Posts Tagged ‘sfeawards-innovative projects’

2017 Innovative Projects 1st Place – Composting and Worm Composting Video Series, Orange County, CA

Monday, June 12th, 2017

UCCE Orange County Master Gardeners harnessed the outreach strength of their website (http://mgorange.ucanr.edu/) to accomplish the Master Gardener educational mission by teaching the public to successfully compost in their backyards, community gardens, and other gardening locations.  Master Gardeners prepared materials to illustrate the process and assist home gardeners in their composting efforts with as a series of videos with step-by-step instructions on how to compost, build a bin, start and maintain a pile and troubleshoot problems.  The short and concise videos provided demonstrations with verbal explanations. A second set of similar videos was prepared to address composting with worms.  By strategically keeping the videos short and covering a single topic in each one, the Master Gardeners offered the viewer the option of finding the exact information needed to answer a specific question, or of watching the entire series to understand the complete process.

Use of the website in this manner for public outreach placed the resources of the University within reach of anyone who visits it.  Viewing the videos prompted visitors to explore other resources such as the Master Gardener Hotline, Radio Podcasts and the Gardening Event Calendar.  The website also provided links to University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources sites, and other reliable gardening information. To date, visits to the site number more than 22,000.  Since January 2015 there have been more than 9,796 views of the composting video series and the traffic keeps increasing.

Only University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Master Gardener educational material and guidelines were used to create the videos. The preferable UC method of composting, the Hot or Rapid Method, was emphasized in the composting video series. Also, because gardeners may be limited by backyard space, availability of materials, or other considerations, an alternative video series, Composting With Worms highlighted its advantages and benefits. Having videos on both methods provided gardeners with choices and helped ensure success for a wider audience.

The team responsible for this project has extensive computer and video filming expertise as a result of their work experiences.  For this team, and for any others with this kind of background, the project is straightforward.  Beginning as an assignment for students in the Master Composting certification class, it consisted of a series of nine videos on the composting process and six videos on worm composting. Taped live in a composting environment, the videos featured narrators who are members of the Master Gardener Speakers Bureau and have experience in giving group lectures.  Once the scripts were written using the guidelines from the Master Composter manual, the videos were shot on site, edited and uploaded to the website.

The availability of these videos addressed the growing questions on the Master Gardener hotline for information and speaker requests on composting, especially in light of the management of solid waste requirements of California Assembly Bill 939. One goal was to reach a wide audience – a must in any gardening active community where time demand is greater than volunteer staff can manage. Using you tube-type capabilities in the form of quick and easy videos allows the information to be made available to a large audience on-demand in an easily recognizable and usable format. 

The decisions on which aspects of composting to highlight, what to cover in the videos, and how to keep it simple, were determined by the members of this team.  To our knowledge, there are no published guidelines for this type of project for Master Gardeners. All videos are available at http://uccemg.com/Soils-Fertilizers-Compost/Composting-Video-Series-386/

 

 

2017 Innovative Projects 3rd Place – The Mentor Approach: Building Community, Snohomish Cty, WA

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

“My mentor was crucial to my learning experience: she was encouraging, helpful and made me feel a part of a process that I, at first, found a little intimidating. She brought extra material to class and always made sure we had the tools we needed. A truly helpful person.”–Intern “She wasn’t an instructor, but a resource if we needed her.” — Intern

Where We Started: We realized that our MG retention rate was low, particularly after the second-year commitment was met. Interns expressed concern during class and volunteer time:  They had challenges understanding the content, program requirements and where they fit in with the program.

“We had the opportunity to get to know our classmates over a period of three months, as well as some veterans. Making connections is what builds community.”–Intern “Our mentor was an excellent help in explaining things that weren’t clear, helping in hands-on sessions and was available both at the table and on email.” –Intern

Our Solution: We developed a program to use our most valuable resource, our veteran MGs. During the twelve-week training course, each mentor was responsible for three to four students.  They also followed their students’ progress through their first year of volunteer service.  We held training sessions for the mentors on their responsibilities: communicating weekly, monitoring their students’ progress and mastery of course content, leading morning table-talk sessions, and acting as the liaison between students and class coordinator. Each mentor developed his/her own method tailored to their students’ needs.

