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Communications > The GrassRoots > Posts > Gopher Tortoise and Falcon Found in Hale County

Yes, a 40-year-old gopher tortoise named Tiny and a falcon named Whisper, as well as a great horned owl, a Eurasian eagle owl, an alligator, a corn snake and a red tailed hawk all visited Hale County. Their visit was part of Hale County's 100 years of 4-H celebration and the Coca Cola Foundation's grant-funded summer program, 4-H Frisbee, Food and Fun's graduation. More than70 students and parents participated in the 4-H Day Camp event held at Lions Park in Greensboro.

A comment from Sean Jones summed up the entire day. Sean said, "I can't wait to tell my parents I touched a snake." All the students were excited to learn about animals they had never seen − not to mention ever touched.

4-H Regional Extension Agent David Perry and County Extension Coordinator Denise Shirley coordinated the program, which featured three educational sessions.

Becky Collier, Extension 4-H Center program coordinator came from the 4-H Center in Columbiana and brought her live animal exhibit to share with the children. Collier's grandparents, John and Mavis Thomas live in Hale County. The Thomases, from Newbern and a family friend, Lois Arrington from Greensboro, came to participate in Collier's session and offer their support.

Alabama Cooperative Extension System Regional Agent Tera Glenn presented a program on sun safety where each child made his or her own UV bracelet. The beads on the bracelets turn from white to a color when exposed to UV rays, signaling the need for protection from the sun.

Tommy Atkins with the Alabama Department of Wildlife and Fisheries brought his equipment and taught the children about archery. Each child had the opportunity to learn how to shoot an arrow and was allowed to practice the new skill by shooting at targets.

Students participating in the 4-H Day Camp were graduates from the 4-H Frisbee, Food and Fun summer program. This program was a partnership between the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Hale County Board of Education supported by funding from the Coca-Cola Foundation.

Thirty students ages 12-18 attended half-day summer sessions. Lessons were taught every Monday through Thursday during the month of June by Board of Education coaches Courtney Jackson and James Garner. Jolene Stanford served as the Board of Education's coordinator. Lessons were interactive, and the students got to experience new equipment and games.

Then on Fridays, Joann Culpepper, agent assistant with the Hale County Extension office, would teach sessions on n/utrition. Each day, the students would receive nutritional snacks that they themselves helped to plan and make.

The Coca- Coca Foundation which funded the program provided each child with a pedometer and a t-shirt.

Also, students from the Mars Hill Reading Academy and their teachers participated in the 4-H Day Camp. Edmonia Pickens and Dianne Johnson served as directors for this program.




4-H'ers take turns holding Tiny, a 40- year- old gopher turtle.






Contact: Denise Shirley, County Extension Coordinator , Hale County Extension Office, 701 Hall Street, Greensboro, AL 36744,

(334) 624-8710 FAX (334) 624-8807, E-mail: