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limg reply about independent mg

Posted by fable NY, LI Z7 (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 21, 07 at 13:20

This is a reply to:

Posted by goldenpond (9b) (My Page) on Fri, Mar 9, 07 at 22:47Would be interested in finding out how that works.Don't you need their pamphlets and other materials and such?
Is such a thing approved or are you just calling yourselves Master Gardeners.Please ,I don't mean that in a snippy way I am just wondering how that would be possible.
Posted by gardengal48 PNW zone 8 (My Page) on Sun, Mar 11, 07 at 22:27Since both Nassau and Suffolk counties - which constitute all of Long Island - have active Master Gardener programs associated with and under the auspices of Cornell CE, one has to wonder just what LIMG is. Sounds to me like it never did have anything to do with CCE and is perhaps just a copycat organization? Or maybe just a bunch of disgruntled former MG's that got a bit big for their britches? And I'd also wonder on the legalities of using the same name. Who provides the training? What does it consist of? What resources do they have access to? What are the volunteer positions? If they're so independent, I doubt they are manning the phone lines at the extension office.
Sounds a bit fishy to me. I'd be interested to hear of any other chapters that are removed/independent from coop extension offices as well, if any do exist.
Years ago graduating Master Gardeners from Cornell Cooperative Extension, along with their extension agent, decided to form the Master Gardener Society. They would meet once a month, with the extension agent in attendance, to further their education and for companionship. It became quite a large group with diverse interests. Various trips were included in the curriculum and more speakers were requested. We had plant sales to help us pay for these new additions. Since CCE was basically in charge anything we did needed to be approved by them. It became an inefficient way of doing things and the group became disillusioned. When CCE disbanded the group, we decided to form our own group completely independent of CCE.
We formed an independent non-profit organization and called ourselves the Long Island Master Gardeners. We ARE, Master Gardeners, will always BE Master Gardeners and most of us are ACTIVE Master Gardeners. We are proud of our title MG and put in the hours to learn and volunteered hours necessary to become certified! The term Master Gardener is NOT a patented name and can be used by ANYONE! We keep up our active status by giving our volunteer time to CCE, including, manning phones, giving time to the CCE Spring Gardening Schools, helping at various CCE functions and giving classes as needed. As a result we are sent pamphlets and materials and are included in mailings from CCE. We are entitled to take their extended classes as long as we give our required volunteer time and remain ACTIVE Master Gardeners! This is done on an individual basis and has nothing to do with LIMG.
As members of LIMG we volunteer our time at community gardens, various nursing homes, ecology centers and try to educate the public on many aspects of gardening. We have educational speakers, including lecturers from Cornell Cooperative Extension! Our group now exceeds 100. It includes Master Gardeners who are not active due to being elderly, ill or just do having time to give their needed volunteer hours. They are still, in our opinion, Master Gardeners! We are enjoying each others company, furthering our education and taking trips in a very happy relaxed environment. EVERYONE is included in our activities and involved in the running of our group. Board meeting are open to everyone, there are no secrets. We are an efficient and well run independent organization. We VOTE on what we want to do as a group and only answer to ourselves!

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RE: limg reply about independent mg

Sounds like this group meets all the expectations of the MG program. If there is a desire by individuals to perform a service and the system has let them down, this is a model for others to copy. Our local Extension Office is very supportive and involved in the MG program, but other posters on this and other forums have noted issues that hinder the volunteer spirit. Good going LIMG.


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