2017 New Hanover County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 23, 2018

I. Executive Summary

The New Hanover County Extension Arboretum and Display Garden provides experiential learning opportunities in addition to being an attractive space for events. Visitor numbers were about the same as in 2016 at slightly under 70,000.

Garden improvements continued during 2017 with the most significant project being the re-design of the Welcome Garden. Private funding of $26,000 from the Friends of the Arboretum, the Cape Fear Garden Club and many individuals supported this effort. The central focus of this garden is a copper pineapple water feature by local artist Andy Cobb.

Support of the commercial landscape industry included seven events offering pesticide, irrigation and landscape contractor continuing education credits which drew over 900 participants. These included the Regional Turf Conference, Pro Day in partnership with Site One Landscapes, Atlantic Irrigation, Triangle Chemical and Cape Fear Community College. Two pesticide schools provided local opportunities for 86 people to acquire pesticide applicator’s licenses. There were also 314 direct consultations regarding insect, disease, weed and/or cultural problems on client properties via electronic mail, telephone, or personal contact.

The third annual Native Plant Festival continued its explosive growth as more than 1500 people attended versus last year’s 800. This is a collaboration between Extension, Cape Fear Audubon, the NC Native Plant Society, New Hanover Public Libraries, Going Green magazine and the Cape Fear Garden Club. Featured prominently in this event is the largely-completed, 3000 square foot Native Plant Garden. About 1/3 of the participants reported a 50% increase in their knowledge of native plants and their use in the landscape.

One hundred ninety-eight (198) certified Master Gardeners donated over 16,000 hours in support of Extension programs and expanded their knowledge with over 2000 hours of continuing education. This represents a value in excess of $400,000 to the community.

The Master Gardener Plant Propagation team grew almost 7000 plants (both native and exotic) that were sold during April’s annual plant sale. Partly because of the increased profit margins realized from these plants, net revenues exceeded $50,000 for the first time since well before the recession of 2007. These dollars support the Consumer Horticulture program both on and off campus.

II. County Background

New Hanover County encompasses the city of Wilmington and the towns of Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Kure Beach and Castle Hayne. Roughly 50% of the total population of about 220,000 lives within the Wilmington city limits. New Hanover is North Carolina’s third smallest county in geographic area at 191 square miles. Population increases of more than 13% annually are expected through 2030.

As might be expected 98% of the population is considered urban with a small rural population in the Castle Hayne area on the north side of the county.

The region’s popularity as a retirement destination is reflected by 22% of the population being over 60 years old.

The local economy continues to improve with unemployment reported at 4.5% compared to 5.3% in 2015. Service businesses tied to housing and commercial building are busy again as projects halted by the recession are moving forward.

Tourism’s economic impact grew modestly in 2013 with a total economic impact of $478 million compared to $460 million in the previous year.

Cooperative Extension’s county budget has remained consistent with slight increases in maintenance and repair and support for temporary positions. Assistance from the Master Gardener Association has allowed changes to the volunteer coordinator and plant clinic support positions moving them from 19 hours to 30 hours weekly.

New Hanover County adopted a strategic plan in 2011. The strategic goals adopted by the county commission to be accomplished by July 1, 2017 include facilitating the creation of 6000 private sector jobs, stimulating $1 billion in private sector investment, reducing juvenile recidivism by 8%, reducing childhood obesity by 8% and adult by 5% and ensuring that 80% of 4 and 5 year olds are adequately prepared to be successful in school.

In response to these goals Cooperative Extension programming in 4-H and, eventually FCS will focus on childhood and adult obesity. Commercial horticulture programming is planned to support entrepreneurship and job creation in professional horticulture services. We will continue to look for ways to better align our programs with these objectives.

The development position funded by the Friends of the Arboretum did not work as planned and was eliminated in October, 2016. Fundraising efforts fell far short of the ambitious $70,000 goal but the organization did manage to balance income and expenses for 2016.

NCSU has graciously agreed to fund a Family and Consumer Science (FCS) position to be shared with Brunswick and Pender Counties which should be filled by March 1, 2017. This educator's focus will be primarily on the more urban population of the three counties.

Collaborative efforts between FCS and 4-H are planned targeting the aforementioned youth overweight/obesity issue. To that end we are working on private funding to support a 4-H Program Assistant to lead these efforts.

