|Central Alabama Master Garderners Awarded Grant to Develop Projects for Community|
At the January meeting of Central Alabama Master Gardeners’ Association (CAMGA) in Wetumpka, member Sheldon Darnell, Tallassee, presented a grant for $2,000 from the Mildred Weedon Blount Educational and Charitable Foundation, Inc., to CAMGA President Candy Jones, Wetumpka.
Darnell explained to the group that this was the fourth such grant beginning in 2008 from the Foundation. Past grants have enabled CAMGA to plan and install a Butterfly Garden at Eclectic Middle School and an Heirloom Garden at Wetumpka Middle School. The grants from the Foundation also made possible the development of the Rick Beauchamp Learning Gardens at the Alabama Cooperative Extension Services (ACES) facility in Wetumpka. The Learning Gardens have proven invaluable to CAMGA members, the Wetumpka community as well as ACES, based in Auburn, which uses the gardens in training their personnel.
CAMGA has members from Autauga, Elmore and Montgomery Counties. Each member has completed 40-50 hours of instruction in horticultural practices over a period of 13-15 weeks, followed by a minimum of at least 20 hours of volunteer work annually under the supervision of the local Extension agent. For example, during 2011, Master Gardeners in the state volunteered more than 179,695 hours of community service in partnership with ACES. In Elmore County alone, 94 CAMGA members contributed 8,513 volunteer hours, the seventh highest number of hours in the entire state. In a two-year period (2010 and 2011), CAMGA members have done nearly 17,000 hours of volunteer service in the Wetumpka area.
CAMGA conducts seminars for the public and classes for prospective Master Gardeners several times each year. The most recent seminar was on Developing Your Landscaping Style on January 29th. For further information on the Master Gardener’s program and classes, call Elmore Extension Office at (334) 567-6301.