PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. – Area drinking water is cleaner thanks to young people from WSU Extension Jefferson County 4-H.
Youth in the 4-H Stewardship Program took to the Big Quilcene River watershed recently to haul out thousands of pounds of garbage.
“We found four mattresses, a water heater, a set of new tires, couches, a dryer, TV, microwave, a crib, baby toys and an office chair,” said 14-year old Donnie. “We went down a steep slope and pulled out (those items) and more typical trash like wrappers, glass and old clothes.”
 
Donnie is one of a dozen youth who – along with community volunteers, the U.S. Forest Service, city and county employees – spent Earth Day, April 23, filling 14 pick-up loads of trash.
“The teens involved in the stewardship program gain a greater awareness of water pollution, conservation, timber management and deforestation and succession,” said Sue Hay, Jefferson County 4-H interim youth coordinator. “They have a great work ethic and are discovering friendships with others who care about preserving the area.”
 
Jefferson County 4-H offers two stewardship programs throughout the year. This spring teens are working on clearing noxious weeds, planting native vegetation for elk habitat restoration, pruning overgrown trees and shrubs, and restoring campgrounds.
 
To read more about the 4-H Stewardship Program, visit http://4hstewardship.blogspot.com/