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Extension announces Master Gardener of the Year winners

Posted 6/22/2011

3 volunteers recognized for work in Washoe, Douglas and Storey counties

Three University of Nevada Cooperative Extension volunteers were awarded the 2011 Master Gardener of the Year Award June 18.

Master Gardener Program Coordinator Wendy Hanson Mazet recognized Beverly Depew, Barbara Bardecker and Sue Jones for their contribution to their respective communities.

Depew has been the anchor of the Western Area/Washoe County office, answering phone calls and emails, and helping walk-in clients with their horticulture questions. Barbara Bardecker works as a volunteer in Carson City, and Sue Jones runs Cooperative Extension’s soil-testing program, which helps people grow healthier gardens and training other Master Gardeners to be able to do the same.

"I don’t give the award solely to Master Gardeners with large numbers of volunteer hours," Mazet said. "In addition to hours worked, I look at the depth and breadth of service as well as the flexibility of the volunteer. The Master Gardeners who receive this award are truly the ’go-to’ people of the program."

The Master Gardener program teaches sustainable high desert gardening practices, including proper plant selection and care, disease and pest management, and water-efficient gardening. To become a Master Gardener, an individual must complete 60 hours of horticultural instruction and volunteer 30 to 50 hours on community projects each year.

Since 1978, more than 2,000 community members in western Nevada have taken the comprehensive Master Gardener horticulture training course with the understanding that they are to become the University’s unpaid ambassadors and share the science of high desert gardening with others.

Cooperative Extension is an outreach arm of the University that extends unbiased, research-based knowledge from the University—and other land-grant universities—to local communities. Educational programs are developed based on local needs, often in partnership with other agencies and volunteers. For more information about University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, please visit the website at

For more information about the Master Gardener program, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension or to schedule an interview with Wendy Hanson Mazet, Beverly Depew, Barbara Bardecker or Sue Jones, please contact Ashley Andrews at 775-336-0231 or email

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