The National Extension Master Gardener blog, hosted by eXtension, has been posting short articles about the 2011 Search for Excellence Award Winners over the past couple of weeks, so I thought I would pass those links along to you. They have 3 of the 6 categories posted so far, so I’ll share the rest when they are available.
Community Service Award Winners:
1st Place: Seed2Need- The Corrales Food Pantry Project- Sandoval County, NM. The Sandoval County, NM Master Gardeners grew over 42,000 pounds of produce to donate to the hungry in their community.
2nd Place: Helen Keller Birthplace: Ivy Green – Shoals County, Alabama. The Shoals County, AL Master Gardeners renovated and tend the gardens at Helen Keller’s birthplace. The gardens are full of old-fashioned varieties and sensory plants.
3rd Place: Share the Health Educational Garden- Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The Cuyahoga County, OH Master Gardeners grow vegetables and donate them to an organization that cares for mentally ill adults.
Innovative Project Award Winners:
1st Place: The Emerald Ash Borer/Ash Tree Inventory – Boone County, Illinois. The Boone County, IL Master Gardeners inventoried the location and health of all the ash trees on public property in their county to help identify Emerald Ash Borer problems and to enable the municipalities to plan for replacement of those trees.
2nd Place: Grass Roots Project – Chesterfield County, Virginia. The Chesterfield County, VA Master Gardeners did site visits and assessments of 4,600 lawns over 14 years, which enabled Extension educators to make site specific recommendations to the homeowners.
3rd Place (Tie): Emerald Ash Borer Awareness – Greene County, Ohio AND Grow It! Eat It! Summer Camps – Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The Greene County, OH Master Gardeners also did an ash tree inventory and some educational programs. The Anne Arundel County, MD Master Gardeners taught basic gardening to youth at summer camps.
Youth Project Award Winners:
1st Place: Agri-Fest – Polk County, Florida. The Polk County, FL Master Gardeners put on this program for 6,000 4th graders every spring to teach them about seeds and plants, and what farmers grow in their area.
2nd Place: Juvenile Detention Center Community Garden- Champaign County, Illinois. The Champaign County, IL Master Gardeners work with youth in the Urbana Juvenile Detention Center to teach them gardening, nutrition, and life lessons through the garden.
3rd Place: Not yet posted. I’ll update this post when it’s available.
It’s pretty inspiring to see what other Master Gardener programs around the country are doing, don’t you think? Of course, we have lots of great programs going on here in Sedgwick County (some of which have won this award in the past, I believe). Still, it’s a lot of fun to see what other people do and get ideas for what we could do too!