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Master Gardeners are ready to assist the community

Posted 2/17/2016

Master Gardener Lonnie Baker answering the phone at the Master Gardeners Help Line Desk

Master Gardener Lonnie Baker answering the phone at the Master Gardeners Help Line Desk on February 17, 2016.

Time to grow with Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners

If you’re wondering what to plant this spring season, the Master Gardeners of Southern Nevada can help you decide.

Master Gardeners are University of Nevada Cooperative Extension trained volunteers who assist the community by answering gardening-related questions and concerns, teaching classes, speaking at community events and working on various community projects.

Lonnie Baker, Master Gardener and chairperson for the home gardening help line, has been volunteering at Cooperative Extension for over four years.

“The help-desk is the first connection the community makes to find out about gardening and problems with their plants,” stated Baker.

“How do I plant, when do I plan and what can I plant?” said Baker, are the typical types of questions Master Gardeners receive. “Horticulturally, we provide research-based, unbiased information.”

Ann Edmunds, Master Gardener Coordinator for Cooperative Extension, explained why having a Master Gardener program in the community is so important.

“Our biggest educational effort,” stated Edmunds, “is our help-desk.” “We try to engage people in conversations, not just give them a quick answer,” she added. “A lot of times it’s actually through the conversations,” she explained “that we find out [things like] oh what you did six months ago is what’s causing your problem.”

However, according to Edmunds, the one thing the community should know is that there is more to the Home Gardening Help Desk than just information.

“It’s the people,” stated Edmunds. “The Master Gardener program is the volunteers. These are folks who donate at least 50 hours of volunteer service every year.”

According to Edmunds the community impact from 245 Las Vegas-based Master Gardeners was significant. They assisted 2,342 individuals in 103 Nevada zip codes with gardening questions and concerns. Over 34,325 community members were engaged through classes or events. Volunteers recorded 30,183.5 hours while working on 35 community projects.

“Our motto is not learning how to grow the biggest and best tomato, it’s telling other people what you’ve learned about growing the biggest and best tomato. It’s sharing your knowledge and the Master Gardeners are pros at doing that,” said Edmunds.

Master Gardeners are available for assistance in-person at the Lifelong Learning Center located at 8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nev., by emailing or calling the help-desk at 702-257-5555 M-F between 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

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