Organizers of the Master Gardener Volunteers (MGV) program gave an update this week about the efforts they have made this year.
The Ohio State University Extension (OSUE) MGV Program is an educational program designed to meet the consumer horticulture needs of Ohio citizens. Its purpose is to train volunteers and utilize their expertise to teach people more about plants and pests, their culture, and their importance to the environment and to the community’s quality of life. MGVs provide technical assistance to their county extension office.
According to Fayette County Master Gardener Volunteers (FCMGV) Master Gardener/Financial Management Program Coordinator Sara Creamer, these volunteers make a difference in the community. Last year, master gardener volunteers gave 1,497 hours valued at $36,960 (based on $24.69 per hour) in 2017. Above all, FCMGVs are trained horticulture volunteers that love to share their knowledge, help people, are enthusiastic about plants, and have fun. They also develop life-long friendships.
“Here are just a few of our projects,” Creamer said in a press release. “You see the efforts of the volunteers every time you are downtown (Washington C.H.). The flowerpots and the Veteran’s Park are part of the Sponsor-a-Pot Program. Their efforts beautify the community. This is the second year for the community garden currently located at Rose Avenue Community Center. This is a new and exciting project.”
According to Creamer, these volunteers contribute to citizen science. Since 2005, they have submitted data to OSU collected from the Memorial Phenology Garden at Washington Cemetery that has helped OSU develop a calendar to predict when insect emergence will coincide with plant blooms time. No need to spray randomly. When the indicator plant blooms, watch for the pesky insect and get ready to control it. Recently planted pollinator friendly plants contribute information to The Great Sunflower Project.
Who can be a Master Gardener volunteer? Any adult that loves to share their knowledge and have fun can be a volunteer by completing the training program. The training program provides a balanced, integrated, practical course in plant science.
“Once a trainee has finished the classroom work and becomes an intern, they are ready to begin the 50 hours of volunteering it takes to be a certified MGV,” Creamer said. “The interns work on Master Gardener Volunteer projects alongside certified volunteers. Intern classes are encouraged to create their own projects as well.”
The Fayette County Extension will be providing one of these training classes beginning in January of 2019. The classes run through April. If anyone would want to learn about horticulture, share your knowledge, make new friends, and have fun, consider becoming a part of the training class of 2019. For more information on how to join the training class of 2019, contact Creamer at 740-335-1150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for the details and an application.
The information in this article was provided by Sara Creamer, Master Gardener/Financial Management Program Coordinator.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.