2012 Windham & Tolland County Master Gardener Graduates
What Is A Master Gardener
Master Gardeners are:
- Trained volunteers who are awarded a certification by Connecticut’s land grant university. They work in their communities to extend their knowledge of horticulture and the environment.
- A diverse group committed to sharing their passion and enthusiasm for gardening, education and outreach with each other and their communities.
- Over 30 years, thousands of Connecticut residents have successfully graduated from this wonderful Extension program to count themselves among the ranks of the Master Gardeners.
The History of the Master Gardener Program
The Master Program began in 1976 in the state of Washington and here in Connecticut we are celebrating thirty years. Today the program exists in all 50 states through the Land Grant University system. There is even an international Master Gardener Program.
Becoming a Master Gardener
The objective of the program is to provide horticultural training to individuals who want to share knowledge with the public through community volunteerism, and wish to expand their gardening interests.
The program is broad-based, intensive and consists of 14 class sessions (one full day per week) beginning in early January. The Master Gardener program includes 145 hours of training (85 hours of class and 60 hours of volunteer service), with a minimum of 30 hours spent in Cooperative Extension Centers during business hours. Individuals successfully completing the program will receive a University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension Master Gardener certificate. The charge for the program is $395.00, which includes a full training manual. Partial scholarships may be available, based on demonstrated financial need.
For more information or an application, call your local Cooperative Extension Center or visit the Home and Garden website at www.ladybug.uconn.edu.
Windham County Master Gardeners
Windham County Master Gardeners are a dedicated group of trained volunteers who contribute enormously to our communities. They continue to develop reliable resources for the residents of Windham County whether they are answering the phones and providing horticultural advice and diagnostics at the Extension Center or providing service in their individual community on approved outreach projects.
Current and past outreach projects include:
- Community Gardens
- People’s Harvest- Located in beautiful Mashamoquet State Park in Pomfret on the site of the Averill homestead, this garden uses sustainable agriculture principles. This vegetable garden began in 2004. It has grown over 12,000 lbs of vegetables that are distributed to over 18 service organizations in Windham County. The site also serves as an educational site for youth groups, schools and other educational programs. Under the careful watch of Dr. Bob Stetson and his hardworking crew this garden serves as a successful example of the positive impact of community horticulture. They work in partnership with CT DEP.
- Taylor Court – This Willimantic community garden broke ground in 2008 under the eye of Master Gardener intern Brenda Sullivan.
- Community Gardens at Lauter Park- In partnership with the STRETCH leadership team Master Gardener worked with the residents of Willimantic to improve and expand their gardening practices.
- Sustainable Landscapes-
- Windham Extension Center- Partnering with the UCONN Water Quality team Master Gardeners installed multiple display, teaching gardens on the Extension Center grounds.
- Goodwin Forest and Conservation Center- Richard C. Haley Native Plant Arboretum. Partnering with CT Dept. of Environmental Protection, Master Gardeners work to restore and design the grounds of the Conservation Center in Hampton, CT.
- Municipal Projects-
- Garden on the Bridge- Working with Ruth Cutler, the Windham Garden Club, municipal officials and the residents of Willimantic, the old Rt. 32 underpass was transformed into a beautiful public space celebrating the diverse history of Willimantic, CT.
Advanced Master Gardener Program
Started in 2003, the AMG program was created to provide additional educational opportunities for both certified Master Gardeners and the public. Classes are offered at various times and locations throughout the state.
For more information and upcoming classes go to the Advanced Master Gardener website.