Extension's long-term viability in New Hanover County partially depends on development of new office and meeting space. A feasibility study funded through the MGA and FOA will be completed by mid-2017. Assuming reasonable progress we hope to launch a capital campaign to raise the necessary funds in early 2018.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

Producers will increase sales of food locally to more agriculturally aware consumers through market development, producer and consumer education, and new farmer and infrastructure support.
Farmers will increase their capacity to supply product for local food sales through market planning efforts, producer and consumer education, beginning farmer training programs and local market infrastructure development. The fastest growing area of consumer demand in agriculture continues to be organic. Farmers' markets continue to expand as do multiple efforts in local sustainable agriculture. Nationally, "Buy Local, Buy Fresh" movements have emerged in the face of concerns about the risks involved in long distance transportation of industrialized food production. Increasingly, public officials and business leaders see promotion of local farm products as good public policy and local economic development. Additionally, individuals will learn to supplement their current diet by growing their own fruits and vegetables as individuals or as community groups.
Value* Outcome Description
7Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
17Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
25Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
19Number of individuals who learn how to prepare local foods, including through use of home food preservation techniques.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
2Number of new and existing access points for consumers that expand or improve their offering of local fruits and vegetables. Access points include farmers markets, retail stores, school food programs, community gardens, institutions other than schools (e.g. hospitals, universities, etc.), and other systems/access points not noted (e.g. restaurants, etc.).
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Individuals and groups will acquire leadership and decision making capacities needed to guide and actively participate in local and state organizations.
Leadership is important to every level of a community sharing in the creation of wealth and well-being. Youth and adult leaders must be capable of motivating groups to achieve common goals that impact North Carolina families and communities.They will need the confidence and skill to guide and support North Carolina community and state organizations. Citizens participating in the 2007 NC Tomorrow survey denoted the importance of leadership by clearly requesting leadership training (54%), social advising, community advising and technical assistance (45%)from their university system.
Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism.
Youth and adult volunteers in North Carolina contribute thousands of hours each year to strengthen communities and create strong foundations for the future. As these individuals engage in service, they are gaining new skills, generating new programs to serve their communities, building successful organizations, and fostering an ethic of service. Cooperative Extension is poised to support the development of interpersonal skills, leadership experiences, and content knowledge to ensure that citizens are prepared to engage in meaningful service throughout the lifespan. Current research suggests that youth and adult participation positively impacts civic engagement and contributes to the development of leadership capacities. With its presence in every county, Cooperative Extension is uniquely positioned to contribute to building a stronger ethic of service among youth and adults.
Value* Outcome Description
228Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
0Number of youth participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
3Number of adult participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
140Number of hours adult volunteer training conducted
32Number new volunteers recruited
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
15725Increased number of hours contributed by trained adult volunteers
15Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
15Number of adult volunteers recruiting and/or training new volunteers
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways
We are living in a new economy powered by technology, fueled by information and driven by knowledge. Extension programs provide opportunities for youth and adults to improve their level of education and increase their skills that enable them to be competitive in our global society and workforce.
Consumers and communities will enhance the value of plants, animals, and landscapes while conserving valuable natural resources and protecting the environment.
Residential, commercial and public entities will make decisions regarding plant selection, placement and management that will decrease water consumption, preserve and improve water quality, mitigate storm water contaminants, reduce erosion, energy consumption, and greenwaste, expand wildlife habitat, improve real estate value, and improve diet and nutrition of consumers. The horse and "farmer lifestyle" industry will continue to grow and have an increasing impact on North Carolina's economy, while protecting the environment. The NCDA&CS reports that 65,000 horse producers own over 225,000 horses which annually generates over $704 million of gross revenue from training, showing, boarding and breeding establishments in addition to agri-business sales of horse-related products. The total economic impact of the NC green industry is $8.6 billion, involving 151,982 employees, and 120,741 acres of production (Green Industry Council, 2006). North Carolina residential consumers spend $5.9 billion dollars per year on garden and landscape related expenses (Green Industry Council, 2006). For 2007, North Carolina's population is estimated to be 8,968,800 (LINC). The population grew by 1,323,288 (15%), between 1997 and 2007 and it is projected to grow by another 1,330,055 (13%), over the next ten years (LINC). Over 50% of the population now lives in urban areas. Despite evidence of the ecological and financial benefits, environmentally responsible landscaping strategies are not being implemented widely. Renovating a landscape to incorporate water conserving strategies may result in using 36% less water. Urban water run-off accounts for the majority of water pollution, mostly pesticides and fertilizers, that does not come from a specific industrial source. Selection of well-adapted plants, effective pest management, and appropriate care and feeding of plants will greatly reduce dependence on fertilizers and pesticides. Rain water that is not absorbed by the soil becomes erosive storm water runoff, which transports pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides, sediment, motor oil, litter, and animal waste to local streams and rivers. Landscape designs will include rain gardens and other runoff catchment facilities (underground cisterns, etc.) that are attractive and easy to maintain in residential areas. Homeowners will learn that proper plant selection and placement can reduce winter heating bills by as much as 15% and summer cooling bills by as much as 50 percent, while reducing the need to prune over-sized plants. Wild habitat areas are rapidly being converted into housing and commercial properties, displacing native plants and animals. Choosing native or adapted plants that provide food and shelter creates a haven for butterflies, birds, lizards, and other animals. Edible landscaping can increase the amount and expand the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed.
Value* Outcome Description
14132Number of participants improving knowledge, attitude, skills and aspirations regarding gardening and landscape practices including plant selection and placement, turfgrass management, soil management, growing food, water conservation and water quality preservation, storm water and erosion management, green waste management, pest and wildlife management
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
11198Number of participants who use extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease) management, fertility management, water conservation, water quality preservation and pruning techniques
237250Total cost savings from the use of extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease) management, fertility management, water conservation, water quality preservation and pruning techniques
631Number of participants who use extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
52710Cost savings from using extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
4497Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
918275Cost savings from the appropriate selection of landscape plants
851Number of participants growing food for home consumption
13175Value of produce grown for home consumption
388Number of participants adopting composting
6Reduced tonnage of greenwaste as a result of Extension-recommended practices including composting and proper plant selection
1258Number of participants implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualty
55615Costs savings from implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualtiy
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases.
Many North Carolinians are affected by chronic disease and conditions that compromise their quality of life and well-being. Heart disease, stroke and cancer continue to be leading causes of death in our state. In addition, obesity and obesity related chronic diseases such as diabetes continue to rise at alarming rates. Healthy eating and physical activity are critical to achieve optimal health. Many North Carolinians have diets that are too high in calories and too low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Portion sizes, foods eaten away-from-home and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages continue to rise. In addition, most North Carolinians do not engage in regular physical activity. The prevalence of overweight and obesity has nearly doubled in the past 10 years. If the trend of overweight is not slowed, it will eliminate the progress we have made in reducing the burden of weigh-related chronic disease. One in every three US children born after 2000 will become diabetic unless many more people start eating less and exercising more. The cost of obesity in North Carolina in health care costs alone is over 2 billion dollars. There are many proposed reasons for the obesity epidemic, however unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are widely recognizes as primary contributors to the problem. Those who make healthy food choices and are physically active are more likely to achieve and maintain a healthy weight as well reduce chronic diseases. Ultimately, this will lead to reduction in health care costs, increased longevity, greater productivity and improved quality of life.
Value* Impact Description
87Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
84Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
54Number of participants increasing their physical activity
38Number of participants who consume less sodium in their diet
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 38,098
Non face-to-face** 9,964
Total by Extension staff in 2017 48,062
* Face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make directly with individuals through one-on-one visits, meetings, and other activities where staff members work directly with individuals.
** Non face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make indirectly with individuals by telephone, email, newsletters, news articles, radio, television, and other means.

