Peter and Cory Hinds work together during a robotics workshop in Anchorage.
Peter and Cory Hinds work together during a robotics workshop in Anchorage.

Volunteers provide the heart and hands for Alaska Extension work

More than 2,000 volunteers further Extension’s work in Alaska every year. They teach gardeners, work with 4-H youth, serve on advisory councils, pull invasive weeds, test pressure canner gauges and more.

4-H relies on more than 1,300 volunteers who offer activities for the nearly 15,000 Alaska youth participants in 4-H camps, clubs and other special events.

4-H volunteers tend to be dedicated. Barbara Hoedel of Kodiak received one of the two top Western region 4-H awards in 2013 for her 34 years as a volunteer. She has served as a project leader, trained new leaders and organized special events ranging from a petting zoo and horse camps to pancake breakfasts and other community events.

Extension’s Master Gardener program also generates many volunteers, who receive 40 hours of training and then provide 40 hours of community service. Many continue beyond the 40 hours.

Jane Baldwin became a Master Gardener in 1999 in Anchorage and hasn’t stopped volunteering. The retiree teaches a variety of classes, including container gardening, organic soils, dealing with slugs and keeping moose at bay. Baldwin remains active with the Anchorage Master Gardeners group and she also helps with Extension’s advanced Master Gardener training.

She stays involved, she said, because of her interest in gardening and a desire to keep on learning. She also takes satisfaction from sharing good garden practices based on research and practical Alaska experience.  “It something that I care about a lot,” she says. 

FYI ...

  • UAF Extension offers a variety of ways to volunteer your time and resources. Read about opportunities to volunteer.
  • By volunteering, you can build your resume and learn new skills. The James W. Matthews Volunteer Leadership Fund supports opportunities for volunteers who wish to participate in Extension workshops, conferences or other educational opportunities. 
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