Spotlight On: Ask The Master Gardeners
By Tara Roberts, CCMGA Class of 2021 and contributors Carol Joy Jeffreys and Mary Melinda Williams
Got questions? We’ve got answers!
One of the longest-running projects for the Collin County Master Gardener Association is Ask the Master Gardener. These information booths are often the first community contact for people to become aware of the Collin County Master Gardeners and Texas A&M AgriLife.
The project dates back to at least 2004 and was created to benefit and support the mission of CCMGA and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Horticulture office by providing community outreach.
Every gardener can benefit from Ask the Master Gardener booths. Visitors often include seasoned gardeners and new gardeners. Questions are usually regarding trees and tree maintenance, varieties of turf, soil improvement, plant diseases, insect damage, North Texas plant varieties, irrigation, weed identification and preferred methods for weed and insect control.
Specially-trained Master Gardeners answer questions and direct visitors to resources such as books or web links to online CCMGA and Texas A&M horticulture science-based articles. All information provided follows the CCMGA principle to provide opportunities for advanced horticultural education to the public and allows CCMGA volunteers an opportunity to connect with our community and expand our outreach efforts.
Ask the Master Gardener hosts booths at up to 30 events per year, including annual events such as the Collin County Home and Garden Show (Spring and Fall), The Greater Frisco Home and Garden Show, the CCMGA Garden Show, and numerous Earth Day and Arbor Day celebrations around Collin County.
In addition to these events, CCMGA Ask the Master Gardener also hosts recurring booths at Puckett's Nursery in Allen (2nd Saturdays in April, May, June, September and October) and Lowe’s at George Bush and Preston Road (2nd Saturdays in April, May, June, September and October). Ask the Master Gardener volunteers also assist other CCMGA projects and host booths for private organizations, corporate or local government events when requested.
Groups or organizations can request an Ask the Master Gardener booth by visiting ccmgatx.org and clicking on the Community Service tab to fill out an online request form (located on the right of the page) for consideration.
The CCMGA Ask the Master Gardener project is led by Carol Joy Jeffreys and Mary Melinda Williams. Jeffreys has been the project lead or co-lead for three years. She has been a Master Gardener since 2012 and has volunteered with this project for more than 10 years. Williams has been with the project for two years and was in the 2021 Master Gardener class. These ladies oversee a team of Master Gardeners who have undergone additional training to volunteer at Ask the Master Gardener events. The team logged more than 750 volunteer hours in 2022.
Jeffreys and Williams enjoy meeting new people at booth events and helping new North Texas residents learn more about gardening in our challenging conditions. They also love getting to know their fellow CCMGA members who volunteer with the project. They are pleased to have the opportunity to introduce people to the Collin County Master Gardeners and share all the resources CCMGA has available to the public.
Have a question, but can’t attend an Ask the Master Gardener booth event?
CCMGA has an abundance of resources available to the public. All information provided by CCMGA is scientific research-based. The CCMGA website is a great resource. Visitors will find numerous links under the Resources tab and by then select Topics. The public can also submit specific questions or inquiries regarding their particular gardening problems to the CCMGA Information Center by filling out this form.
Check the CCMGA event page or visit us on social media (Facebook and Instagram) to find details about upcoming Ask the Master Gardener booths. We look forward to seeing you and helping you become a more successful gardener!
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