1st Place, Outstanding Association Large County Category Photo left to right: Stacye Parry, Jan George, Joan Bumgarner, Wayne Schirner, Glenn Melton, Kathy Love, Louie McDaniel-TMGA state president (McLennan County), Charlotte Jones, Ron Jones, Rachel Glass, Gary Slanga
Year 2019 Search for Excellence Awards
The Texas Master Gardener Association (TMGA) presented its 2019 Search for Excellence Awards during a virtual meeting August 20, 2020. For the third time in four years the Bell County Master Gardener Association (BCMGA) was recognized as the Outstanding Association in the Large County category (membership between 100-199). The Association received this recognition from out-of-state AgriLife Extension judges for the horticultural education offered through its many projects, programs, and outreach efforts. Judges also approved of the many occasions where the organization offers its members opportunities to socialize and enjoy sharing gardening knowledge and facts.
Read More – Judge Comments
BCMGA also received first place recognition for a formal published report prepared at the request of the grounds staff of the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Administration Medical Center Grounds. The report was designed to offer horticultural best practices for improvements and maintenance of the hospital grounds. It also made cost saving suggestions. One judge offered the report the following compliment: “This is exactly what we hope to accomplish in our extension mission.”
1st Place Written Education, Recommendation Report for the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center Grounds Photo Left to right: Report Authors Jan George, Wayne Schirner, Kathy Love (not shown Rebecca Burrow), BCMGA President Glenn Melton & TMGA state president Louie McDaniel (McLennan County)
2nd Place Outstanding Individual Master Gardener, Marjorie Gillmeister Photo leftsta to right: Recipient Marjorie Gillmeister, BCMGA President Glenn Melton & TMGA state president Louie McDaniel (McLennan County)
Marjorie Gillmeister, a certified Master Gardener since 2016, received a second-place award in the category of Outstanding Individual Master Gardener. Marjorie is a leader in all thing’s youth involved with BCMGA. In 2017-2018 Marjorie served as the Association’s Youth Director on its Board of Directors. She led many new youth projects including youth horticultural development from our youngest citizens up to our college students. To mention just a couple of her efforts, she brought programs such as the gardening classes at Meredith Dunbar Early Learning Academy in 2017 and continuing. During 2019 she partnered with students at Temple College Phi Beta Kappa sorority to start food producing gardens on the grounds of the college. Throughout 2020 she has worked with other Master Gardeners and students teaching how to grow, harvest and prepare fresh produce from the garden. All produce grown at the garden is harvested, cleaned, packaged, and donated to the college food pantry to help food insecure students with nutritious food.
BCMGA is grateful to its parent Association, TMGA, for the recognition of its efforts on behalf of the citizens of Bell County and the State of Texas.
Year 2018 Search for Excellence Awards
Texas Master Gardener, Search for Excellence Awards again go to Bell County! The BCMGA Awards Committee submitted nominations in four of eight categories for the 2018 Texas Master Gardener Search for Excellence Awards. The Association was recognized with a 1st place award in the Education category for it’s publicly available monthly horticultural class, Gardening in Bell County. The monthly classes, launched in 2017 provide research based horticultural education to the citizens of Central Texas on a variety of topics on the 3rd Thursday evening of each month. This was the first time the awards committee submitted this education opportunity for state recognition in the large county category.
The Association also received a 1st place award in the category of Written Education for the Belton Journal/Harker Heights Evening Star Spring Home & Garden 2018 newspaper supplement. The horticultural education articles printed in this supplement were entirely written by BCMGA members on a variety of topics, from protecting pets from fire ants to starting a vegetable garden.
For the 3rd year in a row, the Association was recognized as an Outstanding Association with a 2nd place award in the state’s Large County category , but unlike the last two years when the recognition was a 1st place award, this year the association received a 2nd place award, behind Galveston County.
Finally, the awards committee submitted a nomination in the Research category for the fun project undertaken with the 4 year-old students at Meredith Dunbar Early Learning Academy. This project received a 2nd place award in the Research Category! The project, undertaken as a research effort, had the children comparing the productivity of seeds started from eggshell pots vs. newspaper pots. The results showed the seeds started in eggshell pots were more productive by weight in a variety of greens which the children harvested, weighed, cleaned and made into healthy salads to enjoy at school.
Year 2017 Search for Excellence Awards!
Texas Master Gardener, 2017 Search for Excellence Awards received by Bell County! The Search for Excellence Award recognizes an Association for completing one or more projects of importance to its community. 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.
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 Meridith 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 its 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.
BCMGA Mission Statement
The Bell County Master Gardeners Association assists the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in providing high quality, relevant, research-based horticultural education and service to the residents of Bell County and the state of Texas through outreach, teaching, and demonstration projects. Read More