The OSU Extension Service Master Gardener program, a highly trained volunteer force that educates Oregonians about the art and science of growing and caring for plants, has conferred top honors to its most dedicated ambassadors.
Twenty-six volunteers were recognized for their service to their counties and communities.
The OSU Extension Service’s Master Gardener program and the Oregon Master Gardener Association, a nonprofit that supports the program, sponsor the annual awards.
Master Gardeners are volunteers trained by the OSU Extension Service. They share their knowledge of sustainable gardening and OSU home horticulture resources by volunteering to answer questions and teach classes at their local Extension offices, farmers markets and libraries.
More than 4,100 people across the state are active Master Gardeners. In 2012, Master Gardeners had more than 186,000 interactions with the public statewide. They volunteered more than 194,000 hours, the equivalent of about 95 full-time workers in communities across Oregon.
Central Gorge (Hood River): Joint award. Mary Parrott and Nancy Slagle are co-chairwomen for the Learning Garden demonstration garden at the OSU Extension Office in Hood River. They both serve on the Central Gorge Master Gardener Association board and are enthusiastic supporters of the OSU Extension Service.
Wasco County: Peggy Peterson has served as a Master Gardener for 10 years. She helped organize a project in which Master Gardeners work with youth detainees at the NORCOR facility to teach horticulture. Peterson has also worked at The Dalles Imagination Garden for five years and on the Seeds and Soils youth education program for seven years, as well as serving as co-chairwoman for the Junior Master Gardener Program in Wasco County.