The mission of the Cameron County Master Gardener Association is to beautify and environmentally improve communities through promotion of good gardening practice and horticulture education in an atmosphere of friendship, fellowship, and fun in support of Texas AgriLife Extension.
The Cameron County Master Gardener Association is a non-profit, educational, and charitable association of volunteers.
- To increase the gardening knowledge of its members and the general public
- To support and assist Texas Cooperative Extension by providing the community with information and guidance on good gardening practices through personal contact; news articles; clinics; and presentations at garden clubs, schools, and other community groups
- To support youth horticulture education
- To assist Master Gardener interns in fulfilling their volunteer commitment
Teaching by example
Our largest project is the Arboretum located at the Cameron County Annex at the corner of Expressway 77 and Williams Road in San Benito. The property was dedicated by the Commissioners Court for Master Gardener use in August 2007. Then, in November, twenty-nine large native and naturalized trees were planted so that we have a native forest.
The purpose of our teaching garden is twofold:
- To share composting how-to’s and why-to’s with residents
- To keep compostable kitchen and garden waste out of our landfills
To spread the word about the Master Gardener program and the Arboretum, we attend the various festivals and activities within the county. By making ourselves visible within the community, we create awareness— answering questions about gardening— and encourage learning through the annual Master Gardener course.
At the annual birding festival in Harlingen we sell herbs and plants that attract butterflies. In the spring we host a children’s gardening activity at Rio Fest. The Rainwater Harvesting project at the Los Indios Family Learning Center is another of our ongoing projects. We also host educational seminars for the general public.
This past spring we hosted a one day Earth-Kind gardening and landscape seminar for more than fifty participants. Speakers included Dr. Steve Chaney, Dr. William Johnson, and both Jennifer and Jimmy Wilson from Wild August Nursery & Flower Farm.
All in all, Cameron County Master Gardeners are proactively engaged in various projects and activities, big and small, within their communities. They share their expertise through presentations, judging horticulture events, assisting at the biannual plant sales in The Arboretum, and more so that others can learn and spread the word, too.