Arkansas Master Gardeners observe 27th birthday with weeklong celebrationBy Kelli Reep
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
- Gov. Hutchinson proclaims Oct. 11-17 Celebrate Master Gardener Week
- Extension program marks 27th year in Arkansas
(Newsrooms: Image of governor’s proclamation available at: www.flickr.com/photos/uacescomm/21416995204)
LITTLE ROCK – This year marks the 27th birthday of the Arkansas Master Gardeners program, which counts more than 3,000 volunteers in 70 counties statewide. To celebrate, these master gardeners will work on projects and hold classes in horticulture as part of Celebrate Master Gardener Week Oct. 11-17, 2015.
“Gardeners in this program love to talk with visitors about their work and communities,” said Julie D. Treat, extension horticulture program technician with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “We hope anyone in Arkansas will visit a project in their area during this week of celebration.”
The program’s volunteers work under the umbrella of the Cooperative Extension Service and have the benefits of the best training available for an interest they appreciate and enjoy as well as the satisfaction of contributing their talents to their communities so that others may experience their efforts. In fact, Arkansas Master Gardeners reported 102,850 education hours and 181,371 service hours in 2014.
“Janet Carson, who is a horticulture specialist with the Cooperative Extension Service, is the coordinator of the Arkansas Master Gardener program,” Treat said. “She also is the official ambassador for master gardeners both in our state and across the country. She speaks, writes and leads study trips in horticulture, and she travels throughout Arkansas to meet and support the program’s volunteers.”
Arkansas Master Gardeners train in many areas of horticulture-related subjects and attend classes throughout the state during the year. Teachers and leaders of the Arkansas Master Gardener program are extension staff and professionals as well as local resource people and fellow Master Gardeners. In return for this training, those accepted into the program’s classes agree to volunteer in their communities on sanctioned garden and landscaping projects.
Some of the projects the Master Gardeners sponsor include educational seminars and workshops, youth gardening programs, plant therapy work with hospitals and nursing homes, community beautification projects, and distributing horticulture information throughout the state.
To register for classes or for more information about the Arkansas Master Gardeners program, visit the Cooperative Extension Service’s website, www.uaex.edu, or contact your county extension agent.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services 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.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service