 

“Always fun to see my mentor and table mates at the demonstration gardens!”—Intern “I had been through Master Gardener training in another state previously and we only met with our mentor a couple of times and they didn’t communicate with us much during the training. This was much more welcoming.”–Intern/Transfer MG “Each intern brought their own interests, questions and experience to discuss which makes the MG training a true exchange of learning.” —Mentor

Results: We experienced a significant jump in program retention. All students completed their minimum first-year requirements and in fact, many earned their hundred-hour pin. Many interns and veterans have requested to become mentors in the future.  Our students graduated knowing more veteran MGs, friendships blossomed and people found their niche.  Several unplanned benefits:  Mentors appreciated the refresher course, the community developed in class extended to the entire Master Gardener community and the Snohomish County Master Gardener Foundation membership grew significantly.  All of this was done with minimal cost.

2015 Search for Excellence Awards – Innovative Projects — 2nd Place Winner

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Sarah’s Garden

garden ISarah’s Garden is an original, restored 142-year old treasure at the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site in Bloomington, Illinois. The University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners of McLean County, through a May 2007 Memorandum of Understanding, partner with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the David Davis Mansion Foundation Board on Sarah’s Garden restoration, care, educational programming, tours and outreach.

This collaboration resulted in Master Gardener development of ever-expanding educational efforts for youth and the public while restoring this unique historic quarter-acre flower garden as a living museum with 7 plants original to its 1872 creation and 70 more documented heirlooms.

While the historic Sarah’s Garden could not be replicated, other Master Gardener groups could easily utilize the educational programs and techniques in their own public or private gardens for local classrooms and youth groups including 4-H. This sharing would contribute to our common goal of teaching adults and children about gardens and gardening.

4H in the garden

This year 23 Home Spun 4-H Club members and their leaders learned about garden care during 6 half-day summer work sessions in Sarah’s Garden mentored by Master Gardeners.

The project exemplifies Extension goals for Master Gardeners to: Distribute horticultural information, Enhance educational programs, and Develop Master Gardener leadership. Specific goals for the project: 1) Promote the historic garden for intergenerational visitors. 2) Restore the garden to its original documented design and plants. 3) Preserve the documented heirlooms 4) Interpret the garden for youth educational programs. 5) Provide Garden access for the public.

The Garden Restoration Committee of Master Gardeners and Davis Mansion staff plans for, implements, documents and evaluates the ongoing restoration, research, and plant cultivation of Sarah’s Garden. It also develops and implements the interpretive educational programs in cooperation with teachers and Illinois State Learning Standards and with the use of University of Illinois Extension research and resources including Jr. Master Gardener materials.

A mentor/mentee program, training manual, hands-on experiences, and prepared program and tour resources assist new Master Gardeners in becoming future project leaders. Nine Master Gardener Mentors lead the program with 29 more Master Gardeners engaged in restoration and educational programming. The Garden is open April through October for Master Gardener work sessions, impromptu tours, educational youth programs and scheduled group tours. Research on the plants and garden restoration as well as power-point presentations continue through the winter. Sarah’s Garden and its programs are free and available with accommodation for all.

The growing success story of Sarah’s Garden is the continued expansion of the Master Gardener-led educational programming in reaching 4 major groups:

  1. Master Gardeners. Sarah’s Garden is a unique educational setting for Master Gardeners to learn about heirloom plants and how to teach audiences about gardens and gardening. Nine Master Gardeners mentored 29 Master Gardeners and 14 community volunteers in the ongoing Garden restoration and care and in the development and presentation of educational programs for youth and community audiences.   Master Gardeners continue research during the winter with 2014 topics focused on spring bulb identification, rose and tree propagation, and a bloom period chart.   Master Gardeners recorded 1377 volunteer hours for the year at Sarah’s Garden.
  2. Youth. Sarah’s Garden provides a unique educational setting in the community for Master Gardeners to teach youth about gardens and gardening. It is our major emphasis for the year.
  3. Adults. Sarah’s Garden is a magnet for adult gardeners and historians in the community. This year, 32 Master Gardeners provided 12 scheduled group educational tours for 407 adults and 39 impromptu tours of Sarah’s Garden for 159 visitors.   Master Gardeners gave added tours for 1374 people during 7 community events at the Mansion including the Glorious Garden Festival, Civil War Days, the Barn Quilt Tour and the Antique Car Show. Each tour taught visitors about the garden, its plants, and its care and also answered visitor questions about their own gardens. Two of the bus tours were Master Gardener groups from other counties.
  4. Historic Garden Outreach. Sarah’s Garden continues as an educational model for other historic garden restoration projects. New in 2014 was outreach to the historic Elijah Iles House in Springfield IL. Master Gardeners presented 2 “Preserving Sarah Davis’ Cutting Garden” workshops for Iles House staff and volunteers, hosted Iles House volunteers to two visits at Sarah’s Garden, and shared techniques and heirloom plants for the Iles House garden.

