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POSTED: February 15, 2009 1:00 a.m.

The Hall County 4-H Club held its County Project Achievement event on Jan. 27 at Riverbend Elementary School in Gainesville.

The students who participated in this annual speech and performance contest had to prepare a speech no longer than six minutes on a subject of their choice, make a poster to go along with the speech and bring an item to share related to the topic.

A total of 110 students from 15 Hall County elementary schools and six county middle schools participated in the event. The following first-place students have been invited to the District Project Achievement event on March 28 in Banks County.

  • Chestnut Mountain Elementary: Johana Earnhart, Photography; Fatima Ndiaye, Archaeology; Matthew Minor, Fruits, Nuts & Vegetables.
  • Friendship Elementary: Megan Wilson, International; Tanner Gabrielle, General Science.
  • Lula Elementary: Ansley Grindle, Food for the Family; Jessica Miller, Geology; Aly Groover, Performing Arts - Instrumental; Meghan Sosebee, Workforce Preparation.
  • Mount Vernon Elementary: Jordan Fraley, Wildlife.
  • Myers Elementary: Edgar Torres, Clothing and Textiles; Erick Melchor, Outdoor Recreation; Sergio Aguilera, Agricultural Awareness.
  • Oakwood: Kelvin Reyer, Food for the Family; Jarrett Turner, Human Development.
  • Riverbend Elementary: Katie Holmes, Flowers, Shrubs and Lawns; Alissa Adams, Entomology.
  • Sardis Elementary: Hannah Shotwell, Creative Stitchery.
  • Spout Springs Elementary: Mallary Ruiz, Between-Meal Snacks; Kristen McCole, Sports; Erika Molinet, General Recreation.
  • Sugar Hill Elementary: Jair Partillo, General Recreation.
  • Wauka Mountain Elementary: Adrianne Savage, Poultry and Egg Science.
  • White Sulphur Elementary: TJ Jackson, Conservation and Recycling; Jordan Simpson, Paleontology; Beth Baggett, Veterinary Science; Andrea Carroll, Health; Stephanie Rylee, Sheep and Meat Goats; Madison Tasker, History.
  • World Language Academy: Mayenci Chavez, Cat Care.
  • C.W. Davis Middle: Melina Smith, Companion Animals; Grace Coley, Dog Care and Training.
  • East Hall Middle: Courtney Woodard, Horse; Erin Smith, History.
  • South Hall Middle School: Taylor Miller, Food Safety and Preservation.

Elachee Nature Science Center recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of its pervious parking lot. This parking area is made of a bottom layer of felt-filter fabric, then a matrix of plastic "cells" or webbing made from recycled plastic. The cells are filled with gravel and topped with another layer of small gravel. This type of system allows rain to percolate through the layers, preventing runoff and erosion into Elachee's streams that a traditional paving system would allow.

The area also includes a "rain garden" thatserves as a collection site for the percolated water and also enhances the area with native plants.As an earth-friendly alternative to a paved surface, the area will also serve as a demonstration site for local businesses and organizations that might be interested in going green.



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