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Master Gardeners help extend Extension’s reach

Master Gardener Mary Ann Kincaid, of Virginia Beach, helps to maintain the gardens at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

Master Gardener Mary Ann Kincaid, of Virginia Beach, helps to maintain the gardens at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

At more than 5,500 strong, Virginia’s Master Gardeners are making an impact in communities across the commonwealth.

Master Gardeners can usually be found in the middle of any community garden project. They share their knowledge with the public through plant clinics and educational programs. They develop and maintain demonstration gardens and provide garden tours. They also set up plant clinics at farmers markets and staff horticulture help desks at local Extension offices.

While not all of Virginia’s citizens actively seek help from Master Gardeners, everyone in the commonwealth can benefit from their efforts. Even a small group of people that learns and implements best management horticulture practices that help sustain the environment will improve the viability of all of Virginia.

“If a particular neighborhood pays attention to its lawn care practices, it’s going to have an impact on that particular watershed and eventually have a positive impact on the Chesapeake Bay. The entire commonwealth receives public value from those actions, even though it’s a small segment of people that is directly involved in the work,” said David Close, state Master Gardener coordinator.

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