POMEROY — Interested in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer in Meigs County?
Michelle Stumbo, Ohio State Extension Educator and Area Leader for Meigs County would like to know. She recently held a meeting to gauge interest and commitment to the program, and is continuing to reach out to the community before undertaking development of the program.
Stumbo assured attendees that participants in the program are not required to have gardening skills or knowledge, just a passion for learning about gardening and sharing this knowledge with others.
“You could qualify to be an Ohio Master Gardener Volunteer if you want to learn more about plants and gardening, are eager to participate in a practical and intensive training program, enjoy sharing your knowledge with others, and have the time to attend training and serve your community as a volunteer educator,” explained Stumbo.
According to the Ohio State University Extension website, the Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) program provides intensive training in horticulture to interested Ohio residents who then volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for Ohio residents through their local OSU Extension county office.
The mission of the program is to have “Trained volunteers empowered to educate others with timely research-based gardening information.”
Following training, Master Gardener Volunteers work with county Extension personnel to provide educational services to their communities in a variety of ways, including answering gardening questions from the public, conducting plant clinics; gardening activities with children, senior citizens, or disabled persons, and beautifying the community by developing community or demonstration gardens.
Volunteer programs include: Integrated pest management focus on teaching and demonstrating IPM techniques in the garden and landscape; Invasive species teaches the potential damage that invasive species might cause to the environment, and their management or eradication; Backyard and local foods teaches and demonstrates how to grow vegetables, focusing on community gardens and local farming; Environmental horticulture includes a wide variety of horticulture programs, including stormwater management, rain gardens, good plant selection practices and demonstration gardens. Initiatives can also be tailored to community needs.
The program has existed in Ohio since the late 1970s, and previously had an active group in the county. There are now more than 3,000 active Master Gardener Volunteers 62 Ohio counties.
Stumbo is also planning horticultural programs this Spring at the Pomeroy Library on topics of interest to the community, and welcomes suggestions.
For more information on your local Master Gardener Volunteer program, visit OSU.edu or email Michelle Stumbo at Stumbo.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.