Local highlights

Master Gardener Volunteer Program

Free and open to the public on April 25th Master Gardener Volunteer Program Information Session from 10-11am. Learn about the work done by the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City and how you can become a Master Gardener. 2015 Master Gardener Training begins this fall and applications will be available at this event or can be requested via email or postal mail. For more information contact Cathy Bylinowski, Horticulture Educator, at 816-252-5051 or email bylinowskic@missouri.edu . 

Saving Energy, Saving Money with Free Energy Products for Your Home

As a resident of Jackson County, you are invited to a forthcoming workshop to focus on energy management strategies that can lead to monthly utility cost savings.  Each workshop participant will receive a free kit of energy saving products that can be used in their home to reduce energy loss. Each kit is estimated to be worth approximately $50.00.  During the workshop the products will be explained in detail as to how to best use them.  For example, the kits will include two energy efficient light bulbs that can easily replace more energy wasting lamps.  One of the questions consumers often ask is the anticipated energy savings of incandescent lamps versus compact fluorescents, and LED bulbs? This workshop will answer those questions and more.  

Our energy bills can be a large monthly expense.  Often a significant portion of that energy is wasted due to excessive infiltration, inadequate insulation, and poor product choices.  The good news is there are many strategies that can be implemented inside and outside a home to improve energy efficiency.  Learn more about your options to save home energy and reduce monthly utility costs.  For details on forthcoming workshops contact Marsha Alexander, Urban West Region Housing and Environmental Design Specialist at alexanderm@missouri.edu or 816-482-5850.  

Small Business and Technology Development Center Opens in Blue Springs

The new Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) housed within MU Extension offices in Blue Springs provides new and existing businesses a wide variety of free one-on-one business counseling and free or subsidized training programs. Jeff Samborski was recently hired as Jackson County Extension’s first Business Development Specialist and will coordinate the local SBTDC. Samborski brings over 25 years of economic development and business management experience. A listing of upcoming workshops co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and University of Missouri is below. For more information call Jeff Samborski 816-252-5051 or e-mail: samborskij@missouri.edu.
Family Nutrition Education Programs

The Family Nutrition Education Programs (FNEP) bring the latest nutrition information to low-income Missourians. FNEP helps clients achieve lifelong health and fitness. Paraprofessional nutrition educators work with clients in schools and at agencies. Clients gain skills that pave the way for nutritional well-being and health. Programs include the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the Family Nutrition Program (FNP). For more information on how to receive these FREE programs for youth, teens, adults, and seniors see our staff directory for contact information. http://extension.missouri.edu/fnep/mapregions/UrbanWest.htm

Health Benefits of Tai Chi Exercise

Tai Chi is a slow motion, low-impact exercise that promotes physical and mental health and relaxation. It is practiced as an effective exercise for health through a series of flowing, graceful and gentle postures and movements. The gentle flowing movements contain inner power that can strengthen the body, improve mental relaxation and mobilize joints and muscles. It is especially suitable as a therapy for arthritis because of the slow and gentle movements. Health Benefits of Tai Chi Exercise Article

Eating From the Garden

Eating From the Garden's nutrition and gardening program has reached more than 2,500 Jackson County fourth and fifth graders in the past three years. Assisted by 40 adult volunteers, students plant and maintain outdoor vegetable gardens; taste new foods; and participate in nutrition, plant science and environmental awareness lessons. Last year, the program added chef demonstrations in the classroom and developed an EFTG pilot curriculum for second-grade students. Call the extension center for more information on this program and current activities. http://missourifamilies.org/eatfromgarden/

Nutrition Education Resource Center

Jackson County Extension received a $35,000 grant from the Health Care Foundation of Kansas City to develop a nutrition education center in our new offices in the River Market area.  The new center will allow us to provide hands-on nutrition and food preservation classes to encourage the community to eat healthy and be more active.  It will be a great opportunity for us to partner with the City Market to promote the consumption of local, fresh fruits and vegetables. Karen Elliott