HAVANA-Mason County 4-H alumnus, Tami Davidage, offered to give back to the 4-H program in which she was once a part of. Tami’s 4-H roots go deeper than her years as a member, her mother was also a long-time 4-H club leader. Currently, Tami is an art instructor, enjoys flower gardening and arranging, and volunteering in the community. Tami attributes many of the skills she uses today to the teachings of her 4-H leaders and 4-H experiences.
Floral design and arrangements are one of Tami’s areas of expertise, and she was excited to volunteer to help youth begin to develop those skills and hopefully spark a life-long interest or even future career.
In November, University of Illinois Extension Mason 4-H program offered a floral arranging workshop in which Tami taught 10 youth.
During the afternoon workshop, Tami taught skills which she learned from her formal training in art, as well as from her experience working as a florist at a local shop. Along with skills for proper floral care to make a lasting arrangement, there is a level of artistry, noted Tami. The workshop focused on basic floral techniques including, trimming and wiring stems; container and flower selection and preparation; simple bow making; and artistry of flower and greenery placement in an arrangement.
Youth worked to create a simple bud vase arrangement and a tabletop holiday arrangement. They learned that the artistry of both arrangement types can be adapted to many container options and use of flowers from personal gardens, wildflowers, or purchased flowers.
The 4-H floriculture project is one example of the many projects youth can select from when they join 4-H. The curriculum focuses on the cultivation of flowering and ornamental plants. It also offers education on a wide variety of related topics, including: plant propagation, seed planting, growing flowers, plant environmental needs, house plants, terrariums and dish gardens, as well as fresh and dried floral arranging.
University of Illinois Extension welcomes 4-H alumni and adult volunteers to share their talents on topics they have obtained skills through education, career, or hobby interests. "Many of these talents are becoming "lost arts," explained Joli Pierson, Mason 4-H program coordinator. "At times it is difficult to find volunteers who can teach or offer support in areas such as sewing, stitching, woodworking, and the visual arts." We have a variety of opportunities for volunteers to share skills and expertise in the form of workshops, special interest (SPIN) clubs, project judging, day camps, and more."
For more information about joining 4-H or becoming a 4-H volunteer in Mason County, contact Joli Pierson, Mason County 4-H program coordinator via email: firstname.lastname@example.org , phone: (309) 543-3308, University of Illinois Extension, Fulton-Mason-Tazewell-Peoria Unit, 127 S. High St. Havana, IL 62644. Visit the Extension unit website at extension.illinois.edu/fmpt or view our social media pages for more information.
About 4-H: Illinois 4-H empowers and prepares Illinois youth for success. University of Illinois Extension provides 4-H programs in every county in Illinois, impacting the lives of 200,000 youth each year through sustained learning clubs, groups and short-term programming.