Master Gardeners gather for community educational volunteer efforts recognition

Michigan Master Gardeners were recognized for over 12,000 volunteer hours in communities across the Upper Peninsula.

Several of the Michigan Master Gardeners that received recognition for their volunteer efforts in the Upper Peninsula. Photo credit: Liz Slajus, MSU Extension

Several of the Michigan Master Gardeners that received recognition for their volunteer efforts in the Upper Peninsula. Photo credit: Liz Slajus, MSU Extension

Michigan State University Extension Master Gardeners give back to their communities in various ways, including establishing and coordinating beautification projects and developing and managing school and community gardens. They connect with the public to share research-based gardening education, as well as smart gardening information. While they are helping others learn, they are providing numerous benefits to the communities in which they live. Recently, 48 Michigan Master Gardeners from the Upper Peninsula were recognized in Marquette, Michigan, for a total of over 12,691 hours of volunteer service in gardening education.

From newly certified to Advanced Master Gardeners and from Houghton to Chippewa County and U.P. counties in between, these Master Gardeners are helping others learn how to garden properly and more sustainably. Twenty-one newly certified Master Gardeners from the class of 2014 were recognized; they are from the counties of Alger, Dickinson, Houghton and Marquette, where they each completed at least 40 hours of volunteer service. Many give much more, so a total of 888 volunteer hours were recognized from this group. Some provided smart gardening outreach to the public at various venues, such as farmer’s markets, garden conferences and county or state fairs. Some also started and coordinated community beautification efforts, or coordinated a daycare school garden and education efforts.

To remain certified as a Master Gardener, participants must recertify annually and complete an additional five educational hours and 15 volunteer hours. Currently, within the Upper Peninsula there are 26 Advanced Master Gardeners who have contributed a total number of over 11,800 volunteer service hours in gardening education. Master Gardeners receive recognition for certain volunteer hour milestones, for example contributing 250 hours, 500 hours, 1,000 hours and 1,500 hours and so on. Within the Upper Peninsula, eight Advanced Master Gardeners were recognized for the 250-hours milestone, seven for the 500-hours milestone and one reached the 1,500-hour recognition for volunteer gardening education service.

To learn more about the Michigan’s Master Gardener program, please visit the Michigan Master Gardener website. For more specifics about the Master Gardener program in the Upper Peninsula, visit the Upper Peninsula Master Gardeners Facebook page.

For more information on a wide variety of smart gardening topics, visit the Gardening in Michigan website or contact MSU’s toll-free garden hotline at 1-888-678-3464.

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