CONNECTING INSTITUTIONAL SERVICES AND ADMINISTRATIVE GOALS: THE SYNERGY OF COOPERATIVE EXTENSION
Environmental and Resource Management Agent
Rutgers Cooperative Extension
The mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is to serve and honor the men and women who are America’s veterans. VA centers around the country offer a wide variety of services to veterans and their families including medical care, educational opportunities, job placement, and financial assistance. As federal facilities, VA sites are required to develop and implement stormwater management and abatement plans. Rutgers Cooperative Extension linked a sustainable landscape training program for unemployed veterans to the stormwater management plan of the East Orange (NJ) Veterans Affairs Hospital. This educational program provided job training for veterans and contributed to the administration’s goal of becoming a more “green” and sustainable facility. The landscape training program met twice a week for an in-class lecture and subsequent hands-on training sessions reinforced the techniques introduced by those lectures. The veterans gained knowledge and field experience by improving the stormwater management on the site’s 30-acre campus. The stormwater management techniques installed by the program’s participants have lead to approximately 75,750 gallons of stormwater per year being retained on site and the demand for drinking water has been reduced by 18,000 gallons per year. The therapeutic value of gardening has long been established, and veterans were able to enjoy these benefits (relaxation, exercise, etc.) while the facility became more environmentally-sustainable through stormwater management improvements. The connection between the training program and the VA’s institutional goals of reduced stormwater runoff resulted in higher visibility and support for the training program.
Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC
This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.
A poster file has not been provided
Authors: A.A. Rowe, J. Zientek
Rowe, A. Environmental and Resource Management Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, New Jersey, 07068
Zientek, J. Senior Program Coordinator, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, New Jersey, 07068