MARIPOSA — The UC Master Gardeners of Mariposa County welcome 13 new graduates to their Master Gardener program.
UC Master Gardener volunteers are trained representatives of the University of California Cooperative Extension. Trainees complete an 18- week course and pass a written examination to become ambassadors for the statewide UC Master Gardener program. They also complete annual volunteer hours and continuing education to keep abreast of local horticulture issues.
The 2019 graduates from Mariposa include Ron Allen, Martine Buntman, Rinda Harper, Marcia Herrick, Nancy Johnson, Melanie Lui, Michele Minniear, Nevada Moore, Monica Nelson, Laura Peterson, Jeanne-Ann Pine, Kathi Whitson and PJ Wichas.
These graduates join 55 veteran UC Master Gardeners to serve Mariposa County residents as liaisons between the University of California and the public.
Merced County sent five additional trainees to Mariposa to be certified. Debbie Brickley, Tom Dinwoodie, Cathy Dunn, Becky Ingels and Miami Yang will take what they learned to volunteer with the UC Master Gardeners of Merced County.
The Master Gardener program began at Washington State University in 1972 to assist local farm advisers with home horticulture, pest management and sustainable landscaping questions from home gardeners. The program spread quickly and, in 1979, Riverside and Sacramento initiated programs. Mariposa added a UC Master Gardener program in 1995 with two UC trained Master Gardeners, Marilou Ellis and Joe Higuera. Marilou is still a Master Gardener in Mariposa today, nearly 25 years later.
UC Master Gardeners are residents of the local community and volunteer to provide home gardeners with research-based answers to their home gardening and landscaping questions. They offer regular workshops, attend local events, and operate a Helpline. Look for them at the Mariposa County fair, at one their demo gardens, plant sales, workshops and in local schools.
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The U.C. Master Gardener Helpline and Helpdesk are staffed Thursdays from 2 – 5 p.m. Please contact the helpline, or leave a message by phone at: (209) 966-7078. By email (send photos and questions for researched answers) to: email@example.com
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