Mary Ratliff was the recipient of the Master Gardener Volunteer of the Year award for 2023 for the state of WV. This prestigious award is given by the Agricultural Extension Service of WVU. Volunteering and giving back to the community are an important component of the WVU Extension Master Gardener Program.
Mary became a Master Gardener in 2014 and since then has volunteered extensively for the Greenbrier Valley Master Gardeners by working in the group’s herb garden, Demonstration Garden at the WVU State Fair, and various local clean-up projects in the community including the Caldwell trailhead of the 86-mile Greenbrier River Trail. She also worked as an active member at Frankford Elementary School and their Junior Master Gardener classes for several years. In addition to “hands on” work in Greenbrier County, she has attended numerous classes and seminars to keep her gardening skills and knowledge relevant and up to date. New developments in plants, planting techniques, fertilizers, pests, and the attendant pest control are always evolving, and Mary strives to be on the cutting edge of all horticultural developments.
Mary became a certified Master Gardener in 2014 Mary has served as the treasurer for the past two years. At the state level she has set up the registration for the annual Master Gardener conferences.
President Bob Hammond remarks that, “Mary exemplifies all of the elements of Master Gardening- volunteering, helping others, and always being ready to learn more! She is truly an inspiration.”
Nearly all 50 states, and the District of Columbia, offer Extension Master Gardener programs that include intensive training through their state’s land-grant university. Created in 1972 at Washington State University, the Master Gardener program began in meet the ever-increasing requests for information and support from enthusiastic home gardeners. To learn more about becoming a Master Gardener in the Greenbrier Valley please contact Mary Dameron at 304-647-7408.