Alabama 4-H Wall of Fame

Carol and Robert Pittman

Mobile County 4-H Volunteers

Inducted November 10, 2011

From Chicago to the creek banks, when you think about generosity and 4-H volunteerism, Carol and Robert Pittman instantly come to mind.

Bob and Carol Pittman personify the ultimate definition of what it is to be a 4-H volunteer. They are one of the “Pioneer VOLUNTEER Landowners” because of their long-time participation in the Classroom in the Forest: Forest in the Classroom TM 4-H educational program.

The Pittmans’ forest is featured in the Classroom in the Forest: Forest in the Classroom™ (CIF) teaching video that is used in all CIF training presentations today. Each year, the Pittmans put their normal working and farming activities on hold for up to three weeks of back-to-back Classroom in the Forest field-trip activities. These activities include tractor/trailer tours, wild animal show and tell, control burn demonstrations, and home-cooked lunches in the camp house for the adult volunteers, while the 4-H’ers enjoy a picnic by the creek. They regularly host hundreds of 4-H fifth-grade classes to their forest lands every year, and to date have hosted at least 12,000 students, their teachers, and hundreds of volunteers on their property since 1992. They never tire of teaching young minds about good stewardship.

Bob Pittman’s career led him to the famed Sears Tower in Chicago where he and his partners came up with the idea of the Discover Card and changed financial history forever. Later, Pittman and his family moved back to Mobile County where they acquired Mrs. Carol’s childhood home farmlands and created a diversified farm homestead on the banks of Big Creek and Escatawpa river estuaries in Grand Bay. Fowl, fishes, flora, fauna, and a plethora of wildlife can all be experienced on a trip to the Pittman TREASURE Forest. le is truly spectacular when the mountain laurel blooms. Their land is one of the few places where this flowering shrub can be found growing profusely so far south in Alabama.

They set an example for everyone to follow not just in words, but back it up with actions. Just recently, the Pittmans made arrangements to place a portion of their forest in a land trust so that it will always be kept safe for future generations. They wanted to make sure the business of making clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, and wild spaces will go on forever.

Carol and Bob Pittman not only are the perfect 4-H volunteers of today, but because of their good land stewardship values, they will leave the world a better place for future 4-H’ers of tomorrow.

Nominated by Mobile County Extension