Arizona and Rim Country’s changing climate — and creation of a new “Climate Masters” outreach program through the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension — are topics to be discussed at this week’s gardening webinar. The free webinar is at 11 a.m., Thursday, April 29.

Guest speaker Anne Mottek holds degrees in forestry and sociology. Her work focuses on social science research and its application in resource management.

She’s also engaged in collaborative organizations such as the Four Forest Restoration Initiative stakeholder group, Greater Flagstaff Forests Partnership, Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project, Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network, and Arizona Fire Adapted Communities.

“The purpose ... is to increase climate change literacy and to determine best practices and methods in supporting both climate adaptation and mitigation activities for diverse groups and communities,” said Mottek. “The long-term goal of the program is to support communities and build their capacity to independently plan, initiate, and carry out programs that address climate-centered issues.”

The expected outcomes include designing a strategy and approach that will address regional needs for developing a Cooperative Extension climate outreach program that involves volunteers as “Climate Masters.”

If implemented, this program will encourage climate resilient living and sustainable agriculture and community development practices that positively impact the environment.

The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Gila County hosts the presentation Thursday. Zoom link for the presentation is arizona.zoom.us/j/89304751811. Participants are welcome to login up to 10 minutes prior to the start time.

The next webinar is May 6 and focuses on the topic “Microbes and Mulch for Your Garden.”

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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