“Back Forty” Research Garden
This project began in 2017 as the class intern project. The three identical raised beds provide a venue to test variables that may affect plant growth. Master gardeners maintain the garden plots and collect data. Upon completion of each experiment, results are recorded and reported. This project is in cooperation with Jobe’s Company, which is furnishing the land and materials.
Coordinator: Dana McMahan
Bell’s Hill Elementary School JMG Club
This is a new program started as an after school program for 4th and 5th grade students. Master Gardener, Debby DeGraff, is using the Learn, Grow, Eat, Go lessons from the Junior Master Gardener Program. The students are propagating seeds and stem cutting in the greenhouse, preparing the outdoor garden for vegetables, and will receive their JMG Certificates after completion of the Journal/Workbook.
Coordinator: Debby DeGraff
Carleen Bright Arboretum Docent Program
The Docent program at the Carleen Bright Arboretum is a great opportunity to host group tours and share knowledge about the Carleen Bright Arboretum. Each scheduled group is met by a Master Gardener/Docent, who has completed a docent training program there. Following a presentation about the Carleen Bright Arboretum, the Docent leads a tour of the gardens.
Project Coordinators: Janet Schaffer and Jeanette Kelly
Cedar Ridge Elementary Green Classroom
The Cedar Ridge Green Classroom was designed and constructed under the leadership of Sandy Katz, MCMG and now retired teacher from Cedar Ridge Elementary School. The garden, started in 2005, is maintained by MCMG volunteers. A Day in the Garden is enjoyed monthly by the children, staff, and volunteers. Each Day in the Garden is structured with 3 learning stations that incorporate hands-on learning in the garden. The over 600 children have a chance to participate several times each year. After the seeds are planted in the fall and spring, the children help to harvest the plants, which are shared with the faculty, students, resident goats and school bunny.
Project Coordinators: Louise Cooney, Kathy Lanfrankie, and Lisa Waldon
Gardening on the Brazos
“Gardening on the Brazos” is a gardening club established by a small group of 7-10 residents at Brookdale Retirement Center in Waco. The club meets weekly on Tuesday from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. to discuss their gardening plans. Currently, they have 4 raised beds, with a variety of vegetables and flowers. There are plans to have an additional raised bed built. The McLennan County Master Gardeners provide information and encouragement, as well as assist with some of the physical aspects of planting.
Project Coordinator: Claudia McLatcher
Green Family Camp
Greene Family Camp is a summer camp located in Bruceville-Eddy, TX. The camp has a very large garden that was being underutilized. Master Gardeners consult and assist with plantings and maintaining the garden throughout the year. Additionally, we provide garden related activities for the campers.
The camp garden has a raised beds, furrowed beds, a very young orchard and a greenhouse. The garden is a very valuable teaching tool at the camp. So many young people have no sense of our ancient relationship with the land, and our responsibility to care for it, as it has taken care of us over the centuries. Though our involvement the garden has flourished, and everyone involved children as well as adults and master gardeners have learned a lot while working in the garden.
Project Coordinator: Laynie Miller
Habitat for Humanity
Volunteers work with Habitat for Humanity to select plants, design and prepare beds, and plant shrubs and annuals appropriate for the new homes they have completed. The new homeowner receives plant care instructions along with a gift from MCMG consisting of a fifty (50′) foot water hose, sprinkler, and either a garden hoe or rake. These gifts are presented to the homeowner at the dedication of their new home.
Project Coordinators: Jeanette Kelly, Sharon Richardson, and Melba Waldrop
Lunch With the Masters
Each month one of our certified Texas Master Gardeners or a highly qualified invited guest will present a program designed to be of interest to those who enjoy gardening-related topics. These programs are free of charge to the public. They are held at the Carleen Bright Pavilion, the large building on the north side of the Arboretum. Ample free parking is available. Click to see the current schedule.
Project Coordinator: Janet Schaffer
McGregor Demonstration Garden
As you enter the town of McGregor, Texas, there is an existing welcome sign and rather large corner lot. Jene Hering, a Master Gardener and long time resident of the city, has long had a vision that this corner could not only be an attractive asset to the city, but a place to showcase Texas hardy plants for the area. The garden now symbolizes the very spirit of our state and demonstrates species of plants that work well for most people in their landscape. The bed shape of a star catches the eye of people passing by the busy intersection. As in most stars, the bed has 5 legs and a large center area. Lower growing plants are placed at the tip of each leg with native grasses in the middle and working into quality varieties of roses in the center. It was important to keep the top leg with low growing plants so as to not block the view of the McGregor sign. A mixture of perennials was used so they will not need to be planted each year. The outside perimeter of the star is composed of pea gravel, which will provide an area where the public can walk right up to the garden to view the plants.
