1. Published

    Art and nature go hand-in-hand for Extension Master Naturalist and artist Peggy West. She uses her skills and expertise to educate and advocate for critical issues of the environment.

  2. Published

    Healthy living is more than just what we eat and drink. Thanks to partnerships, University of Illinois Extension Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—Education staff in Tazewell County enhanced their standard curriculum with additional hands-on activities and gifts for the youth and adult participants.

    Container Gardening

  3. Published

    Youth and adults from Peoria County worked together on a unique community service project that they and others will watch grow for many years and will benefit generations to come.

  4. Published

    Food is a big part of our lives. It can be part of who we are, where we came from, and how we express ourselves. This is especially true when it comes to food and the holidays.

  5. Published

    What do you want to be when you grow up?

    This is a question we start asking young people almost as soon as they can talk. And it’s an important question. At its most fundamental level, the question is asking about a young person’s goals – but the conversation should not end here.

  6. Published

    “Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching.” - Kirill Korshikov.

  7. Published

    Kristi Smith has been part of the 4-H program long before becoming the Peoria 4-H program coordinator. She spent ten years involved as a member of the Laura Winners 4-H club and then during her teen years 4-H Federation. Upon her graduation from 4-H, she immediately became a volunteer as the 4-H Livestock Judging coach in Peoria County. Now, she is excited to join the 4-H team at University of Illinois Extension.

  8. Published

    To be selected for a state 4-H scholarship is quite an honor, as the competition is steep. University of Illinois Extension, Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit is proud to announce that four local 4-H members were selected to receive $1,000 career achievement scholarships as well as one 4-H Sustaining the Future Award.

    Local career achievement scholarship winners include:

  9. Published

    For a few years, new volunteers had the choice to complete the 60-hour Extension Master Gardener training in one of two ways: a face-to-face class or individually online.

  10. Published

    Afterschool programs have been a reliable source of support to young people and families who are balancing remote school or work, dealing with the health and economic stressors created by the pandemic, and managing the toll that COVID-19 is taking on their mental health and overall well-being (Afterschool Alliance, 2021).

  11. Published

    Food pantries serve as an invaluable asset in the community, providing both food and essential household and hygiene products to families in need. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church food pantry in Peoria looked to University of Illinois Extension’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—Education (SNAP-Ed) for expert advice implementing new systems and policies within their food pantry to better ensure nutritious food is offered and pantry guests’ needs are met.

  12. Published

    Volunteer efforts can lead University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalists (EMN) on some fun adventures. Sometimes those adventures are as close as their backyard. Citizen Science programs have given EMNs serving in Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties opportunities to use their skills and knowledge to impact their communities and beyond.

  13. Published

    Everywhere you turn in the 4-H Learning Garden at Wildlife Prairie Park there is something inspiring to see and new to learn. The 4-H Learning Garden is a colorful and productive garden that grows food for the park’s animals while serving as a demonstration and learning tool. University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners (EMG) lead a 4-H special interest club at the park that focuses on gardening and art lessons.

  14. Published

    The success of a program starts with the instructor who delivers it. University of Illinois Extension has recently hired two new Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) instructors who are sure to lead successful programs in the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell unit. Kaytlin Beekman and Elexus Hampton joined the local SNAP-Ed team this fall.

  15. Published

    The Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports program relies heavily on adult volunteers to take the lead in teaching the disciplines and management of the local clubs. It is the volunteers who ultimately make the county program successful. Mason County 4-H Shooting Sports archery instructor Ted Snider is an instrumental part of the team that makes it an outstanding program.

  16. Published

    There are some things that you can’t learn from a book or in school. You need to experience it firsthand to understand the full scope, and farming is one of those things. For the past nine years, Peoria County’s Neighbor Kids Dairy 4-H Special Interest (SPIN) club has taught youth of all ages life skills such as work ethics, responsibility, safety awareness, communication, problem solving, caring for others as well as a better understanding of the agriculture industry and where our food comes from.

  17. Published

    Take a moment and think about an adult who was influential in your life when you were young. What did they do that made a difference to you? Chances are, their actions constituted a developmental relationship, though they probably didn’t know this at the time.

  18. Published

    There is no better place to learn more about gardening than in the garden.

  19. Published

    From the perspective of University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalists, the new prairie project at the Peoria County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) is an excellent way to increase native plant and pollinator populations. To the JDC administrators, the project is an excellent way to save a lot of money and time mowing grass. Both reasons are making a positive impact in the community.

  20. Published

    When your grocery shopping is limited to food pantry selections, eating healthy can be a challenge. A local coalition, Healthy Eating Active Living– Food System Partners (HEAL-FSP), understands the need for additional healthy food options within the charitable food system.