Middletown Gains Another Master Gardener
Intensive program of horticulture study and volunteerism also recognizes several Middletown members who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty.
Pam Smith of Leonardo is the newest member to earn the esteemed title of "Master Gardener."
She was one of 19 Monmouth County residents honored at a graduation ceremony Jan. 23 at Hominy Hill Golf Center.
“This year’s Master Gardeners group is resilient,” Freeholder Lillian G. Burry said at the graduation, according to a press release about the graduates. “In addition to dealing with Superstorm Sandy, this class also had to deal with extended summer-long water restrictions and an unbelievable wind storm that hit Freehold. Yet, they were still able to harvest more than 3,000 pounds of food for the ‘Plant a Row for the Hungry’ program.”
The Master Gardeners can now say they are certified gardening experts because they have completed a course of classroom and hands-on training in plant biology, propagation, soil science and disease and pest control.
The trainees can share their knowledge with others by conducting garden lectures, demonstrations, school and community gardening projects, and answering calls on the county’s “horticulture helpline.”
Other Master Gardeners from Middletown were honored for their service.
- 250 hours of service, Michele Mancino, Middletown; Dawn Nahory, Lincroft
- 1,000 service hours honors: Barbara D’Augusta, Middletown
- 1500 service hours award level: Gloria Gross, Lincroft
- 2000 hours mark: Howard Bodner, Middletown; Bernie Dickman, Middletown
“This 14th Master Gardener class worked with the best in the horticultural field – faculty from Rutgers University and Brookdale Community College and professional staff at the Monmouth County Park System and the Cooperative Extension while completing their training,” said Bill Sciarappa, Agricultural and Resource Management Agent for Monmouth County’s Rutgers Cooperative Extension Office.
The Master Gardener program, conducted throughout the United States and Canada, is a two-part educational effort in which avid gardeners are provided many hours of intense home horticulture training. In return, they “pay back” local university extension agents through volunteerism.
In New Jersey, the program is a cooperative effort of Rutgers University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the county Boards of Chosen Freeholders. Monmouth County’s program involves the county office of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Brookdale Community College and the county Park System.
Information about the Master Gardener program is available on the Monmouth County Web site at www.visitmonmouth.com and from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service at 4000 Kozloski Rd. in Freehold Township, or by calling 732-431-7260.