Seventeen people recently completed the classes and course requirements leading to being Master Gardeners in West Virginia. The new Master Gardeners join approximately 70 active Master Gardeners of Greenbrier Valley which is under the direction of the West Virginia Extension Service. The new graduates will be required to complete 30 volunteer hours in their choice of several community gardening projects sponsored by the organization in Greenbrier County. Gardening projects include the demonstration garden at the West Virginia State fairgrounds in Fairlea, two Junior Master Gardeners school projects (Lewisburg Elementary and Alderson Elementary), involvement with a gardening project at The Seasons assisted living facility, as well as several other community gardening projects.
The Master Gardeners of Greenbrier Valley started in 2002 due to the efforts of Willa and Pat Izzo with sponsorship by the West Virginia County Extension service which was at the time under the direction of John McCutcheon. The program has been growing every year since that time, adding new members and projects every year. The organization sponsors a series of ten weekly classes every fall to anyone interested in becoming a Master Gardener. Members are required to complete both volunteer hours and continuing education hours every year. The “Queen of Volunteers” for 2015 was Willa Izzo who had the highest number of recorded volunteer hours for the year. There are many Master Gardeners in the organization who volunteer many hours managing the demonstration garden at the fairgrounds and helping with school and other gardening projects throughout the county.
Every year the West Virginia Master Gardeners have an annual conference sponsored by one of the county Master Gardener organizations. This year, the Greenbrier County Master Gardeners will be sponsoring the state conference Apr. 15 to 17 at the state fairgrounds in Fairlea. The conference is open to all Master Gardeners in West Virginia.
Anyone interested learning more about the Greenbrier Valley Master Gardeners or in becoming a Master Gardener may call the Greenbrier County Extension Office at 304-647-7408. The next series of classes will be offered in the fall of 2016.