PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington Gov. Gary Locke has proclaimed the week of April 18-24 as Washington State University Master Gardener Volunteer Week.
Master Gardeners are university-trained volunteers who serve as field educators in their communities. The Master Gardener program began in King and Pierce counties 31 years ago to enable WSU Extension to better serve the public, specifically home gardeners. The concept has since spread to every state and other countries.
“We are very proud to be founders of the Master Gardener movement,” said Rod Tinnemore, state coordinator of the WSU Extension Master Gardener program. “As such, our influence continues to expand. This spring the British Broadcasting Corporation will launch an initiative for the gardening public in the United Kingdom called the BBC Neighbourhood Gardener modeled after our program and utilizing our training manual.
“Within Washington state, if there are needs relating to the environment, to seniors, to youth, to the disabled or to community development, WSU Master Gardeners are right there as part of the solution.”
Master Gardener volunteers provide hands-on gardening instruction to children and adults, present gardening workshops, write columns and articles on horticultural topics for newspapers, and answer thousands of questions about plant problems at plant clinics and on the phone.
Today more than 3,100 Master Gardeners are at work in 34 counties in Washington. They volunteer thousands of hours annually helping more than 350,000 citizens with their gardening problems.
To learn more about how to become a Master Gardener or support the program, visit the Master Gardener Web site at http://mastergardener.wsu.edu/ or call toll-free 1-800-WSU-MG4U (978-6448).
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NOTE TO EDITORS:
The counties in Washington state that do not currently have Master Gardener volunteer programs are Columbia, Douglas, Garfield, Lincoln and Skamania.
Founded.mp3 (539 kb)
WSU started the world’s first Master Gardener Volunteer Program in 1973. Since then it has gone international.
(18.1 sec.) “… new program being started by the British Broadcasting Corporation.”
FieldEducators.mp3 (219 kb)
Master Gardeners are Washington State University field educators.
(7.4 sec.) “… and beautification of local communities.”
ServicesFree.mp3 (294 kb)
Services are free and the program is growing.
(10.1 sec.) “… before you can even get in.”