    GS in the garden

    The Girl Scout Workshops at Sarah’s Garden engaged 141 4th and 5th grade girls in half-day garden-related activities to earn their Flowers and Gardener badges. Master Gardeners utilized Extension Junior Master Gardener materials and new Girl Scout program guides to develop the workshops sessions taught by 18 Master Gardeners. Leaders also benefitted from the programs.

 

  • The Fall 3rd Grade program reached 247 students from 5 schools and their teachers/ chaperones. The Spring 3rd Grade program brought 285 students from 5 schools and their teachers/chaperones. Developed by Master Gardeners in cooperation with teachers, each of the 10 half-day programs involve Master Gardener-led rotations to 3 garden-related learning activities in the fall and 3 new activities in the spring.
  • New in 2014 was the pilot 4th grade Art and Architecture program where 8 Master Gardeners gave 25 students and their teachers experiences in photography in Sarah’s Garden and an art table creating garden look-a-like flowers in addition to a Mansion experience discovering the influence of nature on Victorian home décor.
  • New this year was a Seed Planting Activity at Illinois State University’s Family and Science Day where Master Gardeners led several hundred children in planting seeds to take home.
  • New this year was development of a Sarah’s Garden interactive power point presentation to be implemented in 2015 for youth audiences and for children visiting the Mansion with parents.

 

Other Master Gardener developed educational efforts are the Sarah’s Garden power point for community audiences with recorded audio added this year, a Sarah’s Garden brochure, photo albums of all garden plants in bloom, Sarah’s Garden seeds and the power-point for sale in the Mansion gift shop, and Sarah’s Garden plants for the Master Gardener “Plants and More” sale.

Master Gardeners and Extension are recognized for bringing Sarah’s Garden to a prominent status as a community attraction and as an educational center model. The Garden was recognized with a City of Bloomington Beautification Award. Volunteer efforts won the 2010 Illinois State Master Gardener Teamwork Award. sping in the gardenVolunteerism and programming were recognized with a Governor’s Hometown Award in 2011 and was one of 6 finalists for the top award, the Governor’s Cup. The Sarah’s Garden brochure provides visitors with additional interpretation. Sarah’s garden has its own link on the www.daviddavismansion.org website and is regularly featured by posts for 2100 “friends” on the Mansion Facebook page.

2015 Search for Excellence Winners are Announced!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Congratulations to the Twenty-one 2015 Search for Excellence Awards winners!IMGC Logo

Search for Excellence (SFE) is the recognition of outstanding projects by Master Gardener volunteers throughout the United States and Canada. These twenty-one awards were presented at the International Master Gardener Conference 2015 (IMGC 2015), Horticultural Horizons in the Heartland.Horticultural Horizons in the Heartland Logo

SFE Awards are presented every two years at the IMGC conference where Master Gardener volunteers, Extension staff and faculty gather to learn from each other, share projects and to network with their peers from around the world. Twenty one Master Gardener programs were recognized for their outstanding achievement from a field of seventy two applications, submissions from twenty six USA states and two Canadian provinces.

First, second and third place awards are presented in seven categories:

• Community Service
• Demonstration Gardens
• Innovative Projects
• Special Needs Audiences
• Research
• Workshop or Presentation
• Youth Programs

All SFE applications must show that significant learning took place. The SFE projects need to be ongoing projects for at least two years; one of the winners this year has been going on for twenty six years. The IMGC Committee judges the applications. Winning projects were chosen on the basis of their originality and creativity; practicality of the program; simplicity of replication by other Master Gardeners and their significant impact on their communities.

First place winners received a plaque and a small stipend to continue their educational projects. The twenty one awarded projects displayed posters of their projects at the IMGC 2015 conference. Congratulations to all the SFE awardees that are involved in these excellent projects.

Beginning next week and continuing over the next several months, this blog will feature stories and pictures from each 2015 Search for Excellence award winners. Watch for the upcoming postings and read about these outstanding projects.

The 2017 SFE awards nominations soon, more information will be found on the 2017 IMGC Webiste.

