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THE THRESHOLD

August 2000

A Monthly On-Line Newletter for Home*A*Syst Coordinators, Partners and Friends

At Home with the National Office

Interest in the Help Yourself to a Healthy Home project continues to grow! The latest good news comes to us from the U.S. EPA's Office of Children's Health Protection--we just received funding to develop an on-line, interactive version of our healthy home publication.

This is not just a .pdf publication on the web -- we've already done that with Help Yourself. Rather, this tool will involve significant amounts of interaction and feedback to the user. Immediate feedback and a summary report will communicate areas of risk, and specific, tailored recommendations will be generated for each user.

A unique feature of this tool will be the opportunity for on-line users to participate as part of a "community of users." Anonomously, users can get feedback on how their responses and risks relate to other respondents. For example, they might find out how many other respondents have lead water pipes. Or find someone else with a child that has allergies to mold. They can also choose to participate in an on-line discussion, posting questions and/or solutions to others in the "community". The community effect can help people feel like they are not alone and that there are people who have solved similar problems in their own homes.

Stay tuned -- this on-line version of Help Yourself will take a while to develop. We're confident that when it's done, it will improve our ability to reach more people with our proven assessment tool.

Looking for a Conference to Attend?
What? National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences
When? October 15-19, 2000
Where? Baltimore, MD
For more information: http://www.neafcs.org or call 1-800-808-9133

FOCUS ON THE STATES

New Resource -- Urban Home*A*Syst:
Meeting the Needs of a Growing Population

The Farm*A*Syst program has moved to town in Northwest Arkansas, just like a lot of the other residents of the area. It's one of the fastest growing areas in the country. Soon there will be 300,000 residents drinking from Beaver Lake, the drinking water source for this part of the state. Beaver Lake is also the hottest recreational spot in the area. In 1998 over 4 million people visited the lake, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Click on image to go to University of Arkansas Extension site.
Arkansas's Urban Home*A*Syst

Fayetteville is the largest city served by Beaver Lake. In an effort to help residents take responsibility for their own actions and do their part to protect local water quality, the Urban Home*A*Syst was developed. Like the rest of the area, Fayetteville has been experiencing a tremendous growth rate of both people and businesses. The city also discharges half its treated wastewater to a tributary of the lake.

To create a resource appropriate for an urban audience, agents with the Cooperative Extension Service pulled parts from the Home*A*Syst book that apply to someone living within the city limits and tailored the book for them. One of the unique additions is a chapter on automotive products. Local contact information for waste disposal and recycling has also been included so the book will serve as a reference for Fayetteville residents.

>The seven chapters included are a site assessment, runoff management, lawn and garden care, storage and handling of hazardous household products, automotive products, household wastewater treatment, and managing household trash. A beautiful cover makes it a very attractive publication!

The materials and program are still in the pilot stage, and staff are just now getting the assessments in the hands of residents. Certainly, the guide can provide a model for other states looking to work in more urban areas.

The Urban version was adapted from materials used in the national version of Home*A*Syst, and the North Carolina and Florida Home*A*Syst books. Funding was provided by the US EPA under a section 319 grant. Arkansas thanks all those who helped in the undertaking!

For more information on Urban Home*A*Syst:
Johnny Gunsaulis
Washington County Cooperative Extension Service
501-444-1755
jgunsaulis@uaex.edu

PAST ISSUES OF THE THRESHOLD

August 1999 - New York works with EFNEP
September 1999 - Wisconsin HAS and Native American Nation
October 1999 - Michigan improves its program
November 1999 - New Jersey works with watersheds
January 2000 - Extension/EPA Partnership in Tennessee
February 2000 - Montana delivers HAS through realtor training
April 2000 - Alaska Home Stewardship
May 2000 - Rhode Island targets public drinking water supplies
July 2000 - South Carolina gets at the point of non-point source pollution

Back to Home*A*Syst

2000 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. UW-Extension provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title IX requirements. UW-Extension programs are open to all persons without regard to race, color, ethnic background, or economic circumstances. All rights reserved.

Comments may be directed to Kadi Row, krow@facstaff.wisc.edu.
Created by Janice Kepka, jkepka@facstaff.wisc.edu.