AgriWorld (now Discovery Texas) at the East Texas State Fair
The displays are in place during the entire run of the ET State Fair in the Youth & Education Building.
Displays are designed to create a learning experience especially for children and adults as well. The Smith County MGs have a display called “Our Secret Garden.”
The East Texas State Fair managers have changed this program to “Discovery Texas” beginning in the fall of 2019.
Working with Children
While the Smith County Master Gardeners understand the importance of gardening in the lives of children, at this time there are no active projects working directly with children. Two programs for kids with which the Master Gardeners were involved are shown below:
Founded by the Tyler Council of Church Women in 1936, the Tyler Day Nursery was established to assist in the care of small children from households with insufficient income to meet their needs. It is dedicated to the physical, mental, and social development of children who might otherwise be left in unsatisfactory circumstances without the opportunity for quality childcare and preschool education. Many of the parents of these “at risk” children could not remain employed or attend school and would be forced into seeking public assistance without the benefit of the Nursery.
The Smith Co. Master Gardeners volunteered at the Tyler Day Nursery for many years. A few dedicated women, especially Rubye Edwards set out to plant a garden, both vegetable and flowers at the nursery so that children could see plants growing each day. The kids and their teachers are involved by actually planting some of the garden vegetables, watching them grow, picking them and enjoying them as they are cooked by the staff.
Junior Master Gardeners
The JUNIOR MASTER GARDENER (JMG) Mission: To grow good kids by igniting a passion for learning, success and service through a unique gardening education. The JMG program engages children in novel, “hands-on” group and individual learning experiences that promote a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment, and cultivate the mind. JMG encourages youths to be of service to others through learning and leadership development projects and rewards them with certification. For more information, go the the Junior Master Gardener web site. In Tyler the first training for Jr. MG coordinators began in 1999 and the first group began in 2000 and later that year six young people were certified. For several years there were new groups each year.