The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension (reg)

  About the Journal


  This Issue:
   From Me to You
   Calendar of Events
   Things to Expect & Do
   Children Know Once
            They Grow
   A New Way of
   Computer Corner
   Of Blue Skies and
            Brilliant Sunsets
   Summer Corn:
            A Tempting
   Corny Stuff
   Grilled Corn in
               the Husks
   Going to Bat for Bats
            Desert Trees
   The Prickly Pear:
            Handle with Care!
   Birds in the Garden
   Watering & Plant Care
            Tips for Summer
   Garden-Smart TIPS
   Summers Past Farms
   Word Wise

   Hot Off The Press

  Archived Issues
Master Gardener Journal  

F R O M   M E   T O   Y O U

Master Gardeners are Making a Difference

by Lucy K. Bradley,
Extension Agent, Urban Horticulture

With over 3 million people in Maricopa County, a large percentage of them newcomers to the Sonoran Desert, the need for public education regarding appropriate selection, placement and care of plants is tremendous. The Master Gardener program seeks to improve the health of plants and people, while promoting environmental responsibility in the garden. This includes the efficient use of water, fertilizers, and pesticides, and the reduction of green waste.

Maricopa County Master Gardeners make a difference by working to increase the knowledge, skills and motivation of teachers, parents, administrators, and community members to (1) manage effective, sustainable youth and community gardens and (2) use the gardens as a tool for experiential learning of life skills (including health and nutrition, responsibility, critical thinking, planning and much more), academic subjects, and environmental stewardship.

In 2002, Master Gardeners:
  • Responded to 455 individual phone, mail, email, and in-person requests.
  • Coordinated annual Youth and Community Gardening Conference for 250 participants. "This was SO much more than I expected - What a treat!!" (Survey Response 2002).
  • Taught 60 participants in workshops and training.
  • Partnered with Maricopa County Department of Public Health Office of Nutrition Services to bring 543 students from 10 schools to the Extension Office Outdoor Learning Center for a Five-A- Day/Garden Nutrition Program. "The kids loved the hands-on experience and I was glad that they were able to learn about plants in a new setting. The trip was really well organized." (Anna Shetty, 3rd grade teacher, Hamilton Elementary School 11/1/02).
  • Planned Interpretive Trail: Began to create an environmental education interpretive trail based on water, plant, and nitrogen cycles.
  • Enhanced the Youth Gardening Web Site.
  • Supported the Youth Gardening List Serve, which enables 115 subscribers connected with youth gardens to share information and find answers to their questions.
  • Created and maintained a database of school gardening contacts: We continue to maintain and expand a database of 1,800 organizations, agencies, schools, and individuals involved with youth gardening efforts, and shared resources and expertise to make these programs excel.
Grants and gifts received:
  • Digging Deeper - Statewide Youth Gardening Training Institute, $100,326 USDA via Arizona Department of Education.
  • Food Stamp Matching Funds, $98,980, Arizona Nutrition Network.
  • Environmental License Plate Fund, $30,000, State Land Department.
  • Master Gardener Tour - Real Gardens for Real People, $8,030, Arizona Community Tree Council.
  • Working Group Grant - Junior Master Gardener Statewide Training, $5,731, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension.
  • Arizona Department of Education, $5,500, Printing, Postage, Registration Packets.
  • National Junior Master Gardener Office, $990, to sponsor Awards.
  • Arizona Department of Health Services, $500, to Underwrite Speaker.
  • World Hunger Ecumenical Arizona Task Force, $200, to sponsor speaker.
A hearty and sincere thanks to each of you who have had a part in this significant and impressive group of accomplishments. I look forward to all we will continue to achieve in 2003.
"Of all human activities, apart from procreation of children, gardening is the most optimistic and hopeful. The gardener is by definition one who plans for and believes and trusts in a future, whether in the short or the longer term."
-- Susan Hill

Maricopa County Master Gardener Volunteer Information
Last Updated May 28, 2003
Author: Lucy K. Bradley, Extension Agent Urban Horticulture, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Maricopa County
© 1997 The University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County
Comments to 4341 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix, AZ 85040,
Voice: (602) 470-8086 ext. 301, Fax (602) 470-8092