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Program Marks Master Gardeners’ 30th Anniversary

PUYALLUP, Wash. — A daylong horticultural symposium at the Landmark Convention Center in Tacoma on July 20 will mark the 30th anniversary of the founding of Washington State University Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener Program. The concept has spread to every state and all across Canada.

The symposium, which is open to the public, includes sessions on drought-tolerant and disease-resistant plants; growing edible plants in containers; heathers in the garden; and landscaping for smaller spaces.

Tours of the Wright Park and Seymour Conservatory; WSU’s Puyallup Research and Extension Center; and the Gertrude E. V. Baker Rose Garden will be offered in the afternoon.

Jim Wilson, co-host of the PBS TV series The Victory Garden from 1984 to 1994, will speak at the evening’s Founder’s Day Celebration Banquet. Wilson also has appeared on HGTV as a co-host on episodes of The Great Gardener series and has written 12 books on gardening.

Registration, which includes three meals, is $75 before June 15th and $85 after. For more information, visit the Master Gardener Web site at and click on Founders Day Celebration. You can also call (877) 978-6448) toll free or e-mail questions to

Master Gardeners are university-trained volunteers who serve as educators in their communities. In exchange for their training, they answer questions at plant diagnostic clinics, farmers markets and at flower and garden shows. Some provide advice on the radio. Others write gardening columns for local newspapers, teach gardening classes or manage garden Web sites.

The volunteer program was devised by extension faculty in King and Pierce counties as an experiment to help respond to an increasing number of questions being asked by gardeners.

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