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Master Gardeners are everywhere

March 31, 2011
By Stephanie Bethke-DeJaeghere

This summer you may need help with your garden. There are many places to find help, of which in our area, University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners are some people who can help you find the answers.

The University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener program is an internationally recognized volunteer program.

It exists in all 50 states, in Canada and in the United Kingdom. Nationally, there are nearly 100,000 Master Gardener volunteers from all walks of life. They reach about 5 million people each year the equivalent of more than $100 million in value to communities. In Minnesota, the Master Gardener program is coordinated by The University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener program is an internationally recognized volunteer program. It exists in all 50 states, in Canada and in the United Kingdom.

Nationally, there are nearly 100,000 Master Gardener volunteers from all walks of life. They reach about 5 million people each year the equivalent of more than $100 million in value to communities. In Minnesota, the Master Gardener program is coordinated by University of Minnesota Extension and has strong ties to the research and outreach of the Department of Horticultural Science.

The Master Gardener program began in 1972 at Washington State University. The University of Minnesota program started in 1977 with the first class of 25 people.

The activities of the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners benefit schools, community gardens, youth programs, environmental education programs, farmers markets, and much more.

Master Gardeners are required to volunteer 50 hours the first year as interns and 25 hours annually thereafter as certified active Master Gardeners. Active volunteers are also asked to participate in continuing education of 5-12 hours per year, depending on the county in which they volunteer.

Some activities of Master Gardeners include: teaching classes and workshops; answering phone inquiries concerning home horticulture; assisting with county Horticulture Days; teaching and demonstrating horticulture techniques in community and school gardens; teaching youth and judging horticulture projects; media interviews and articles on horticulture topics; speaking to schools and youth groups on gardening topics; holding plant clinics at garden centers and farmers markets; representing the program at county and state fair exhibits; horticulture therapy for both children and adults; and teaching horticulture in hospitals, nursing homes, and retirement centers.

We have Master Gardeners who live all around us and in just about every county.

The best way to contact a Master Gardener is to call your local Extension service for help. They can provide you with names of Master Gardeners who are available to assist you with whatever questions you might have. The information that they provide is information that is research driven through the University of Minnesota.

You can also go online to the University of Minnesota Extension website which also has easy to find information on gardening. The website is www.extension.umn.edu.

For more information, you can contact me about gardening at Stephanie@starpoint.net

 
 

 

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