BELL COUNTY CONTINUES TO RECEIVE TEXAS MASTER GARDENER ASSOCIATION AWARDS
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Bell County Master Gardeners were recognized for the second consecutive year as the Outstanding Association in Texas, Large County Category, by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Texas Master Gardener Association. The Search for Excellence Award recognizes an Association for completing one or more projects of importance to its community.
In part, the State’s recognition was for 14,860 volunteer service hours contributed by the Association’s 127 active members through 28 different community projects. Just a few 2017 projects included the re-design of the Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Hospital Healing Garden, gardening education and instruction to youth and citizens at the Killeen Municipal Court Community Garden, numerous youth projects including Nature Gardening at Meredith Dunbar Early Childhood Academy and an active Ask a Master Gardener program which assisted over 400 county citizens by answering horticultural questions through 129 emails, 223 telephone calls and walk-ins to the County Extension Office, and by making 154 home/site visits.
The volunteer organization also received 1st place recognition for it’s Junior Master Gardener/Youth Program. The recognized program was a half-day Field Trip for the 2nd Grade Class of Chisholm Trail Elementary School to the Bell County AgriLife Extension Service grounds. The field trip educated the children on a variety of gardening topics, including soils, rain water harvesting/water conservation, insects in the garden, container growing and other gardening topics.
Bell County Master Gardeners also received three 2nd place excellence awards for their 2017 contributions. The Killeen Municipal Court Community Garden, a multi-year Master Gardener project conducted in cooperation with the Killeen Municipal Courts, primarily provides community service hours to youth and citizens performing community service hours. In 2017, the project raised and donated 4,335 pounds of fresh produce to area senior citizen and community food centers.
Kathy Love received 2nd place recognition as an Outstanding Individual Master Gardener and another 2nd place award was received in the category of gardening Research for a project conducted by organization president Wayne Schirner titled Are the Conventional Recommendations for Growing Strawberries in Central Texas Necessary?
Further, the Association received a 3rd place award in the Written Education category for The Temple Daily Telegram column – Great Gardening – Central Texas, written bi-weekly by Certified Bell County Master Gardener Pat Johnson.
In a separate event, Bell County Master Gardener Frances Crowell was recognized as one of several statewide members over 90 years old and still active. Ms. Crowell routinely served the Association in 2017, contributing 32 volunteer service hours. She has been an Honorary Member since 2016.