 

Search for Excellence Award First Place – Innovative Project (2013)

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

2013 Search for Excellence: Innovative Programs Award Winner 1st Place, Douglas County Master Gardener Plant Training Program, Roseburg, OR USA

The challenges that lead us to the development of our Master Gardener Plant Clinic Training Program were two fold. The first was retention of students after their mandatory hours and keeping Veterans involved. The second was ensuring that office protocols and procedures were being followed on a consistent basis.
In making phone calls to students and veterans I found that they felt uncomfortable working in the Clinic. They didn’t feel that they were competent. We clearly needed to do a better job in our Clinic training.
At that time our training consisted of an orientation, two training sessions with whoever was working in the clinic and working in the Clinic for the remainder of their hours. There was no consistency in the training.

Advanced Diagnostics Class

Advanced Diagnostics Class

The most vital element of our new program is the Teaching Core. This group of 5 Veterans make the commitment to train the students from February through May, with two training sessions with their mentors. Next we developed a curriculum for them to follow. The students have a corresponding check list on file in the office. Both students and trainers refer to this list to see what has been covered. The students can also use the list to ask the trainer to repeat things that they are unsure of. Both trainers and students receive an updated copy of clinic Protocol and Procedures.

An important part of the skill set required is diagnostic. Our Agent, Steve Renquist, stepped up to the plate and instituted our Monthly Diagnostic classes. They are focused on the Clinic workers but all Master Gardners are welcome. In the classes we learn about plant, insect and disease identification. Steve updates us on the latest pest alerts and resources. This increased knowledge gives us the confidence that we are giving our clients the latest information.
With this program we have improved the quality of the work done in the Clinic and our volunteer calendar is usually booked two months out. We do an annual review with the trainees and mentors. The number one comment is that both now feel qualified to work in the Plant Clinic. We also follow-up with our Plant Clinic clients; one of the questions asked is “Do you feel the Master Gardners helped you resolve you issues?” In 2008 we had an 86% satisfaction rate / 2009 90%/ 2010 93% and in 2011 we were at 95%.

Our teaching core receiving certificates of appreciation

Our teaching core receiving certificates of appreciation

We have already shared our program with other chapters and have received very positive feedback on their results.

If you would like further information go to our site http://extension.oregonstate.edu/douglas/mg/search-excellence-2013

Submitted by: Judy Mercer, Douglas County Oregon Master Gardener

2015 SFE Awards Application

2013 Search for Excellence Award Winners

Friday, June 27th, 2014
IMG Search for Excellence

International Master Gardener Search for Excellence Awards

On September 7, 2013 twenty one Search for Excellence Awards were presented at the International Master Gardener Conference 2013 (IMGC 2013), Cruise to Alaska Flowers, Fjords & Friends. Search for Excellence (SFE) is the recognition of outstanding projects by Master Gardener volunteers throughout the United States and Canada. 2013 logo for IMGC

SFE Awards are presented every two years at the IMGC conference where Master Gardener volunteers, Extension staff and faculty gather to learn from each other, share projects and to network with their peers from around the world. Twenty one Master Gardener programs were recognized for their outstanding achievement from a field of seventy two applications, submissions from twenty six USA states and two Canadian provinces.

First, second and third place awards were presented in seven categories:

• Community Service
• Demonstration Gardens
• Innovative Projects
• Special Needs Audiences
• Research
• Workshop or Presentation
• Youth Programs

All SFE applications must show that significant learning took place. The SFE projects need to be ongoing projects for at least two years; one of the winners this year has been going on for twenty six years. The IMGC Committee judges the applications. Winning projects were chosen on the basis of their originality and creativity; practicality of the program; simplicity of replication by other Master Gardeners and their significant impact on their communities.

First place winners received a plaque and a small stipend to continue their educational projects. The twenty one awarded projects displayed posters of their projects at the IMGC 2013 conference. Congratulations to all the SFE awardees that are involved in these excellent projects.

Beginning in October and continuing over the next several months, this blog will feature stories and pictures from each 2013 Search for Excellence award winners. Watch for the upcoming postings  and read about these outstanding projects.

The 2015 SFE awards nominations will begin in September – to apply follow the links.

