“We are Ohio State University Extension trained volunteers empowered to educate others with timely research-based gardening information.” That is the mission of the Ohio State Extension Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) program. In Champaign County, the program is conducted by a small, but mighty group of local citizens. They have a passion for gardening and helping others. Each year they help residents answer questions about plant identification, disease, insects and more through their helpline each week.
They also have a long-standing butterfly program for every second grade class in the county. The volunteers raise funds to provide each class with butterfly larvae and educational materials that help teachers provide curriculum, plus hands-on learning. The MGVs conduct spring and fall programs open to the public at the library in Urbana on home gardening topics. They also provide community service beautification projects to public spaces and educational programs for private or community organizations.
Those interested in the program do not need to be gardening experts. All volunteers are required to first complete an intensive training that covers all aspects of gardening, preparing volunteers to be educational resources to the community.
If this sounds like the program for you, join the Master Gardeners at their annual banquet in Urbana on Nov. 10 to meet current volunteers and learn first-hand more about the program. There is a class beginning in January in Springfield, which will be a great opportunity to get started. If you would like more information on the banquet or the program, please call the Extension Office at 937-484-1526 or email [email protected].