V. Designated Grants Received by Extension

Type of GrantAmount
Contracts/Grants $0.00
Gifts/Donations $48,275.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $4,780.00
Total $53,055.00

VI. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 24.14
4-H: 160 733 2,048 $ 17,695.00
Advisory Leadership System: 101 394 525 $ 9,511.00
Extension Community Association: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Master Gardener: 1,516 16,249 6,282 $ 392,251.00
Other: 3 9 210 $ 217.00
Total: 1780 17385 9065 $ 419,674.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

New Hanover County Cooperative Extension Advisory Council
Angela Keith
John Ranalli
Paul Masten
Andy Mills
Charles Mincey
Nathan Bales
Robert Murray
Zachary Rudisin
Sheri Ricks
David Bridgers
Chet Stukes
Virginia Teachey
4-H Advisory Council
Liz Sharpe
Kimberley Cheatham
Ralph Mead
Tina Sharpe
Melissa Hight
John Lenfestey
Donna Haucke
Anna Vancina
Mary Bass
Joe Boyd
Jess Boyd
Brad Shepard
Consumer Horticulture Advisory Committee
Roberta Quarton
Fran Hoag
Jeannie Lister
Judy Howard
Valerie Disanti
Russ Wilbur
Virginia Teachey
Brenda Husemann
David Brenner
Jon Wooten
Jay Denmark
Jon Wooten
Sherrel Bunn

Ability Garden Advisory Council
Mary Ares
Karen Root
Sammy Dorsey
Chrissy Gonthier
Johnny Johnson
Lorraine Perry
Nancy Pritchett
Denise Miller
Laura Jennings
Candy Ashton
Alissa Brainard
Caroline Butts
Ronna Zimmer
Nicolle Nicolle
Heather Kelejian
Ruth Finch
Bill Coleman
Friends of the Arboretum
Betty Arlant
Kathy Gaskill
Alice Canup
Carolyn Thomas
Ken Carter
Donna Hurdle
Lise Bradley
Marie Warren
Karen Root
Pamela Siegel

