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Over spring break, area youth learn about environmental topics

WARRENSBURG - While many of their counterparts were away on vacation during spring break, dozens of area youth were back home involved in the programs of 4-H Environmental Education Week.

The series, offered through Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County, included teaching youth about prevailing ecological initiatives and how the students can personally reduce their impact on the environment.

One of the workshops focused on alternative energy and wind power. The students who attended created their own miniature wind turbines with materials provided by Cooperative Extension. The participants tested the output of the wind turbines and learned how commercial turbines have a growing presence internationally in the production of electricity with a minimal impact on the environment.

Also during the week, eighteen students from Warren, Saratoga, and Washington Counties enjoyed a three-part geocaching odyssey that started at the bandstand in downtown Warrensburg and ended on the shores of Echo Lake. For some of the participants on this excursion to find a cache, this was their first introduction to the concept of using latitude and longitude coordinates on a Global Positioning System device. Youth participating in this event ranged from 5 to 17 years of age, and program mentors said this week that all were enthusiastic to find the hidden treasures.

Midweek during the Spring break, children from the region attended a presentation at the Warren County Fish Hatchery. Touring the facilities, the group learned about the different species of local fish, fisheries management, and the important role of fish in the ecology of local streams and rivers. During the tour, some of the students attended an orientation for the Adirondack 4-H Guide Program.

Also during the week, students attended a workshop that focused on the small changes people can make to reduce their negative impact on the environment. Children attending this workshop created their own reusable shopping bags for their family's use. For some of the participants, it was their first time using a sewing machine - and they learned basic sewing skills, Cooperative Extension representatives said.

Those with questions about upcoming 4-H programs are encouraged to contact Martina Yngente or John Bowe at Cornell Cooperative Extension at 668-4881.

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