SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener volunteers and coordinators were honored recently for outstanding service and support to their county gardening and community service programs during the Ohio Master Gardener State Conference Awards Program. The event was held in conjunction with the International Master Gardener Conference in Charleston, West Virginia. The Master Gardener Volunteer Program provides intensive training in horticulture to interested gardeners who then volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for Ohio residents through their local OSU Extension county office. Working with county Extension personnel, Master Gardener volunteers provide such educational services to their communities as answering gardening questions from the public; conducting plant clinics; gardening activities with children, senior citizens, or disabled persons; beautifying the community; developing community or demonstration gardens; and other horticultural activities.
Last year, volunteers committed more than 137,000 hours to community services, impacting more than a quarter of a million residents.
The following Master Gardener awards were presented during the conference:
Outstanding Master Gardener Volunteer for the State: Christine Harris, Cuyahoga County
Outstanding Master Gardener Volunteer regional winners: North East, Christine Harris, Cuyahoga County and West, Stephen Mehaffie, Greene County
Outstanding Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator for the State: Lori Swihart, Licking County
Friend of the OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program: Springfield Township Trustees, Compost Facility, Clark County
Outstanding Master Gardener Volunteer Project: small category (1-25 volunteers), Brown CountySeeds of Freedom; medium category (26-75 volunteers), Athens County SEPTA Correctional Facility Cutting Garden; large category (76 and more), Greene County Gardening School for At-Risk Teens
Outstanding Master Gardener Volunteer Project Excellence Awards:
Community Service Project, Cuyahoga County, Share the Health Educational Garden
Demonstration Garden, Butler County, Victorian Era Garden at the Benninghofen
Special Audiences, Summit County, Urban Gardening with Traumatic Brain Injured Adults
Youth Program, Warren County, Botany Road Trip
For more information on the OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program, log on to http://mastergardener.osu.edu, or contact Pam Bennett, State Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator, at (937) 328-4607 or firstname.lastname@example.org.