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Master Gardener Program graduates 26 new volunteers

The Fayette Master Gardener Association and the Extension Office hosted a celebration luncheon for 26 new master gardener interns who completed an intensive 20-session training program that included midterm and final exams. Over the coming year, these volunteers will donate 50 hours of service to the county to be certified as master gardeners. After completion of the initial 50 hours, they will be required to give 25 hours of service each year within Fayette County to maintain active master gardener status.

The interns will work specifically on a garden plot behind the County Administration Complex that features a butterfly garden, sunflowers and roses.
Congratulation to the class of 2010: Lynn Amos, Jan Belvin, Silvia Benedetti, Harry Bolton, Dave Eickemeyer, Mary Ann Galli, Kim Garwood, Carol Gordon, Diane Hartman, Candy Lesher, Cindy Martin, John Merrick, Jim Moye, Sue Nelson, Larry Newsome, Sandra Novelly, Ellen O’Neill, Sheila Ostrofsky, Judy Rockett, Joye Ross, Ana Christina Smokowicz, Anne Suenaga, Emily Sweet, Noreen Taylor, Barb Turner and Jinaki Wilson.

Fayette County master gardeners have a long and impressive history of “giving back” to the community. In 2009, master gardeners donated 7,467 hours of volunteer service, logging 33,900 miles throughout Fayette County.

The “Plant a Row for the Hungry” (PAR) garden is the signature project of the master gardeners. Last year, over 26,000 pounds of vegetables were harvested and donated to several local charities and food banks. Master gardeners hosted 27 gardening classes for 837 participants and made numerous home visits to help homeowners identify trees, plants, diseases and insects.

The estimated value to Fayette County of the master gardeners’ volunteer efforts in 2009 is $222,831.00.

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