Volunteers grow over a ton of food in community gardens


October 5, 2023

County commissioners met Tuesday with Dan Cothren presiding and Lee Tischer and Gene Strong attending online. Several expenditures were approved along with declaring October as domestic violence awareness month. Caroline Backman gave an extensive update on WSU extension projects. These projects included the Master Gardeners that guide the work at the community garden. This includes 25 garden plots for county residents as well as dedicated plots to provide produce to both local food banks. In the last two growing seasons the volunteers grew and donated 2,306 pounds of fruits and vegetables. Denise Doughty, a volunteer, was at the garden Tuesday when state level administrators toured the garden.

“It was great to hear positive feedback about the work we have been doing. When I first started volunteering I knew nothing about gardening and the support from the master gardeners has been wonderful," she said.

The marine resources committee is also supported by the Washington State University extension. In partnership they have repaired the Town of Cathlamet dock, created pathways at County Line Park, presented classes on fish canning, and funded the Wahkiakum Outdoors lecture series. At the high school, the Marine Resources Committee funded fisheries and environmental field studies. Students participated in activities at the Beaver Creek hatchery and in the farm forest near the school. They also were able to take marine science field trips in the Lower Columbia region. Backman stressed that students learn both the business and conservation topics during their classes.

Finally, the extension service, established in 1914, is the power behind the 4-H program. Backman said that this year 4-H has had the largest participation since 2008, and the highest county fair market sale ever, bringing in over $23,000 in sales. The extension provides hands-on learning in robotics and career exploration. Careers in advanced manufacturing, information technology and maritime industries are emphasized.


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