HISTORY: The first Master Gardener program was started in Washington state in the early 1970's when homeowners began requesting more accurate horticultural information and better advice about sustainable gardening practices.
The Master Gardener program now is active in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and much of Canada. WSU Spokane Master Gardeners are university trained volunteer educators who provide environmentally sound, research-based garden information to the public. After over 100 hours of university training, each Master Gardener staffs the Plant Clinic & Resource Center answering a wide variety of the public's horticultural questions free of charge.
MISSION STATEMENT: The Master Gardener Foundation of Spokane County enhances the efforts of the Master Gardener Program and the community through fundraising, public awareness and educational activities.
The Foundation and the Program for the Master Gardeners of Spokane County are two separate but closely related entities. The "Program" for Master Gardeners advises and educates the public about gardening and horticulture, and has a rich history in the state of Washington as one of the first programs in the United States. Over forty years ago Spokane County established their program, as did King and Pierce Counties, to provide accurate, research-based horticultural information to the community. Volunteers in the local WSU Plant Clinic answer questions about a wide variety of horticultural issues, including plant and tree selection, plant problem diagnosis and treatment recommendations, environmentally sound gardening and landscaping practices, pest and weed identification and management, and much more.
In addition to services from the Plant Clinic, the "Program" offers a variety of programs in the community.
The Community Garden Program as administered by Master Gardeners helps interested community members learn to grow their own food. Gardens have been established in many neighborhoods. In fact, nearly 45,000 pounds of fresh produce were donated to food banks from gardens with MG leadership.
The Adaptive Gardening Program addresses another community concern by providing information and demonstrations on ways to alter gardening practices for those with physical limitations.
The Youth Program is active in many school and after school programs teaching children about growing their food and environmental stewardship. Last year over 80 Master Gardener events targeted school-age children.
Master Gardeners are in high demand as community educators and nearly 300 educational programs were offered to the public last year. Sometimes topics focus on how to grow tomatoes or native plants while on other occasions the community is educated about sustainability issues.
This is why we fundraise. The "Foundation" provides necessary financial support to this "Program" to make sure its services continue.
We appreciate each of the nursery partners in our community who provide promotional support for us-getting the word out about all our newest events.