Raleigh, NC, December 21, 2019 --(PR.com
)-- The Wake County Extension Master Gardener program celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2019. The year-long merriment included a variety of unique and special events - featuring nationally renowned speakers, charter members, and extraordinary volunteer talents that extend beyond the landscape.
The Master Gardener Program began in 1979 when County Agent, Victor Lynn learned about the Garden Leaders program from Washington State. “As Wake County’s population grew, it became obvious that the public demanded more horticultural information and services than paid Extension staff could provide. When I heard what Garden Leaders were doing in the state of Washington, I saw it as the best solution. Recruiting, training, and deployment of volunteers was a foundational tool of Cooperative Extension,” said Lynn. The first local meeting took place on March 17, 1979, where 17 men and women responded to the call. They met in Kilgore Hall at NC State University and adopted the name “Master Gardeners.”
In the last 40 years, the program has grown to serve the Wake County public in many ways, including:
Phone and email “hotlines” to assist Wake County residents with their garden questions and concerns.
Community and Demonstration Gardens assistance
Education booths at Farmers Markets, NC State Fair, and local events
Workshops and public speaking for special interest groups
Youth programs such as School Gardens and Junior Master Gardeners
Therapeutic Horticulture outreach
Dr. David Gibby, Master Gardener Program founder, stated, “One of the best examples of volunteerism in the world is the Master Gardener Program. Those of us involved in the program know the economic benefit. We see the countless hours people put in and we know the help that is given out is selfless, it’s wonderful, and it’s very valuable. And those that are doing it are having a good time.”
The Wake County Extension Master Garden Program is led by Dr. Jeana Myers who joined as County Extension Horticulture Agent in 2012. Over 180 active Master Gardener volunteers call Wake County “home.” In the years to come, the program anticipates growth in number, expertise, and impact through education and outreach.
For more information about the Wake County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, visit: go.ncsu.edu/wake-emg
To view the public and economic impact of the statewide Extension Master Gardener Program, read the 2018 Annual Report.
About North Carolina Extension Master Gardener(SM) Volunteers
Since 1979, North Carolina Extension Master Gardener(SM) Volunteers (EMGVs) have been leaders in this internationally acclaimed program, guiding homeowners in making environmentally sound decisions in their landscapes. Trained by North Carolina State University faculty and staff, EMGVs provide research-based information about gardening and environmental stewardship to individuals and communities across the state. EMGVs engage the community through education and outreach on a wide variety of subjects and through a broad spectrum of projects, all designed to maximize their impact.