Mecklenburg Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Agent Shares Cooperative Extension at National Conference

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On October 14th to 16th, the City of Charlotte welcomed the premier annual event of park and recreation professionals. The 2014 National Recreation and Park Congress brought together over 7,000 professionals, advocates, volunteers and leaders for enrichment and education. Conference attendees experienced hundreds of educational opportunities and exhibits to enhance their park and recreation departments. Among departments attending, interest in local foods and agriculture was a topic of great interest. Kristin Davis, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent with the Mecklenburg Cooperative Extension Service and Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation, shared strategies for partnering with Cooperative Extension to enhance programs with conference attendees. The presentation entitled, Garden-to-Table: Building a Comprehensive Community Garden Program with Cooperative Extension, provided attendees with strategies for partnering with their local Cooperative Extension program, resources for incorporating food competencies into community gardening programs and techniques for quality program development. The session was attended by nearly 75 conference goers with enthusiasm and zeal for sustainable education. Sessions attendees shared their interests and challenges through an interactive web feedback tool, which provided all in attendance to share ideas simultaneously. Session evaluations indicated overwhelming satisfaction with the information presented. Participants reported that the partnership between NC State Cooperative Extension and Mecklenburg Parks and Recreation is a model worth duplicating throughout the nation.