National Safe Digging Month — recognized by the Senate and Florida’s governor — reminds diggers to call Sunshine 811 before starting outdoor digging projects.
Before installing a mailbox, fence, deck, garden or tree, call 811 to have underground lines marked.
The free service notifies utility companies of your plans. They send professional locators to identify and mark the appropriate location of underground line with paint and flags in colors that identify the utility type.
Visit www.call811.com/faqs/default.aspx to see which colors correspond with each utility.
Diggers who hit underground utility lines while digging can cause injuries, utility service outages to entire neighborhoods, and damage to the environment.
Calling 811 in Florida is the law. At least two full business days before digging, do-it-yourselfers and professional excavators must contact 811 to start the process of marking underground utility lines.
Be sure that all utilities have been marked before grabbing the shovel.
Follow up on your one call ticket by contacting 811 again on the third day.
FIND IT ONLINE
See www.Sunshine811.com for more information on Florida’s utility protection law.
•Volunteer income tax assistance: VITA sites are open in Crestview at the JobsPlus center 1-5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays. Call 689-7823, ext. 219 for an appointment.
•Master Gardener Native Plant Sale:8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 13, Northwest Florida Fairgrounds, 1958 Lewis Turner Blvd., Fort Walton Beach.
•Teach Children to Save: April 22 to July 31. Youths who set a savings goal are eligible for a savings bond drawing. Complete an entry form and make deposits. Contact your bank orcredit union to participate. Details: 689-5850 or www.economiclivingexpo.com.
•Bearden guest on "Okaloosa Today": Agriculture Agent Jennifer Bearden is the April guest on "Okaloosa Today," which airs 8 a.m. Sundays, 9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays on Cox channel 6. She talks about local farming and how Okaloosa County, University of Florida Extension can assist residents with their gardening and farming, as well as how to access local produce.
•4-H Camp: June 10-14, for ages 8-12. Cost: $220 per person. Contact Haley Worley, 689-5850 or email@example.com. Registration packets are available at 3098 Airport Road, Crestview.
Sheila Dunning is a Commercial Horticulture Extension agent at the Okaloosa County Extension office in Crestview.