Linn County 4-Hers and a local business have teamed up to rebuild and maintain the Linn County Small Woodlands Association website.
The effort has included a series of Zoom classes instructing the 4-Hers on the use of WordPress. The 4-Hers, the leadership group for the Clever Clovers, will stay involved in the website, posting articles and maintaining the site for the forestry group. The site — linncountyswa.com— is one route of communications for the 110-member organization.
Simple Storefronts owner Nancy Hildebrandt, based in Lebanon, has led the design changes on the site and developed the training program for the 4-Hers. Sessions included video instruction with homework that had the students creating actual posts on a practice website.
She often designs sites for nonprofits, including Build Lebanon Trails, South Santiam Watershed Council, the Heritage League of the 2nd Air Division, and the Mount Hamilton Range Improvement Association.
“I can’t think of a more meaningful way to have spent my summer,” said Hildebrandt. “It was so much fun to pass on this knowledge to the 4-Hers and I hope to stay involved with them,” she said.
LCSWA President Tim Otis compared the project to a recent personal tech story. “I recently got a new smartphone, which I use, among other things, to video chat with my granddaughters,” said Otis. “It reminded me of this project,” he said. “Done with help from 4-H students, it will both provide connections between the generations, and allow us to update our website and communicate better with each other.”
Kim Calvery, a 4-H parent volunteer for the project, said there have been multiple benefits. “Community service is an important part of 4-H, and we actively search for opportunities. This seemed to be a perfect fit for the Clever Clovers,” said Calvery. “The club members participating in the training really appreciated the instruction provided by Nancy Hildebrandt and are very excited to start maintaining the website,” she said.
An offshoot from the website education process, said Calvery, is the startup of a WordPress website for the Clever Clovers.
Another 4-H leader involved in the project is Jennifer Bradford. She has two sons among the students building the website. “Nancy has made the learning process simple and easy through Zoom calls, videos and a detailed written tutorial that teach how to use WordPress,” said Gabriel Bradford, 16. “For eight weeks we’ve been learning how to create articles, pages, links and much more,” he said. “I hope to train future Clever Clovers Leadership members so that our club may continue to support these sites into the future,” said Bradford, a 10-year veteran of 4-H.
Connor Tye is the editor-in-chief for the project.
The Clever Clovers and the LCSWA have had a working relationship going back to the mid 1980s. Clever Clovers are an integral part of the group’s annual seedling sale and annual membership meeting.
LCSWA directors approved funding for the project in June. The 4-H group will receive a $150 quarterly stipend to update and maintain the site.