Who are the Master Gardeners?
Virginia Master Gardeners are volunteer educators who work within their communities to encourage and promote environmentally sound horticulture practices through sustainable landscape management education and training. As an educational program of Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Master Gardeners bring the resources of Virginia’s land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, to the people of the commonwealth.
What do we do?
For more than two decades we have partnered with five inner-city Lynchburg public schools to provide programs for fourth-graders on the importance of healthy soil, composting, plant structure and plant requirements. Each program starts with a lecture complementing VA science SOLs and then moves to a hands-on activity relevant to the topic. We are now teaching the children of those who participated when they were young which is reward enough for the effort. In 2015, we reached 1,163 students!
Summer, of course, is prime time for vegetables – an opportunity to teach not only sustainable land management but good nutrition as well. From March through November, we run a weekly program at the Lynchburg Boys & Girls Club. Last year alone, our MG team guided the harvest of 1,564 pounds of vegetables which were sent home with the very happy youngsters who participated in that garden!
The HCMGA also has projects at Jubilee Family Center, the Juvenile Detention Center and Fairmont Nursing Home; each is tailored to the venue. At DePaul Community Resources, our MGs work with special-needs participants. With the diversity and scope of our projects, we try to reach all in the city of Lynchburg as well as Amherst and Campbell counties.