Written by: Patty Driscoll, 2013 SFE Chair

Search for Excellence Award Blog Posts (Listing by Project Category)

Monday, February 6th, 2012
IMG Search for Excellence

International Master Gardener Search for Excellence Awards

In early November, Monica David, the 2011 IMGC vice president, announced we would be sharing 18 blog posts about each of the Extension Master Gardener volunteer projects that received a 2011 International Search For Excellence Award. These projects were awarded among six project categories during the 2011 International Master Gardener Conference.

Blog Posts Created New National Recognition and Discussion Opportunities

This year, blogging about these award winning projects helped bring new recognition and understanding of the value of Extension Master Gardener volunteers through pageviews on this blog, shares through our Facebook page, and retweets on Twitter.

Many of these projects received kudos in the blog’s comments section and created opportunities for Extension Master Gardeners from different states to discuss and learn about how local programs are participating in similar or different ways across the United States. To make these blog posts easier to access and find by category, we’ve grouped the 2011 International Master Gardener Search For Excellence award winning blog posts by project category and listed them for you below.

As you work toward new volunteer projects this year, you may want to take another glimpse at these posts, share these with a friend, or perhaps add your insights to the comments sections for a particular project that applies or resonates most with you….or (hint, hint) perhaps these posts will encourage your local program to submit an application for the 2013 International Master Gardener Search for Excellence Awards!

Blog Posts by Project Award Category

Workshop attendees learn how to properly construct their own rain barrels in Macon, County Iowa

The next International Master Gardener Conference and Search for Excellence Awards will take place in 2013.  For more information on the next International Master Gardener conference, see the IMGC 2013 Website or Facebook page.

Karen Jeannette
eXtension Consumer Horticulture Content Coordinator

2011 Search for Excellence Innovative Project Winners- 3rd Place Tie

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Two projects: Emerald Ash Borer Awareness/Management by Greene County Ohio Master Gardeners and Grow It! Eat It! Summer Camps by Anne Arundel County Maryland Master Gardeners tie for third place in the Innovative project category at the International Master Gardener Conference.

Emerald Ash Borer – Greene County Ohio Master Gardeners

Ohio’s Greene County Master Gardeners were awarded the Search for Excellence Award, 3rd place, at the International Master Gardeners Conference for their Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Program.  In their thorough approach, the Master Gardeners worked with local government to not only raise general awareness but to manage the impact of the EAB.

Master Gardeners check a city tree for signs of EAB damage.

Seminars and meetings reach 1000+

Under the leadership of Thais Reiff, Xenia, Ohio, the group hosted three major seminars and 40 group meetings, reaching over a thousand government officials, landscape professionals, and private citizens.  To emphasize the need for EAB training and provide all Ohio Master Gardeners information, they developed, aired, and archived nine EAB and tree related training programs over the internet.  This innovative program delivery provided the impetus for the creation of the Ohio State University sponsored “EAB University.”  For more information, visit: www.emeraldashborer.info.

EAB Tree Inventory of ~25,141 Green County Specimens

Lead by retired engineer, Steve Mehaffie, Beavercreek, Ohio, the Master Gardeners and volunteers inventoried every city-maintained tree in Greene County, totaling approximately 25,141 specimens.  To achieve this amazing feat, Steve provided a thorough document, “Guide to the Beavercreek Tree Inventory”.  Also, he shared his tree inventory techniques in 90-minute presentation on “How to Do a City Tree Inventory” for organizers. The goal was to allow local governments to better manage their urban forests in light of the EAB infestation.  Both presentations are available to all Master Gardeners throughout Ohio and beyond at: www.greene.osu.edu/topics/master-gardener-volunteer-program/links-1.

For more information, visit www.greene.osu.edu.

Written by Susan Richardson, Greene County Ohio Master Gardener

 

Grow It! Eat It! Summer Camps – Anne Arundel County Maryland Master Gardeners

Anne Arundel County, Maryland Master Gardeners also received a third place award for their project with youth- Grow It! Eat It! Summer Camps.

Children enjoy getting their hands dirty while learning about soils and nutrition at Grow It Eat It Summer Camp.

Basic Food Gardening Lesson for Youth in Summer Camps

In partnership with the Anne Arundel County Recreation and Park, Annapolis City Recreation and Parks, and the Family and Consumer Sciences at University of Maryland the MG established a lesson on basic food gardening for underserved youth between ages six and twelve who were attending Recreation and Parks summer camps.

Lessons included Soil and Nutrition, Seeds, Plant Parts, Whole Grains, and Colors. Over 760 children attended the camps where they learned basic gardening principles and were given the tools to make healthier choices at home. The Master Gardeners were also asked to return to work with children ages four and five to introduce basic gardening concepts.

