St. Johns County youth earned honors April 18 when they participated in the Florida State 4-H Forest Ecology Contest at the Austin Cary Forest between Gainesville and Waldo. More than 70 youth, parents, and coaches gathered for this annual test of forest ecology knowledge and skill.
The St. Johns County Intermediate Team, which earned second place, included Caleb Arsenault, Corey Banks, Harrison Keating, and Cayla Smith.
First Place Intermediate Individual was Cayla Smith.
Jeremy Smith, Henry Keating, and Beau Wibbing made up the St. Johns County Senior Team. This team also received second place in the overall contest with Jeremy Smith receiving second place senior individual and Henry Keating receiving third place senior individual.
The St. Johns County Forest Ecology team is led by Senior County Forester Greg Dunn and 4-H Volunteer Leader Wendy Smith.
Groups of contestants from six counties rotated through stations as they identified trees, plants, wildlife, and insect or disease specimens, answered questions about forest ecology and management, measured tree height and wood volume, interpreted map symbols, and followed a compass course. Teams of seniors continued with a Quiz Bowl competition on forest management. Volunteers from the Florida Forest Service, the US Forest Service, and the School of Forest Resources and Conservation were on hand to coordinate stations, answer questions, and teach skills.
Enrollment for the 4-H Youth Development Program takes place each September and is for youth ages 5-18, as of Sept. 1t.Â Anyone interested in enrolling in the St. Johns County 4-H program for the 2014-2015 4-H year may do so by going to http://stjohns.ifas.ufl.edu/4-H.shtml . Caring adults interested in working with youth should contact the St. Johns County 4-H Office (904 209-0430) to learn of the many volunteer opportunities within the 4-H Youth Development Program.