Published on 06/13/18

Annual 4-H camp educates children about the importance of water conservation in agriculture

By Lydia Connell

4-H20 camp, sponsored by the University of Georgia, educates south Georgia 4-H’ers about the importance of water conservation in agriculture.

The three-day camp, held June 5-7, attracted 4-H members from Georgia’s Baker, Calhoun, Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dougherty, Mitchell, Randolph, Sumter and Terrell counties.

On Tuesday, the camp started at Gin Creek Plantation in Hartsfield, Georgia, where campers received tips on watering food gardens, studied Gulf Coast creatures and learned about the weather from meteorologist Kerri Copello, who’s based at WFXL in Albany, Georgia.

“Our goal is to help our 4-H kids gain a better understanding of how important water is to us as humans, to our crops, to our other plants and to animals. A lot of those animals are critters that live in the lakes, rivers or streams,” said Calvin Perry, superintendent of the C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park (SIRP).

The 128 campers visited SIRP in Camilla, Georgia, on the second day of the camp. SIRP is a research station where UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences researchers study water’s impact on different agricultural crops. 

Emily Braswell, a graduate student studying with UGA Cooperative Extension irrigation specialist Wes Porter on the UGA Tifton campus, taught the students about healthier, more beneficial ways for plants to receive water. At the end of her presentation, the 4-H’ers briefly escaped the south Georgia gnats and heat by running under water sprayed from irrigation pivots.

“Teaching kids about irrigation is fun and educational because it helps them understand the value of water in the growth of plants or any living organism,” said Braswell, who was one of six presenters during the second day of camp. “It’s also refreshing for these 4-H’ers to get cooled off.”

The camp concluded Thursday at Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, Georgia.

The 4-H20 camp began in 2008 as a way to teach kids about using water wisely while in a fun, enjoyable environment.

Learn more about the research conducted at SIRP at

(Lydia Connell is a Young Scholar at UGA-Tifton.) 

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