Published 12:00 am Friday, February 8, 2013

SALISBURY — Extension Master Gardener Volunteers met to assess last year’s programs and compile data for Cooperative Extension’s mandated annual reports. This chore takes many hours to compile, but Carole Massey, with the help of other Extension Master Gardener Volunteers tabulated the results of the 2012 Cooperative Extension volunteer program. The results of this year’s work are remarkable!

Below are some interesting statistics that may be of interest to the volunteers who have contributed to the program and to those receiving benefits from Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener Volunteer program.

• Active Extension Master Gardener Volunteers in 2012 — 34

• Extension Master Gardener volunteer students in 2012 — 26

• Master Gardener volunteers trained since 1995 — 274

• Total number of volunteer hours by Extension Master Gardener Volunteers — 5,147 hours

• Total number of volunteer hours in training and travel — 1,204

• Greatest number of volunteer hours in a single year by an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer — 200 (Jim Morris, 1998)

• Total number of miles traveled for projects — 30,266

• Value of donated miles at $.55/mile — $16,646.46

• Newspaper articles/garden columns — 38

• Radio programs — 25  • Number of personal contacts to public — 560

• Number of school programs, public and private — 39

• Estimated youth reached at school gardens — 2,464

• Youth reached with Extension Master Gardener Programs — 685

• Number of demonstration gardens — 14

• Demonstration garden viewed by the public — 1,300

• Number of displays, booths, etc. — 17

• People viewing static/manned displays — 8,774

• Plants diagnosed — 27  • Grants, donations and funds received — $4,699

• Total value of volunteer hours at $21 per hour — $108,087.

Master Gardener Projects for 2012 include: Pocket Garden Project which includes the Sensory Garden and raised bed demonstration garden, turf variety trial demonstration, plant swap and sale, plant propagation class, participation at the Salisbury and China Grove Farmer’s Market, Woodleaf Tomato Festival, Hurley Park Celebration, 4-H Summer Fun Program, Earth Day with the city of Salisbury Recreation Department, Rowan County Fair, Millbridge Elementary School Discovery Garden and the pilot program with Extension Master Gardener Volunteers assisting Millbridge Elementary teachers.

As you may conclude from these statistics, the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program is active, providing viable educational programs for the citizens of Rowan County.

These few Extension Master Gardener Volunteers contribute much as volunteers to the citizens of Rowan County. They work relentlessly to make a difference in our community. The dollar amount of their time is astounding, but their positive, educational impact and enthusiasm to the youth and citizens of our community cannot be measured.

  Darrell Blackwelder is the county extension director with horticulture responsibilities with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Call 704-216-8970.