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April 13-19 Proclaimed WSU Master Gardener Volunteer Week

PULLMAN, Wash. Washington Gov. Gary Locke has proclaimed the week of April 13-19 as Washington State University Master Gardner Volunteer Week.

Master Gardeners are university-trained volunteers who serve as educators in their communities. The Master Gardener program began in King and Pierce counties 30 years ago to enable WSU Cooperative Extension to better serve the public, specifically home gardeners.

The concept has spread to every state, across Canada and beyond, said Rod Tinnemore, state coordinator of the WSU Master Gardner Program. “It also has served as a model for educational delivery for other Cooperative Extension programs.”

Among other things, Master Gardeners teach gardening classes to children and adults, write columns and articles on horticultural topics for newspapers, and answer thousands of questions about plant problems at plant clinics and on the phone.

“Master Gardeners also address important social and environmental issues in their communities,” Tinnemore, said. “They educate the public about the proper use of fertilizers and pesticides to protect our environment. Others help families grow their own nutritious food and provide many other community services.”

Today more than 3,100 Master Gardeners are at work in 33 counties across the state. They volunteer thousands of hours annually, helping more than 300,000 citizens with their gardening problems.

You can learn more about the Master Gardeners at http://mastergardener.wsu.edu/

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Contact Rod Tinnemore at (253) 445-4614 for more information on the program or your county Cooperative Extension office to localize the story.