What do Master Gardeners Do?
Master Gardeners bring research-based horticultural information to the Hennepin County community through the following educational activities:
What are the Community Benefits of a Master Gardener Program?
Master Gardener programs improve the natural environment through public education that leads to reduced yard waste, water run-off, pollution and demands on water management and landfill systems. In addition, programs help reduce the spread of hazardous plants, diseases and non-beneficial insects through public education and collaborative strategies.
Master Gardener programs increase the effectiveness of community public service organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity and Farmers’ Markets, by partnering with the organizations to broaden and strengthen their capacity around horticultural solutions. Programs increase the social, emotional and cognitive abilities of children and youth by engaging them in horticulture through the Junior Master Gardener program and collaboration with schools and other youth programs.
Master Gardener programs increase the safety and health of residents of the community through public education on appropriate use of pesticides. Access Benefits: Master Gardener programs provide Minnesota’s vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly and people with disabilities, with increased access to meaningful, multi-skill, community focused activities.
Master Gardener programs increase residents’ access to University of Minnesota Extension through their broad and continuous public presence and referrals to other Extension services. The programs increase residents’ access to tax-supported University of Minnesota research-based information. Master Gardners help educate Hennepin County residents with the latest horticultural information from the University of Minnesota.
What do Master Gardeners Provide Hennepin County?
During 2015, 325 active University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener volunteers in Hennepin County contributed over 25,731 hours of volunteer service!
These hours of service support the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Program’s mission of educating the public with research-based information on the best practices in consumer horticulture and environmental stewardship. Putting these hours into perspective, Master Gardener volunteers provided the full-time employee equivalency of almost 12 full-time workers! This also works out to an average of 79 hours per active volunteer — more than triple the annual requirement of 25 hours per volunteer. According to Independent Sector, $23.07 per hour is the 2014 figure for the estimated monetary contribution of volunteer hours. Therefore, Hennepin County Master Gardener volunteer efforts in 2015 had an estimated monetary value of $593,614.