What projects are your MGs doing?

PoPazza(Sunset 16 CA)August 21, 2005

I've been asked to do a series of articles for our MG newsletter, highlighting what some other programs are doing elsewhere in the country. The hope is we will be inspired to incorporate new programs or modify old ones after finding out what is working (or not working) for others.

I'll start. We're in coastal California. Our principal programs are the Helpline, Junior Master Gardeners, working with the local botanical garden on speakers' programs, staffing a table at the farmers' markets and non-profit garden tours and, occasionally, hosting a community seminar with guest speakers. Our program requires a minimum 50 hours service for the first year after graduation and, thereafter, 25 hours per year. Many do much more than that.

So, what special programs are our fellow MGs doing? What' great? What's not?

Thank you.

Mary

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calistoga_al

I like the programs you have listed as they are all public gardening education based. Too many times Master Gardeners get sidelined into spending their human resources doing gardening for a organization that should be doing it themself or hiring a landscaper. We have a progam in conjunction with the county library system to put on gardening workshops for the public on Saturday mornings fall and spring. It is well received by the public and the libraries are happy with the traffic and the use of their community room. We are also able to help the libraries select books on gardening themes. Al

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 9:41AM
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gardener_sandy

Since we are in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, one of our main goals is to reduce runoff of lawn chemicals into creeks and rivers that feed the bay. A big project for us every year is our Grass Roots program. For a very nominal fee (just covers cost of soil tests and production of literature,) we send a MG to the home and take soil samples, measure the actual grass areas, and evaluate the yard for several factors including weeds and sun/shade conditions. The homeowner gets a soil report as well as specific recommendations for HIS yard, letting him know exactly what he needs to do to establish or maintain a healthy turf. This, along with a nice booklet on lawns and four newsletters over the next year, is aimed at reducing the excess use and wrong-time-of-year use by homeowners of fertilizers and other chemicals that are a major source of pollution in our waterways.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 10:27AM
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dicentra(z6B)

Since I officially didn't even start the MG program yet, I'll only comment on something which recently came to my attention.
There is a local group of teens who've gotten together with the idea to have an area dedicated to growing plants in memory of a deceased loved one. The basis is that cemetary plantings were a temporary measure, and were often neglected, stolen, or removed by staff workers. This teen group wanted the public at large to be able to plant flowers in memory of a loved one, where the plants would actually have a chance to grow in the right environment. The local YMCA offered a plot of ground. The MG program helped to organize such a great idea into a realistic plan. There was an article in the local paper about the project, with small mention of help from Penn State garden group. I'm so proud of those teens, and I'm happy to be a part of the MG team to help keep good ideas alive and growing :)
Trish in Phila. PA

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 10:47PM
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andie_rathbone(Tyler, TX - 7B)

Smith Co. Texas is currently operating community gardens, a Junior MG program, sustaining two gardens (the IDEA garden featuring plants that do well in the area & the Heritage Rose garden featuring old garden roses) in the Tyler Rose garden as well as manning the consumer help line. In addition we host a Spring Landscape & Gardening conference in the spring, a Fall Bulb Conference & Bulb Sale in September, sponsor a Spring Home Garden Tour & produce and sell an annual calendar & gardening guide every year.

i know I'm leaving some thing out, but these are the biggies as far as projects go.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2005 at 2:50PM
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napapen(ca 15)

This year the Napa County Master Gardeners put on a home garden show featuring Master Gardener's gardens. It was well publicized and people came from all over the bay area. We had about 700+ paid admissions. We are going to do it every other year and Sonoma county in the years we don't to raise enough money to support our programs. We raised enough for 3 years! That was amazing. People who attended it said it was great. We had crafts done by MGs, spots for education at each stop and our demo garden with plant sales. People were given maps to drive from one place to another. I was a docent and really impressed with the amount of organization that went into the affair.

I also started alot of plants for the sale as did others and donated them to the cause

Penny

    Bookmark   August 24, 2005 at 4:17PM
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eddie_ga_7a(8)

The Cobb County Master Gardener Volunteers in Georgia have a list of projects scattered throughout the County. We have so many projects I think it dilutes us but I don't think we'll give any up. In fact, we're always being asked to take on more. Here is a partial list:
Adopt-A-Park - We plant the entrance to county parks
Demo Garden #1 - centrally located, 10 theme gardens
Demo Garden #2 - will eventually become a public botanical garden
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Children's Garden at Open Gate - for troubled youth
Festival Of Trees
Garden Tour - of M/G homes includes Plant Sale and is a BIG fund raiser (you wouldn't believe)
Horticultural Therapy Garden - at hospital
Junior Master Gardeners - at 2 locations
McEachern Nature Center
McFarlane Nature Park
North Georgia State Fair and Flower Show
Plant-A-Row (for the hungry) a project started by the Garden Writers Association and adopted by MGs
Plant Doctor Clinics - at several venues
Root House Museum & Garden - historic home site
Speakers Bureau
Writers Bureau
Rose Garden
Plant Auction
Lunch & Learn

I may have missed a few

Here is a link that might be useful: Bittersweet Gardens

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 9:36AM
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PoPazza(Sunset 16 CA)

I thank you all for the wonderful projects to which you contribute and the inspiration you give me for my articles. This all gives me a great start. Please feel free to add to this as your time permits. I'll refer back to it frequently. If your MG program has a web page, please add it so I can give attribution in the articles. Again, thank you.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 10:39PM
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