For more information visit the website at http://annearundel.umd.edu/MGFiles/GrowIt.cfm

posted by Monica David, IMGC Vice President

2011 Search for Excellence Innovative Projects Winners- 2nd place

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

The Grass Roots project by the  Chesterfield County Master Gardeners from Virginia received second place in the Innovative Projects category at the International Master Gardener Conference for their project which emphasized sustainable lawns.

Homeowners are often frustrated with the condition of their lawn and tired of throwing away money on seed and fertilizer, only to see no improvements.  They can get to the ROOT of the problem through the Grass Roots Program!

A site visit begins with measuring the lawn area.

Site visits create healthy lawn, protect watershed

Grass Roots offers Chesterfield County residents the chance to learn about and remedy the specific problems contributing to their lawn’s current condition.  We offer personalized recommendations tailored to each lawn’s needs, which when followed can lead to a “green” – both beautiful and environmentally-friendly – lawn.

The program includes a site visit by a Master Gardener volunteer who measures lawn area, collects soil sample(s) and completes a detailed site evaluation, including information on soil compaction and weed cover.  Cooperative Extension staff uses this information in conjunction with soil test results to make specific recommendations for each lawn.

In the past 14 years, the Grass Roots program has helped over 4,600 county residents adopt lawn care practices that provide them with healthier turf and protect the watershed from excess fertilizers and pesticides. Surveys show that past participants are very happy with the information they received and the results they are seeing in their lawns.

An Extension Master Gardener takes soil samples to test for nutrient management and pH.

For more information about this Extension Master Gardener program, see Chesterfield County Master Gardener site

Written by Susan Edwards, ANR Technician and Master Gardener Coordinator, Chesterfield County, Virginia Cooperative Extension
Posted by Monica David, IMGC Vice President

2011 Search for Excellence Innovative Project Winners -1st place

Monday, November 7th, 2011

The Emerald Ash Borer/Ash Tree Inventory project by the Boone County Illinois Master Gardeners was awarded first place in the Innovative Projects Category at the International Master Gardener conference. Barbara Wych, chairperson for this project tells us about this award winning effort:

Boone County Master Gardeners show the results of mapping ash tree locations in one township which was surveyed.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) First Found in Michigan

In the summer of 2002, a ½” long bright metallic beetle native to areas of Asia, was first discovered in the United States near Detroit, Michigan.  This insect is the Emerald Ash Borer and as its name implies, it only uses ash trees during its life cycle.  Tree damage occurs as the larvae or borer feeds on the inner bark, effectively disrupting the movement of water and nutrients and ultimately killing the tree.  If the Emerald Ash Borer is not contained and eradicated the impact of this borer on ash trees in North America will be similar to that of chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease.

EAB discovered in Illinois in 2006

Four years later, in 2006, the insect was discovered in Illinois.  Since Boone County is near this Illinois site, in 2009, the Boone County Master Gardeners took the opportunity to be proactive in the community.  We formed a partnership with the city and county governments, Illinois Department of Ag., the parks and conservation districts, Extension educators and staff.

Ash tree inventory helps community understand EAB impacts, make informed decisions

As part of the partnership, the Boone County Master Gardeners conducted an ash tree inventory by recording the GPS coordinates, measuring tree diameters and assessing the health of all ash trees on all county, township and city right of ways.  This information was entered into the county’s Geographic Information System (GIS) which plotted color coded locations of all the ash trees; green for healthy, yellow for declining and red for dead.  The Emerald Ash Borer/ Ash Tree Inventory project was conducted with two goals that were successfully met; to

1) provide the county with accurate ash tree impact data for resource planning and budgeting, and

2) to educate the community on Emerald Ash Borer facts to enable them to make informed decisions.

County Ash Tree Inventory saves $10,000

Master Gardener Barb Wych teaches homeowners about the Emerald Ash Borer.

In the process, the Master Gardeners inventoried nearly 3200 ash trees with almost 500 volunteer hours.  The inventory process was a cost savings of over $10,000 to the county but beyond that showed the value of Master Gardeners as a significant part of the community.

For more information about the University of Illinois Boone County Master Gardeners, visit: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo/boonemg/

Written by Barbara Wych, University of Illinois Extension Boone County Master Gardener
Posted by Monica David, IMGC Vice-President