UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Several Penn State Extension Master Gardener programs received accolades during the organization’s statewide annual meeting, recently held at the Seven Springs Resort and Conference Center in Champion.
David Gibby, former area Extension agent for Washington State University who founded the first Master Gardener program in 1972, presented the awards.
Today, there are approximately 95,000 Master Gardeners in all 50 states, South Korea and several Canadian provinces. In Pennsylvania, there are 3,165 Master Gardener volunteers.
Competition categories and winners included the following:
Master Gardeners in Cumberland and Perry counties walked away with first place in the Demonstration Garden category. The group was lauded for developing at 2,250-square-foot butterfly garden in Adams Ricci Park.
Second place went to the Westmoreland County Master Gardeners for creating a bluebird trail on the grounds of the Loyalhanna Watershed Farm in Ligonier.
The Fayette County Master Gardeners received the top prize in the Innovative Program category for their project, “The MOLE: Menallen Outdoor Learning Environment,” a partnership between Menallen Elementary School in Uniontown and Master Gardeners that fosters a connection between children and the outdoors by having students care for a landscaped area near the school.
Allegheny County Master Gardeners earned second place for three projects in concert with various organizations under the banner of the “Wild Gardens Project,” with the primary goal of educating the public about the evolving native landscapes of southwestern Pennsylvania.
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