After 20 years as a Denton County Master Gardener, Linda Williams has decided to retire. Linda has been an exemplary Master Gardener who has served and educated the residents of Denton County well to fulfill Denton County Master Gardeners’ mission to: “to educate and engage county residents in the implementation of research-based horticultural and environmental practices that create sustainable gardens, landscapes, and communities.” During her tenure Linda also helped grow Denton County Master Gardeners, their association and their partners through her leadership, management, organizational and administrative skills.
Linda was treasurer of DCMGA and then served as president twice. She was asked to serve as president a second time to complete the term following the resignation of the president. This was a grave time in the association’s history. Some members of the board and the association no longer wanted to work with the county coordinator and created a great deal of turmoil within the association and its members. With Linda’s leadership, helping the organization make changes based on results of member survey and working with the coordinator, DCMGA was able to grow and unify from this experience.
The DCMGA Garden Tour is a long time annual educational and fundraising event for which Linda has opened her garden three times. She was instrumental in the planning, hosting and sponsoring of the 2005 State Master Gardener Conference. Linda interviewed many candidates for our Master Gardener classes and Master Gardeners still speak fondly of their interviews with Linda. She is also remembered by many Master Gardeners as the “bucket lady.” Linda gave presentations to new classes on her recommended project bucket-what to take with you when volunteering on a project.
Linda is a strong believer in building and maintaining relationships. She and her husband hosted barbeque picnics for DCMGA and she was a member of the Sunshine Gardeners. This group worked strictly voluntarily (no service hours earned) to offer assistance to members who were ill, taking care of a family member or experienced circumstances which prevented their being able to fully conduct their daily business such as cooking, keeping up their garden, driving to appointments or cleaning their home. Soon after certifying as a Texas Master Gardener, Linda began working on and overseeing the installation of the landscape design for Upper Trinity Regional Water District. Through her efforts and the relationships she built with the UTRWD management team, Texas AgriLife Extension and the Denton County Master Gardeners developed a strong working partnership with UTRWD which still exists today. Her role in working and planning with Denton County Operations was essential in the establishment of DGMA’s DIG project which was located on county property and helped to educate the public on good gardening practices.
Linda’s involvement in other Master Gardener projects is varied and lengthy. She was a member of our Speaker’s Bureau, Cool Shade for Third Grade, Arbor Day, InfoFest, Plant Sale, our Vegetable Show, a resource for communities seeking help to establish a community garden, Help Desk, MG informational booths and more. She also served on various committees such as our Gardenscapers, Herbal Branch, training committee, association retreats, and any planning committee in need of her experience, knowledge and ideas.
Her influence through the years is evident in the organization which DCMGA has become and the impact of her involvement in existing projects is apparent. We were very fortunate for her to have been a Denton County Master Gardener.