Over 300 Master Gardeners from across the state enjoyed the annual conference September 29th and 30th in Columbus and hosted by the Franklin County MGVs. The two-day conference theme was, Grow Your Own Way, with great speakers to help each participant grow it their own way. A highlight of the conference was the breadfast awards ceremoney where MGV Director Pam Bennett presented certificates, clocks, cash vouchers and plaques to outstanding volunteers, projects and friends of the program. Bennett notes the value MGVs provide to the state of Ohio with their over 173,700 hours of volunteer work valued at $4 Million.
The top honors for OSUE Outstanding Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinators were Eric Barrett of Mahoning County (Staff) and Yen Hanes of Franklin County (Volunteer.)
The top 5 OSUE Outstanding Individual Master Gardener Volunteers were as follows: Hedy Westra, Cuyahoga County; Barb Deliso, Mahoning County; Catherine Freay, Medina County; Charles Huth, Seneca County; and Peggy Cartwright, Summit County.
The 2018 MGV Conference will be held in Hamilton County on September 28 and 29th.
Our congtatulations go to these 2017 Award Winners:
Outstanding Master Gardener Volunteer Projects
Small Program (1-25 volunteers)- Overall Winner of OSUE Outstanding MGV Project
Madison County (Environmental Horticulture Category Winner) – Soil Super Heroes, an afterschool program to introduce economically disadvantaged children to parts of the natural world they have not yet explored.
Small Program - Project Category Winners
Backyard & Local Foods Category: Clinton County – Backyard Food Demo Garden, a project that tests obscure and/or easily grown fruits and edibles that would require little input from residents. Then encouraging them to plant the food in their own backyard.
Medium Program (26–75 volunteers) Overall Winner of OSUE Outstanding MGV Project
Erie County (Backyard & Local Foods Category Winner) – Ohio Veterans Home Greenhouse, a hundred by sixty-foot greenhouse that has been used by residents of the Ohio Veterans Home for 4 years. The Erie County MGV took on the task of using half the greenhouse to grow hydroponics and train residents to take care of them.
Medium Program – Project Category Winners Environmental Horticulture Category: Ashtabula County - Gateway Butterfly & Pollinator Garden, the third phase to the Outdoor Learning Center for Conneaut City Public Schools. This garden is a 40’ x 60’ with raised beds, a bench for visitors and rock borders to define the paths that divide the garden into six smaller beds.
Integrated Pest Management Category: Mahoning County – Valley Grows Page in the Youngstown Vindicator, a project where a MGV convinced The Youngstown Vindicator to dedicate a section called “Valley Grows” in their paper once a week and then also publishing it on their website to inform the community about better garden practices and promote the MGV program.
Invasive Species Category: Hardin County – Invasive Species Media Series, the MGV published a series of newspaper articles on 15 of the most common Ohio Invasive Species in order to educate the public about the spread of these invasive species.
Large Program (76 or more volunteers) Overall Winner of OSUE Outstanding MGV Project
- County (Backyard & Local Foods Category Winner) – Master Gardeners Community Garden Program, MGV from County mentored local community gardens to get the most out of their land. They also began to offer a free program called “Let’s Get Growing” to inform the community about their gardens through various workshops.
Large Program – Project Category Winners
Community Service Category: Montgomery County – Historic Dayton VA, eight themed gardens were created at the Dayton VA in 2013 to restore the Grotto. Since then the whole program has taken off with education opportunities that include: PowerPoint Presentations, garden tours, a website, a Facebook page, and brochures. In 2016 the Grotto was given the honor of a Tier 1 Arboretum.
Environmental Horticulture Category: Cuyahoga County – Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County at the Fair, a Master Gardener Display in the Floral Building at the fair. It spread the word about the MGV program and helped educate the public about the items displayed.
Invasive Species Category: Lucas County – Viburnum Leaf Beetle Study, the breakout of the Viburnum Leaf Beetle in Lucas County required the MGV to take action. They developed a project to confirm the three most susceptible species of the beetle to help save the Toledo Botanical Garden from the insect.
Friends of the OSUE Master Gardener Volunteer Program
Greene County: Bellbrook Sugarcreek Park District
Lake County: Judge Karen Lawson, Lake County Court of Common Pleas- Juvenile Division
Lucas County: Toledo Botanical Garden
Standards of Excellence Awards
Counties receiving the Gold Award:
Counties receiving the Platinum Award: