Three Maryland Master Gardener Programs Honored for Excellence

University of Maryland Extension’s (UME) Master Gardener (MG) program is honored to share that three of our local county programs were selected as winners in the Search for Excellence by the International Master Gardener Conference. The awards were announced in 2018 and awarded this month during the 2019 International Master Gardener Conference in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

The Search for Excellence recognizes exceptional work of Extension Master Gardener volunteers not only throughout the United States but also in Canada and South Korea. Criteria for winning a Search for Excellence award requires that projects must be practical and simple to replicate, original and creative, and compatible with Extension and Extension Master Gardener missions. Applicants also must demonstrate that significant learning occurred both for Master Gardener volunteers and the audiences they serve.

Master Gardeners
Left to right: Alexa Smarr (Baltimore County Master Gardener Coordinator), Diane Nolan (awards chair), David Gibby (Extension agent and founder of the Master Gardener program), Susan Joyce (Baltimore County Master Gardener), and Rose Marie Fury (Baltimore County Master Gardener)

The UME MG program in Baltimore County won third place in the award category for special needs audiences with their Gribbin Center Therapeutic Horticulture Garden Club. MG volunteers meet with a group at the Gribbin Center in Perry Hall, MD at least twice a month to lead them in therapeutic horticulture activities. During each session, participants engage in a short lesson followed by a hands-on activity. Participants build social skills and increase motor skills through the maintenance of a garden space where they invite visitors on an annual tour. Learn more about the Baltimore County Master Gardeners.
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