4-H educator in Orleans earns State Special Service Award

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 October 2021 at 4:03 pm

Kristina Gabalski

KNOWLESVILLE — Kristina Gabalski, the 4-H youth development director for the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County, has been recognized with a state award for her work with local 4-H’ers.

Gabalski was presented with a “Special Service Award” on Monday during a virtual annual conference of the New York State Association of Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Educators. The awards ceremony was held this week as part of National 4-H week.

The Special Service Award recognizes members of the professional association who have developed a new technique in programming, worked successfully with new audiences and have been innovative in utilizing resources, people and situations.

“Kristina was nominated by a group of individuals including other educators, youth and volunteers,” said Robert Batt, Extension director in Orleans County. “In her time as the 4-H Educator for CCE Orleans, Kristina has increased the outreach of the program including focus on bringing horticulture, art and wellness activities to youth.”

He cited projects this past year that included the flagpole freedom garden at the fairgrounds, offering workshops such as ichiban pumpkin decorating, soil painting and bringing special attention to showcasing youth’s 4-H work.

“Kristina serves on several state and regional committees and advocates both to bring program into our county but also to find opportunity for youth to explore outside of the area,” Batt said.

To find out more about 4-H and youth programs in Orleans County, contact the Extension at 585-798-4265 or orleans4H@cornell.edu or visit the CCE website.