Water-Related News

Lee County could lose Conservation 20/20 & Extension office

ESTERO – Lee County’s Conservation 20/20 program and the Lee County Extension Office are both on the chopping block, as county commissioners grapple with budgetary woes.

Two of the five scenarios presented by staff at a recent budget workshop would divert C2020 funds to the General Fund, and one would eliminate funding for the Extension Office, which provides agricultural resources, marine education, home and garden education and administers the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods program.

More than 100 Extension volunteers stretch the annual budget of about $750,000 to operate a myriad of services, including educating landscapers on the county’s fertilizer and irrigation ordinances, aimed at reducing impact to local waterways. Extension master gardeners and 4-H volunteers contribute enough free hours to equal 14 full-time employees, according to Master Gardener Marlene Rodak.