NDSU Extension Master Gardeners honored

NDSU Extension
Farm Forum

Several Master Gardeners were honored during the recent North Dakota State University Extension Master Gardener program awards ceremony in Fargo, N.D.

Master Gardener is a volunteer service organization that beautifies communities, educates the public about gardening, works with youth and encourages conservation of natural resources.

Once participants complete 40 hours of classes, they are known as Master Gardener interns. They must volunteer 48 hours of time during a two-year period on horticultural projects in cooperation with NDSU Extension to become certified Master Gardeners.

Those honored at the awards program were:

• Adult Education Award: Kathy Christianson of Moorhead, Minn., and Becky Burns of Rochert, Minn. — They were recognized for their efforts to train new Habitat for Humanity homeowners in Fargo on lawns, trees/shrubs and vegetable gardens.

• Best Group Project Award: 2018 Raspberry Gleaning Group of eastern North Dakota — Many Master Gardeners picked more than 200 pounds of raspberries from the NDSU campus and Absaraka, N.D., research plantings for donation to the Emergency Food Pantry.

• Communications Award: Greta Whelan of Crystal, N.D. — She developed a Facebook page called The Gourmet Gardener and writes newspaper columns in the Walsh County Record.

• Elder Care Project Award: Linda Matthews of Fargo — She pioneered the Master Gardener horticultural therapy project at the Fargo Veterans Hospital, creating a welcoming environment for convalescing veterans and teaching propagation projects. Every veteran went home with a plant.

• Friend of the Extension Master Gardener Program Award: Chandra Langseth, NDSU Extension’s agriculture and natural resources agent in Richland County — She keeps her stakeholders in the loop, shares research-based information at every opportunity, works hard to identify and arrange volunteer opportunities for Master Gardeners and joins in the Master Gardener volunteer efforts.

• Feeding the Hungry Award: Karen Weber of Wahpeton, N.D. — She planted a 10,000-square-foot vegetable garden at the Carmelite Monastery in Wahpeton and donated 895 pounds of fresh produce to the local food pantry.

• Innovation Award: Clayton and Zona Pearson of Grand Forks, N.D. — They took on a project to preserve the long history of the Grand Forks Horticulture Society.

• Public Garden Award: Burleigh County Pollinator Garden, Bismarck, N.D. — Master Gardeners created a Youth Project Day titled “Bugs, Bees and Blooms.” Participants went on tours, made bee houses and watched an insect presentation.

• Working With Underserved Populations Award: Julie Garden-Robinson and Will Robinson, Fargo — They started growing produce from seeds with the help of children from their church, transplanted the seedlings into raised beds, and harvested and distributed produce to Churches United for the Homeless.

• Youth Education Award: Angie Waletzko of Lisbon, N.D. — She applied for a grant for the Master Gardener sensory garden projects, created unique programming available for all Master Gardeners to use for teaching, and taught children how to make sensory gardens in a container to take home.

• Ron Smith Award for Community Service: Rhonda Miller of Fargo — She served as a Master Gardener diagnostician, fielded horticulture calls and emails that came to Extension’s Cass County office, planned the Master Gardener awards banquet, served on the planning committee for the 2018 Master Gardener conference and cared for the Red River Zoo sensory garden.

• Master Gardener Emeritus: Kay Kundert, Fargo

• 100 Hour Service Club members — These Master Gardeners met volunteerism and continuing education goals for 2018 (volunteer hours in parentheses): Myla Alsaker, Fargo (115); Vickie Hardy, Fargo (153.5); Mary Heyerman, Bismarck (152.25); Kathleen Johnson, Horace, N.D. (174.5); Terrie Mann, Thompson, N.D. (186.5); Cindy McLean, Fargo (123); Laurie Podoll, Jamestown, N.D. (154.25); Nola Storm, Fargo (165.5); Don Reiner, Bismarck (117.5); Penny Seifert, Wahpeton (183.5); Anne Smith, Grand Forks (174.75); and Kitty Torkelson, Lansford, N.D. (130.5)

• 200 Hour Service Club members — These Master Gardeners met volunteerism and continuing education goals for 2018 (volunteer hours in parentheses): Joan Bishoff, Fargo (269); Barbara Keyes, Fargo (587.5); Marlene Maxon, Grand Forks (210); Kris Schipper, Fargo (405); and Karen Weber (328.5).

In 2017, the NDSU Extension Master Gardener program offered a trial course focusing on plant diagnosis. Twenty-three certified Master Gardeners became diagnostic apprentices. Of those, 13 have completed their training to become Master Gardener diagnosticians. They are: Lila Hlebichuk, Fargo; Annette Kost, Bismarck; Rhonda Miller; Catherine Parks Olsen, Fargo; Diane Gronfur, Bismarck; Diane Heuser, Valley City, N.D.; Lynn Homelvig, Amidon, N.D.; Curt Larson, Forman, N.D.; Lou Ann Lee, Wahpeton; Jessica Marshall, New Town, N.D.; Diane Randle, Maddock, N.D.; Penny Seifert; and Anne Smith.

These interns became certified Master Gardeners in 2018: Deanna Anderson, Devils Lake, N.D.; Joan Bishoff; Christine Blanchfield, Devils Lake; Kathleen Brandt, Ada, Minn.; Becky Burns; Nancy Carda, Oakes, N.D.; Jessica Clemens, Jamestown; Drea Cook, Fargo; Gretchen Dobervich, Fargo; Heidi Doscher-Klukken, Fargo; Cindy Filler, Grand Forks; Brenda Fossen, Maddock; Katelyn Hain, Park River, N.D.; Tressy Heinle, White Earth, Minn.; Lydia Jean Hillerson, Fargo; Renee Jean, Fairview, Mont.; Audrey Kalil, Williston, N.D.; Lindsey Lee, Fargo; Linda Matthews; Penny Nester, Steele, N.D.; Karen Schumacher, Fargo; Nicole Severance, Hunter, N.D.; Caitlin Stegmiller, Flasher, N.D.; Elizabeth Wallner, Lisbon; and Verna Wightman, Tioga, N.D.

Interns and certified Master Gardeners provided nearly 10,510 hours of service in 2018. Here is a look at their volunteerism:

• Intern administrative assistance — 369.75 hours.

• Intern community service — 1,130.25 hours.

• Intern educational service — 555 hours.

• Master Gardener recertifying/diagnostic service — 8,454.75.