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Ochs Garden

Chester Ochs 4-H Educational Center

Background

On June 19, 1991 the property was turned over to the citizens of Pinellas County and called “The Chester Ochs 4-H Educational Center” and the Chester Ochs Park, in keeping with Chester Ochs’ request to have his property become an official county park three years from his death.  The buildings of the Chester Ochs 4-H Center were originally the living residence of Chester Ochs and a small retail shop of his citrus grove. These were converted to meeting and storage areas.  The land was his citrus grove and apiary.  The 4-H Educational Center has been exclusively used by Pinellas County 4-H and Extension, while the park is open to the public with trails and dog walks.

The Chester Ochs 4-H Center has been an active and critical portion of the UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension office since that time. The center has provided countless youth and 4-H volunteers an opportunity to teach and experience activities from archery to agriculture over the past twenty-seven years.  The primary focus for the center has been youth gardening, as it is one of the last large plots of land in the area and to honor the center's histroy in agriculture.  Day camps, overnight camps, and many clubs have met here since it's donation.  Many residents and 4-H alumni and volunteers have fond memories of the center, with new memories being made to this day, as the center retains it's mission to teach the youth residents of Pinellas County vital skills for their futures.

Current Uses

The Chester Ochs 4-H Educational Center is currently the home of the 4-H Garden and the 4-H Archery Clubs.  The garden club will meet on Saturday mornings beginning in the fall of 2019.  Topics will include container gardening, pollinators, composting, and more.  The archery club meets Monday afternoons.  If interested in joining these clubs, contact abowers@pinellascounty.org

Community Garden for 2019-2020

  • Who: Open to all Pinellas County residents interested in gardening
    • Youth ages 5-18 and adults 18 and up
    • Limited to a max of 10 8x8 ft plots (or more if smaller) for adults and 4 8x8 plots and container gardens for the youth
  • What: An intergenerational community garden at the Chester Ochs 4-H Educational Center. All garden plot proceeds go to benefit the Chester Ochs 4-H garden, youth, and club.
  • When: Garden open to adults Monday and Fridays 9-11am and youth and their families Saturdays 9-11am
    • Informational Meeting for adults: September 13 at 9am
    • Informational Meeting for 4-H club: September 21 9am
    • Fall planting season to begin on October 7th, ending in January
  • Where: Chester Ochs 4-H Educational Center, 14644 113th Ave N, Largo, FL 33774
  • Why: To provide a community gardening space for the benefit of Pinellas County residents to have access to fresh food, recreation, and educational opportunities as well as to teach youth important life skills such as responsibility, science competencies, teamwork, gardening, and many more.
  • How: Community gardeners will pay a fee or volunteer a certain number of hours per season
    • Cost or hours needed per plot:
      • 8x8: $50 or 20 hours of volunteering
      • 4x8: $35 or 15 hours of volunteering
      • 4x4: $25 or 10 hours of volunteering

More details or to register for the community garden plot: Eventbrite Registration

Ochs Vegetable harvest 

If you are interested in becoming a community garden member, joining the garden club, or becoming a 4-H volunteer, please email the agent at abowers@pinellascounty.org or aslavin1@ufl.edu or call 727-582-2597.

Meet your 4-H Agent

Alyssa Bowers

4-H Youth Development
UF/IFAS Extension
Pinellas County
12520 Ulmerton Rd
Largo, FL 33774
Phone (727) 582-2597
abowers@pinellascounty.org

Volunteer Program Assistant

Sandy Hernandez

4-H Volunteer Program Assistant
UF/IFAS Extension
Pinellas County
12520 Ulmerton Rd
Largo, FL 33774
Phone (727) 582-2672
Se Habla Español
shernandez2@pinellascounty.org 

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