Wake County Extension Team Travels to Regional Urban Extension Conference
Five members of the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Wake County team traveled to Chattanooga, Tennessee in August to participate in the 2018 Southern & 1890s Urban Extension Conference. Jeana Myers, N.C. Cooperative Extension of Wake County Horticulture Agent, presented a Lightning Talk on the first day, sharing insights from N.C. Cooperative Extension of Wake County’s evolving partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Myers has worked with Habitat since 2014, providing new homeowners with information and training to help them maintain their landscapes, which in turn, helps preserve the value of their homes and surrounding neighborhoods.
The conference also featured keynote speakers, a poster session, breakouts on innovative urban programming, and time for networking. “There aren’t many Extension conferences specifically focused on ‘urban,’” said Kristin Feierabend, Conference Co-Chair and Urban Community Development Extension Agent for Wake County. “We wanted to make sure participants had plenty of time to talk and share ideas with each other.”
“It’s a really great learning opportunity,” said Tangela Keaton, 4-H Program Supervisor for N.C. Cooperative Extension of Wake County. “I served on the planning committee this year and was able to review some of the session proposals that came in—there’s a lot of innovative work happening in the urban areas, and this is an opportunity for Extension staff to showcase that and exchange ideas.”
Over 90 Extension professionals, representing 19 land-grant institutions across the Southeast, attended the conference, which was hosted by the Southern and 1890s Regional Caucuses of National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL). NUEL is a national network of Cooperative Extension professionals whose purpose is to advocate for and advance the strategic importance and long-term value of urban extension activities.
Director of the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Wake County, Katherine Williams, has been an active participant in NUEL for several years and currently serves on NUEL’s Executive Team. In October, she attended the National Extension Directors and Administrators Meeting in Portland, Oregon, where she and other NUEL members presented recommendations to expand Extension’s capacity to effectively serve urban areas across the country. Williams and the rest of the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Wake County team look forward to continuing their engagement with NUEL and strengthening urban extension outcomes at the local, state, and national level.