The Master Gardeners of Hamilton County received the 2010 Tennessee Master Gardener Search For Excellence Award for its Question and Answer Table at the this year’s Chattanooga Market. Tennessee Master Gardeners, the state program that oversees master gardener programs throughout the state, recognized MGHC’s project for its excellence in the workshop or presentation award category.
The award recognizes Hamilton County master gardeners for providing Chattanooga Market visitors with answers to questions on a broad range of topics that changed with the season and weather conditions. During the spring and summer, master gardener volunteers provided the latest research-based information that ranged from soil preparation, what to plant, composting, building rain barrels to proper pest control. The space was generously donated by the Market’s Board of Directors, and from 11 am to 4 pm every Sunday from May 2 through September 5, master gardeners were available to answer questions, look at plant samples or even identify insects for visitors who stopped by. An estimated 1,400 visitors stopped by with questions or to pick up information about gardening best practices, and many of these visitors signed up for rain barrel classes, the Tennessee Yard and Neighborhoods program, and other outreach and education programs.
“This award is well deserved by the many Master Gardeners who have volunteered at the Chattanooga Market this year,” stated Tom Stebbins, Hamilton County Extension Agent who coordinates the Master Gardener program. Twenty-four master gardeners participated in this project.
The Master Gardeners of Hamilton County is an outreach arm of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, and education is a primary mission. The award will be presented at the Tennessee Master Gardener Winter School on February 25, 2011 in Murfreesboro.