Master Gardeners receive recognition for volunteer hours in teaching proper gardening practices

Upper Pensinsula Master Gardeners receive honor for bringing beauty, food, environmental awareness and appreciation of nature to communities while teaching others about gardening.

Photo by Rebecca Krans, MSU Extension

Photo by Rebecca Krans, MSU Extension

Michigan State University Extension Master Gardeners from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula recently received recognition for their continued efforts in volunteering within their communities and teaching others about gardening. From teaching youth how to garden and enjoy the bounty of fresh vegetables to helping members of community gardens learn more to beautifying numerous sites using the right plant right place practice, they volunteered over 2,000 hours in Upper Peninula counties in 2017. Statewide, Extension Master Gardeners volunteered over 133,000 hours to communities across Michigan. This equates to an economic contribution of over $3.3 million to the state of Michigan.

Projects within the Upper Peninsula involving the most people reached with gardening education focused around beautifying communities, community gardening and youth gardening. Over 2,500 Upper Peninsula youth and adults were directly reached through Extension Master Gardener projects in 2017.

A few of the objectives an Extension Master Gardener might focus on include helping others in community settings learn how to determine the current soil conditions and properly select the right plants and care for them. Some projects also focus on quality of life, vegetable gardening and environmental stewardship and integrated pest management.

Two Advanced Extension Master Gardeners received recognition for achieving hour milestones: Carol Fitzgerald has volunteered 500 hours and Elizabeth Slajus has volunteered 250 hours. Eleven received recognition for earning Master Gardener certification: Carolyn Bissell, Jeannie DeClerck, Matthew Hansen, Quincy Higgins-Arney, Maria Janowiak, Henry Knoch, Sarah Kuhl, Frances Michaels, Erin Matas, Mary Ovist and Nancy Reed. Two Extension Master Gardeners received recognition for gaining Advanced Extension Master Gardener status: Phyllis Johnson and Cathy Starrett.

Currently, there are over 100 certified Extension Master Gardeners and trainees residing in 10 Upper Peninsula counties. Trainees have completed the training course but have not yet completed the volunteer hour requirement for certification. A training course recently ended in Marquette, Michigan, and a new training course in Iron Mountain, Michigan, is now open for registration until Jan. 11.

In order to remain an Extension Master Gardener, participants must annually renew and complete an additional 20 volunteer hours and 10 educational hours on an annual basis. Check out the MSU Extension Master Gardener Program to learn more.

For more information on a wide variety of Smart Gardening topics, visit the Gardening in Michigan website or contact MSU’s toll-free Lawn and Garden Hotline at 1-888-678-3464.

Photo description: Back row: Dawn White, Linda Wilson, Phyllis Johnson, Sharon Soave, Susan Becker, Linda Roncaglione, Brenda Hershey, Jeanette Hauver, Lisa Johnson. Middle row: Sally Emig, Marcelene Niemi, Kris Martin, Ron Rossway, Gene Shatz, Judith Martin, Shelly Johnson, Jane Milkie, Linda Andriacchi. Front row: Carol Kielpinski, Kevin Johnson, Claire Twohey, Cathy Starrett, Liz Slajus.

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