Shelby speaks at 4H groundbreaking

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 17, 2006


U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby was the featured speaker Tuesday at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Alabama 4-H Environmental Science Education Center.

The new center is the first in the Southeast specifically designed to teach environmental issues using sustainable practices.

The ceremony was held at the Alabama 4-H Center on Lay Lake near Columbiana.

In addition to Sen. Shelby, other dignitaries that spoke included Auburn University President Ed Richardson and Alabama A&M University President Robert Jennings.

&8220;Alabama 4-H will bring national prominence to the state with this new facility,&8221; said Jack Odle, chairman of the Alabama 4-H Club Foundation, Inc., the nonprofit fundraising arm of Alabama 4-H. &8220;It will be the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) commissioned environmental education building in the Southeast and will be an example of sustainable awareness.&8221;

&8220;We are certainly proud that Sen. Shelby recognizes the important step Alabama 4-H is making to the youth of our state by constructing a facility like this, and we are pleased he will be joining us. Sen. Shelby has been a strong advocate and friend of Alabama 4-H and we greatly appreciate his commitment,&8221; Odle added.

The $7-million facility is being constructed with funds raised by the Campaign for Alabama 4-H through the Alabama 4-H Club Foundation, Inc. More than 500 corporations, foundations, organizations and individuals have supported the Campaign for Alabama 4-H to date, giving $5.8 million. The campaign also supports 4-H programs statewide.

With this new facility, Alabama 4-H&8217;s Natural Resources and Environmental Education program will be better equipped to teach Alabama youth and educators about protecting and enhancing the environment in a facility unlike anything currently in Alabama.