of our FHA skills and the support our community we were able to make Community Roots a Treemendous success!
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