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Island County WSU Extension shortens its work week

Budget cuts to the Island County Washington State University Extension program will become increasingly visible in the weeks to come.

This week, the operating hours of the Island County WSU Extension office in Coupeville will be reduced to 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The office is closed on Friday.

“We simply don’t have enough staff hours to cover a full work week,” said Judy Feldman, WSU Extension director. Despite the program’s short staff and lack of funding, Feldman said the program will do its best to continue a wide range of activities and volunteer programs.

Solid funding is important to the WSU Extension Program, she said, noting that there is a funding minimum below which the program will not be able to function.

“Consider us a clearinghouse for information relating to how to live well and responsibly in our local environments,” Feldman said, “but be patient with us as we rediscover how to do our jobs with significantly less staff time.”

Feldman said the WSU extension is approaching the cuts as an opportunity to evaluate their programs.

“We’ll move very intentionally into a positive future for Extension by increasing the energy we apply to those projects that are successful and relevant to the needs of our community, and stepping away from those whose time may have passed,” she said.

Currently, WSU Island County Extension provides leadership and support for over 700 volunteers in the Master Gardener, 4-H Youth Development, Beach Watcher, Livestock Advisor, Admiralty Head Lighthouse Docent, Waste Wise Volunteer, Energy Education, Climate Steward and Weather Network Programs.

Visit www.island.wsu.edu/ for more information on Island County WSU.

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