Extension Master Gardener Volunteers Celebrate Continued Success

— Written By
Micki Levine and Nancy Dougherty

Micki Levine (left) and Nancy Dougherty (right) are the 2018 Chowan-Gates-Perquimans County Extension Master Gardeners of the Year.

More than 50 local Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers were certified or recertified through the  Extension Master Gardener volunteer℠ programs of Chowan, Gates, and Perquimans Counties. Managed by Area Horticulture Agent Katy Shook, the program requires participants to complete a 40-hour training course, pass an examination, and volunteer a minimum of 40 hours in the area of horticulture education. To remain certified, volunteers must complete a minimum 20 hours of volunteer service and receive a minimum 10 hours of advanced training.

In 2018, the Extension Master Gardener volunteers of Chowan, Gates, & Perquimans Counties contributed more than 2,500 hours of horticulture education to the community and received more than 650 hours of advanced training. Volunteer projects included managing demonstration gardens, presenting public education programs, writing publications, working with youth, developing community gardens, and fundraising through a regional spring garden show. Program highlights included receiving the statewide Extension Master Gardener Search for Excellence Award, awarding the Master Gardener Scholarship, receiving recognition from the Chowan Hospital Foundation Community Benefit Grants Program, and certifying 9 new Extension Master Gardener volunteers. Newly certified Extension Master Gardener volunteers are Cindy Alarcon-Rivera, Pam Hadden, Anne Lankford, Veronica Martin-Dowdy, George Nelson, Marilyn Rutland, Deborah Shullo, Elizabeth Towe, and Tosh Towe.

Nancy Dougherty and Micki Levine, both of Perquimans County, were recognized as the 2018 Extension Master Gardener Volunteers of the Year in Chowan, Gates, and Perquimans Counties. Active since 2009 and 2013 (respectively), both women are active leads in the program, serving as program committee officers, spring garden show chairs, and project leaders.

The next Extension Master Gardener volunteer course begins in September; applications will be accepted beginning July 1, 2019. For more information about the Extension Master Gardener volunteer program and upcoming course, call (252) 482-6585.