Project Coordinator: Jene Hering
Pollinator Teaching Garden at Miss Nellie’s
The McLennan County Master Gardeners Association (MCMGA) Pollinator Teaching Garden is an open garden in Miss Nellie’s Pretty Place in Cameron Park. MCMGA and Keep Waco Beautiful (KWB) have partnered to create a Pollinator Teaching Garden in one area of the wildflower garden.
The garden was created to accommodate the needs of pollinators in order to contribute to the continuation of their population. Providing an area where they can breed, find food, and multiply for future generations. It is intended to provide an area whereas, the general public can be taught classification, protection and conservation, life history of pollinators, and their relationship to plants, other animals, and man. Our hope is to instill an interest and love for nature.
KWB is funding this Pollinator Teaching Garden as part of their renovation of Miss Nellie’s Pretty Place. In Feb. 2018, MCMGA approved this as an official project. With the design created by MCMG Sandy Katz, MCMG volunteers have constructed, planted, and maintained this garden. Free educational events and classes about the importance of bees, butterflies, insects, and hummingbirds are the focus of this garden.
Project Coordinators: Jeanette Kelley and Wayne Federwisch
Mountainview Elementary School
At Mountainview Elementary School in Waco ISD, about 17 third graders gather after school on Tuesdays with their teacher and fellow Master Gardener Sherry Bagby, who teaches them using the Junior Master Gardener Learn, Grow, Eat, & GO! curriculum. Their studies focus on healthy eating and vegetable gardening.
Project Coordinator: Sherry Bagby
The McLennan County Master Gardeners has a group of members who are capable and willing to present programs on gardening and related horticulture topics when requested by garden clubs, civic and other organizations. PowerPoint presentations, lectures and workshops on horticulture subjects are frequently requested of the members.
Project Coordinator: Nelda Cooper, 254-749-4499
Texas Superstar Garden at the Carleen Bright Arboretum
Texas Superstars are tough, reliable, and showy plants, which have undergone years of extensive testing by Texas A&M University’s Agriculture Program. So that local homeowners can see how these strong and stunning plants will grow in the Waco area, McLennan County Master Gardeners designed, developed, and maintain a Texas Superstar demonstration garden at the Carleen Bright Arboretum in Woodway. Developed in 2005, the garden continues to evolve, inviting visitors to stroll through, linger, and gather ideas for their own gardens.
Project Coordinator: Penny Gifford
Tennyson Middle School (Atlas Program)
Tennyson Middle School offers a gardening class to sixth grade Atlas students (Advanced Placement). The course has 3 tiers: basic gardening provided through the Learn, Grow, and Go Curriculum; advanced gardening skills and cooking the produce that is harvested; and a collaborative science/business program for marketing and selling the produce (entrepreneurship). The students meet daily for an hour from noon to one p.m. McLennan County Master Gardeners provide assistance in the classroom to the science teacher who is teaching the Learn, Grow, Eat and Go Curriculum.
Project Coordinator: Sherry Prather
The newest and largest garden addition to the Carleen Bright Arboretum in Woodway is Trailside Gardens, developed by McLennan County Master Gardeners. MCMG member Anita Dawson and her husband, Jerry, made a significant financial contribution in memory of their fathers, James C. Webster and Aubrey T. Dawson, allowing development of the gardens to begin. To honor these gentlemen and the plants they loved, plantings include EarthKind roses and other water-wise and native plants.
Landscape architect Bernard Ott, who designed the original Arboretum Master Plan, came up with a schematic outline for the Trailside Gardens. MCMG members Jean Cunningham and Rachelle Kemp designed a planting plan. Other contributions have come from the MCMG budget and private donations. Featuring a native-stone fountain, shade, and fragrance, Trailside Gardens show Arboretum visitors how beautiful an easy-care, environmentally-friendly landscape can be.
Project Coordinator: Penny Gifford
Waco Downtown Farmers Market
The Waco Downtown Farmers Market opened in Nov. 2011. The McLennan County Master Gardeners were invited to participate and had their first Education Tent in January 2012. The Master Gardeners now host a tent each second Saturday of the month from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. There is a variety of horticulture handouts, free “seed of the month” handout, educational demonstrations, occasional children’s activity, and Ask A Master Gardener to answer your gardening concerns.
Project Coordinators: Penny Gifford, Rianna Alvarado-Palmer, Jeanette Kelly, Robin Liebe, and John Sponenberg
Woodway Elementary Green Classroom
What began as a commitment to beautify the school’s entrance has grown into a project that uses thirty-five raised bed gardens to teach elementary school students the science of gardening while having fun. Utilizing LGEG (Learn, Grow, Eat, Go) curriculum allows the children to have fun and learn what a plant needs in order to grow. At the beginning of each semester the children plant vegetables that will be harvested by the end of the semester. During and between those times, fun LGEG activities occur that support a focused learning topic and engage the children in gardening. And of course, the kids take home a bag of veggies they have grown to share with their family at the end of the semester!
Project Coordinators: Kathy Lanfrankie and Irma Serrato