Feb. 28, 2020
Nearly 30 years strong, Arkansas Flower and Garden Show powered by hundreds of Master Gardeners, Cooperative Extension expertise
By Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture
- 2020 Arkansas Flower and Garden Show open Feb. 28, 29 and March 1
- More than 300 Master Gardeners volunteer their time at each show
- Show provides thousands of dollars in scholarships and beautification grants
LITTLE ROCK — The state’s largest horticultural and landscaping show, the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show, opened its doors at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds this morning (Feb. 28). Hosting more than 100 vendors, displays and informational booths, the annual three-day show requires an immense amount labor to set up, tear down and run.
The effort is made possible in large part by the hundreds of Master Gardeners from across the state who volunteer their time during the annual three-day event. Debbie Mickel, a long-time board member for the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show and assistant to the 2020 board president, said that more than 300 Master Gardeners are contributing time to this year’s show.
“Volunteers are on the ground from about 8 in the morning until about 8 at night, usually from the Monday before the show opens, thru several days after it’s over,” Mickel said. ”Set-up and tear-down are very big operations.”
Most of the 2020 show is taking place inside Barton Coliseum at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds, with how-to sessions and the juried flower show in the neighboring Arts and Crafts Building. Throughout the show, Master Gardeners will also be selling and collecting admission tickets at the doors, managing the package pickup areas and other tasks as they arise.
Like the show itself, the Master Gardeners program falls under the organization of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service. Historically, the Cooperative Extension Service has been an active part of the show itself, furnishing apiarists, poultry experts, plant pathologists and more to be on hand to meet and inform attendees.
Jim Robbins, extension horticulture specialist for the Division of Agriculture, said each Arkansas Flower and Garden Show offers Arkansans a chance to visit with a wide array of extension experts in one setting.
“You’ve got the opportunity to meet experts face-to-face, whether you’ve got questions about gardening, bees, backyard chicken keeping or a whole of other topics,” Robbins said.
Robbins has been involved with the show for years, first as a volunteer, then a board member, and ultimately board president and show chairman.
“I’m just honored to be involved,” he said. “It’s a great asset to the community.”
While the show does bring together gardening and landscaping experts for the state’s largest show of its kind, the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show exists primarily to raise funding for two horticulture-based goals: The first is scholarships for students studying horticulture in Arkansas. The second is the Greening of Arkansas Grant program, which funds beautification projects in public spaces throughout the state. Since the grant program’s inception, more than $95,000 has been given to Arkansas communities.
The 2020 Arkansas Flower and Garden Show is taking place Feb. 28-March 1. Tickets are $10 per person per day, and can be purchased at the door or online through www.argardenshow.org, where a full show schedule can be viewed.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show at 501-821-4000 as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
Media Contact: Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service