4-H Innovation Zone

The “Innovation Zone” is a place for the Ozaukee County 4-H community to shares ideas and resources enabling us to stay connected during the COVID-19 situation.  We are sharing different insights and perspectives on how we are working to hold club and project meetings.  Our goal is to connect ideas with the 4-H community members bringing innovations to life.



Community Marks the Spot (New Community Service Project- March 2022)

This service project is a place-based project where youth can highlight something about their community that’s important to them. Place-based projects are hands-on, real-world learning experiences. They help youth:

  • Connect with their community.
  • Appreciate the natural world.
  • See themselves as active contributing citizens.
  • Do better in school.

Learn more about it at the link: https://4h.extension.wisc.edu/2022/03/29/announcing-community-marks-the-spot-the-3rd-annual-service-learning-project/

Plarn Mats Project Activity Plan

This service project creates plarn mats to help those experiencing homelessness. Youth involved in the Plarn Mats project will learn how to create plastic yarn (plarn) from bags, and then crochet those bags into mats. The mats will be donated to local organizations.

According to EarthDay.org, about one trillion single-use plastic bags are used every day in the U.S. We’ve created a service project to put plastic bags to good use and help those in our community who are experiencing homelessness.

The full activity plan includes an overview of the whole project as well as separate instructions for different parts of the project: https://4h.extension.wisc.edu/4h-resources/plarn-mats/

  • Making decisions about your plarn mats project
  • Collecting and sorting bags
  • Cutting plastic bags into loops
  • Making plastic loops into plarn
  • Crocheting the plarn mat
  • Donating the plarn or plarn mats

Virtual Learning Community: New Programming Offered

The 4-H Virtual Learning Community works to create and bring quality learning opportunities to individuals statewide. Open to all youth and adults! You do not have to be a current 4-H member to participate.
Check out the calendar link for opportunities: https://4h.extension.wisc.edu/opportunities/calendar/ . Check back often as sessions are being added!

Calling Youth Leaders and Adults Leaders to Teach & Lead Sessions: If you are passionate about a skill or hobby and are willing to share it with others, consider teaching a virtual learning community session! We’ll help YOU make it work in a virtual space. To learn amore about the opportunity, check out the Virtual Learning Community Website.

Dig into 4-H fun Hands-on Learning to do at Home

Follow this link to find activities https://4h.extension.wisc.edu/home-activities/

Resources for Taking Your Club Online

Hold a virtual officer meeting (or complete the paperwork to have an in-person officer meeting contact jayna.hintz@wisc.edu for the form). Ask each officer to choose one or two of these to research and  facilitate at a virtual meeting this fall.

Video Meeting Options:

Great Websites and Aps for Virtual Club Meetings

4-H Skill Builders

A Few More Fun Ideas

Community Service Ideas

  • Independent Community Service Projects
  • Letter Writing (to nursing homes, doctor, grocery store…)
  • Cloth Face Coverings: https://4h.extension.wisc.edu/cloth-face-coverings/
  • Nursing Home/Assisted Living Facility Pen Pal Program
  • Musical Performances (Backyard Social Distancing Concerts or Virtually)
  • Neighborhood Beautification
  • Box of Sunshine (The sun has physically been “shining” a lot this summer and yet many people are struggling. To show someone you are thinking of them and to brighten their day, why not consider making and giving out a Box of Sunshine?! All you need to get started is a shoe box or other small box!!  Wrap and decorate it in yellow and then search for “bright” items to add to the box.
    • Carmex
    • Lemon Drops
    • Zone Bars
    • Yellow Gummy Bears
    • Crunch N Munch
    • Lemon Scented Hand Soap or Hand Sanitizer
    • Cascade Ice Drink
    • Lemon Cake Mix
    • Melt Em’s

    You might also want to check out a dollar store and find some other great fun yellow/bright things that will help spread some sunshine and light. Then…think of someone you know who needs cheering up and drop off your Box of Sunshine!

  • Community Art and sewing Projects

Local Menus for Takeout and Delivery in Ozaukee County https://www.facebook.com/groups/137540617679795/?ref=share

Local food pantries need support:

Family Sharing of Ozaukee County 

Port Washington Food Pantry

Saukville Community Food Pantry

Email your ideas to  jayna.hintz@wisc.edu to post to the Innovation Zone page!


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