A new garden will be unveiled at Governor’s Mansion in Charleston on Thursday (May 8) at 3 p.m., as part of statewide celebrations honoring West Virginia University Extension Service’s 100th birthday.

Gov. Tomblin and First Lady Joanne Tomblin will plant the garden’s final vegetables of the spring season and enjoy birthday cake in honor of WVU Extension Service, the organization that helped make the garden possible.

The Governor’s Garden is a collaboration of the WVU Extension Service, its Master Gardener program and the West Virginia State University Extension Service.

“WVU Extension Service helps to grow more than gardens,” WVU Extension Service Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director Jennifer Williams said. “We help to plant the seeds of knowledge and opportunity for people in all aspects of their lives.”

Williams attributes the organization’s success, in part, to the support of leadership on the state and local levels.

“Collaborations like this garden exist because our leaders empower us with the funding and opportunities to make change happen on a local, state and national level,” she said. “Much like this garden, we often don’t see the effect of our efforts overnight, but we know that our efforts are felt in every community in the state.”

May 8 marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Congressional Act, which created Cooperative Extension Service organizations at land-grant institutions throughout the country.

In 1914, Sen. Hoke Smith of Georgia, and Rep. Asbury Francis “Frank” Lever of South Carolina, drafted the Smith-Lever Act and got it passed through both houses of Congress. On May 8 of that year, President Wilson signed the act into law. Its purpose was to add an outreach component to the teaching and research already done at the land-grant colleges.

WVU Extension Service continues to have a presence in all 55 counties, bringing the University’s resources to people in communities across the state. University leaders say that part of the organization’s time-honored success is due to its ability to create lasting partnerships and impact.

In addition to the May 8 celebrations, WVU Extension Service county offices will celebrate throughout the year during 4-H camp programs, educational conferences and more. To learn more, contact your local office of the WVU Extension Service, or visit ext.wvu.edu.

-WVU-

cw/05/07/14

CONTACT: Cassie Waugh, WVU Extension Service
304.293.8735, Cassie.Waugh@mail.wvu.edu

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