VIII. Staff Membership

Al Hight
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (910) 798-7666
Email: al_hight@ncsu.edu

Susan Brown
Title: Extension Agent, Consumer Horticulture
Phone: (910) 798-7674
Email: susan_brown@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Consumer Horticulture

Bill Carapezza
Title: County Extension Technician, Horticulture, Operations Support Staff
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: wjcarape@ncsu.edu

Danyce Dicks
Title: County Extension Support Specialist
Phone: (910) 798-7662
Email: danyce_dicks@ncsu.edu

J. Scott Enroughty
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: scott_enroughty@ncsu.edu

Mike Frinsko
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (252) 448-9621
Email: mike_frinsko@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide technical training and assistance to commercial aquaculture producers in the Southeast Extension District

Marissa Herchler
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Animal Food Safety (FSMA Programs)
Phone: (919) 515-5396
Email: marissa_herchler@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Marissa is an Area Specialized Agent for animal food safety, with emphasis on the new Food Safety Modernization Act rules, as they apply to feed mills in North Carolina. Please contact Marissa with any FSMA related questions, or PCQI training inquiries.

Roben Jarrett
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant, Agriculture - Commercial Horticulture
Phone: (910) 798-7671
Email: roben_jarrett@ncsu.edu

Lynette Johnston
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-0303
Email: lynette_johnston@ncsu.edu

Heather Kelejian
Title: Ability Garden Program Director
Phone: (910) 798-7682
Email: heather_kelejian@ncsu.edu

Colby Lambert
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Forestry
Phone: (910) 814-6041
Email: colby_lambert@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities and technical support to forest landowners, agents, and forest industry in eastern North Carolina.

Danny Lauderdale
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Nursery and Greenhouse, Eastern Region
Phone: (252) 237-0111
Email: danny_lauderdale@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides programming to commercial ornamental nursery and greenhouse producers in eastern North Carolina.

Bill Lord
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Water Resources
Phone: (919) 496-3344
Email: william_lord@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Water quality education and technical assistance

Stephanie McDonald-Murray
Title: Regional Nutrition Extension Associate - Southeast EFNEP and SNAP-Ed
Phone: (910) 296-2143
Email: stephanie_mcdonald@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Job Description: Provides programmatic supervision to the EFNEP program in the South East District.

Rachel McDowell
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer & Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9155
Email: romcdowe@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Support FCS Agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders in NC.

Morgan McKnight
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: morgan_mcknight@ncsu.edu

Amy Mead
Title: Program Associate, Volunteer Coordinator
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: afmead@ncsu.edu

Angela Pearsall
Title: Horticulture Program Assistant
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: apearsa@ncsu.edu

Marge Porrazzo
Title: Receptionist, Cooperative Extension
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: marge_porrazzo@ncsu.edu

Diana Rashash
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Water Quality/Waste Management
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: diana_rashash@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Water and wastewater issues of all types: stormwater, aquatic weed ID & control, water quality & quantity, septic systems, animal waste, land application of wastewater, environment & sustainability, climate, etc.

Margaret Ross
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (252) 670-8254
Email: margaret_ross@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Working with commercial poultry producers to assist in writing nutrient management plans and conducting educational programming.

Marianne Schroeder
Title: County Extension Support Specialist - Horticulture, Consumer Horticulture
Phone: (910) 798-7667
Email: mmschroe@ncsu.edu

Chip Simmons
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Food Safety
Phone: (919) 414-5632
Email: odsimmon@ncsu.edu

Allan Thornton
Title: Extension Associate
Phone: (910) 592-7161
Email: allan_thornton@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Vegetable Extension Specialist. Conducts Extension and applied research programs for commercial vegetable and fruit growers and agents in eastern North Carolina.

Mitch Woodward
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Watersheds and Water Quality
Phone: (919) 250-1112
Email: mdwoodwa@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: NC Cooperative Extension's Goals include: - NC's natural resources and environmental quality will be protected, conserved and enhanced. - NC will have profitable, environmentally sustainable plant, animal and food systems. Protecting our environmental resources, particularly drinking water quality, is a top priority in NC. NC Cooperative Extension is a leader in teaching, researching, and accelerating the adoption of effective water quality protection practices.

IX. Contact Information

New Hanover County Center
6206 Oleander Dr
Wilmington, NC 28403

Phone: (910) 798-7660
Fax: (910) 798-7678
URL: http://newhanover.ces.ncsu.edu