Three cheers for 4-H

The new Alabama 4-H Environmental Science Education Center near Columbiana is truly something to be proud of from many aspects.

It is both an excellent teaching facility for Alabama youth, and an example of how Alabama can be a leader in the construction of buildings that allow for protection of the environment.

At the new facility, which was recently dedicated, students will enjoy two laboratory classrooms and an observation deck to get a new view of nature.

If the building receives the gold leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design certification hoped for, it will be the first such certified building in the Southeast.

The 17,500 square-foot facility with 1,050-foot observation deck, features a natural slate floor, walls are covered with recyclable materials, motion sensors that conserve electric light, and rainfall recycled for use in the restrooms.

Students who attend the 4-H facility will work on environmentally sound projects to help prepare them for the challenges of the future. To boot, the $5.7 million facility was built with donations.

We salute the progress 4-H has made and the impact it can have on students as they work toward an environmentally friendly future.

Jack Odle, chairman of the Alabama 4-H Club Foundation, said children would be able to learn about protecting the environment in a building that does just that.

The 4-H Club Foundation supports statewide 4-H youth education programs delivered by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System of Auburn University and Alabama A&M University in cooperation with Tuskegee University. It is committed to generating private funding to meet youth education needs as identified by the Extension System