Thank you Master Gardener Volunteers!

Master Gardener Volunteers at the Minneapolis Midtown Farmers Market.

Happy National Volunteer Recognition Week!  It’s that time of year where we give thanksand reflect on the wonders of volunteerism.  I have the best job in the world, working with over 333 University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener volunteers in Hennepin County.  I’m constantly amazed at the creativity and expertise that each of our gardeners brings to everything they do.  In 2011, our 305 active Master Gardener volunteers contributed 18,413 hours of service to our county community – that’s about 60 hours per active volunteer.  What’s really amazing about that number is that the majority of our volunteers only need to give 25 hours of service to remain certified – so folks are really going above and beyond.  Based on these numbers, volunteers are providing the hourly equivalent of 8.75 paid staff – talk about capacity building!  Thank you to all of the current 353 Master Gardener volunteers in Hennepin County!  Whether you’re educating youth and/or adults, answering questions on our Garden Hotline or at farmers markets and other events, planning our Plant Sale and/or Garden Tour to raise money for our community programs, leading a committee or helping out in the office  – your hard work and dedication is GREATLY appreciated!  Thanks for making a difference in our county community!

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