University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is engaged in Nevada communities, presenting research-based knowledge to address critical community needs in the areas of agriculture; children, youth and families; community and economic development; horticulture; health and nutrition; and natural resources. It is a county-state-federal partnership providing practical education to people, businesses and communities. It is a unit of the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, and plays a vital role in fulfilling the University’s land-grant mission.
New to Nevada, the Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) program was provided for the first time in Washoe County, initially certifying 18 professionals. QWEL is a U.S. EPA approved certification program for landscape irrigation professionals. The Truckee Meadows is in a state of permanent drought, with only occasional wet periods. At the same time, Washoe County is experiencing a period of significant economic growth, with increased demand on water resources expected. Home and commercial landscapes are entirely dependent on irrigation. By helping property owners reduce water waste, newly certified professionals will have a huge impact in ensuring an adequate water supply into the future.
With support from Truckee Meadows Water Authority, information on how to access a database designed to find and hire a QWEL-certified professional will be delivered to more than 400,000 residents of Reno, Sparks and Washoe County in their monthly statement. The Nevada Landscape Association, headquartered in Washoe County, is actively marketing the QWEL training to their membership to ensure an adequate supply of QWEL-certified professionals in the County to meet increased demand.
The SNAP-Ed Programs in Washoe County have a proven track record of positive impact on the healthy behaviors of youth and their families. These programs have created statistically significant changes (p<.001) toward positive behaviors such as increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, decreasing screen time, increasing physical activity to the target of 60 minutes per day, and choosing water over sugary beverages.
Grow Yourself Healthy: 806 (unduplicated) youth participated in direct education and 7058 youth received indirect education through newsletters, fact sheets, and educational flyers. Small Steps 4 Big Changes: 211 (unduplicated) youth participated in direct education and 1023 youth and adults received indirect education through newsletters, fact sheets, and educational flyers. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program: A total of 74 educational flyers were distributed to the participating schools in Washoe County for an estimated reach of 929,329 students/parents/teachers.
4-H Youth Development is the premier youth development program of the land grant university system which empowers youth to become contributing members of society through an experimental learning environment working with engaged adults in full partnership. Youth and volunteers represent diversity and inclusion across the human spectrum.
4-H Youth Development has proven its program merit in Washoe County which is reflected in high praise and status amongst stakeholders in the County.
By the numbers: 250 youth enrolled in clubs facilitated by volunteer leaders, 2868 youth participated in 4-H Special Interest/Short-Term STEM Based Projects, 4107 youth participated in School Enrichment Programs, 6074 youth participated in AfterSchool STEM Based Enrichment Programs, 107 youth participated in Overnight 4-H Camping Programs, 685 youth participated in 4-H Day Camping Programs with a STEM focus and 714 adult volunteers provided direct learning opportunities for youth in Washoe County. Volunteers generally contribute 10 hours per month and per the independent sector the volunteer rate is $24.96/per hour. Using this formula, volunteers saved county resources the equivalent of 2.1 million dollars.
In partnership with the USFS, Regional Cohesive Strategy Coordinators and UNCE, we are developing protocols to help understand the perceived benefits and barriers in adoption and implementation of the National Cohesive Wildfire Strategy. In addition, individuals need tools and resources to develop their capacity, skill and knowledge to undertake collaborative planning projects. UNCE in partnership with agencies are preparing and developing an online Collaborative Tool Kit under a USFS Challenge Cost Share Agreement for people working on Cohesive Strategy Projects as related to Fire Adapted Communities.
Radon, a radioactive gas, is the primary cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers and the secondary cause for smokers. It claims an estimated 21,000 lives a year in the U.S., which is nearly 50 times the number of deaths caused by carbon-monoxide poisoning. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one in 15 homes nationwide has an elevated level of radon, but the ratio for Nevada is one in four homes. Washoe County’s radon potential is more than three times greater than the national average and the highest radon result was found in Reno. To date, at least 12,340 homes in Washoe County have been tested for radon.
The Nevada Radon Education Program staff have personally talked to or emailed more than 2856 people, distributed 2,238 test kits this past year alone and noted 947 homes were tested for the first time. Additionally, 88 homes were mitigated, 11 new homes built with radon-reducing features and 250 homes tested during the home buying process.
Little Books and Little Cooks —Young children learn good eating and health habits early on at home. Helping one child stay healthy can save over $19,000 in estimated lifetime medical cost compared to an obese child. Little Books and Little Cooks increases a parent’s skill in providing more healthy foods and physical activity for their preschoolers, as well as helping children learn basic cooking and school readiness skills. With a grant from Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, and partnering with Washoe County School District, Washoe County Library System, Northern Nevada Literacy Council, and Head Start, we reached 266 English and Spanish-speaking families at 7-week, parent-child workshops and another 1,200 at community health and wellness events.
LIVING WITH FIRE
Wildfires today burn longer, are larger and cause more destruction than wildfires in the past. In Washoe County, wildfires burned 69 acres in 2016, 120 acres in 2017 and 161 acres in the first half of 2018. The Living With Fire Program (LWF) teaches Nevadans how to live more safely in wildfire prone areas. This year, LWF reached 13 Washoe County communities with 12 presentations, distributed 1,048 publications, initiated 2,391 direct contacts, assisted 5 communities, organized 31 Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month events or activities, collaborated on a community presentation event with the City of Reno and Washoe County, and conducted a community workshop. Also in Washoe County, 7 activities received media coverage and an annual conference occurred.
Following the Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities Annual Conference, a majority of the attendees reported they would take some sort of action (i.e. create a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, educate their community, improve defensible space or remove hazardous fuels) as a result of attending.
FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED TRIBAL EXTENSION PROGRAM
Nevada FRTEP took on the educational role of extending to Indian farmers and ranchers, a practical understanding of the many available technical and financial government assistance programs, developed and continued positive relationships with tribal governments and reservation agricultural producers, and worked as on the ground extension teachers/coaches to guide them in utilizing USDA assistance programs.
FISCAL YEAR 2017 - 2018
$2,372,425 - Total Revenue
$1,411,994 - Total Expenses
$901,152 - Total Balance
$1,404,904 - County
$552,259 - Grants
$294,051 - State
$121,211 - Federal
Washoe County Cooperative Extension
4955 Energy Way | Reno, NV 89502
Brad Schultz, Extension Educator
email@example.com | 775-784-4848