NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Middlesex County’s Office of Extension Services held a graduation ceremony for its most recent class of 36 Master Gardener graduates.
“Since 1984, nearly 8,000 residents statewide have been trained through the Master Gardener program,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Middlesex County’s program is among the most active in the state, and we congratulate our graduates and newest members.”
In Middlesex County, there are almost 250 active Master Gardeners assisting RCE of Middlesex County staff and faculty in various capacities, including: dissemination of research-based information at community events, conducting workshops, answering garden inquiries on the “Helpline” and managing various demonstration and display gardens.
Master Gardeners are community volunteers trained in Earth-friendly gardening and environmental principles. In Middlesex County, the training portion of the Master Gardener program lasts for one year. The program begins in September with weekly classes from fall to spring, followed by hands-on activities in the vegetable and herb gardens during the growing season. Middlesex County has a day program on Friday mornings and an evening program on Thursdays. The graduation ceremony was held Feb. 16.
“Our Master Gardeners help us protect the beauty and environmental health of Middlesex County,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Commission. “We thank our volunteers for sharing their education and knowledge with our residents.”
The County’s Extension Office is part of a nationwide network that brings the research of the state land-grant universities to local people. Rutgers Cooperative Extension offices throughout New Jersey are cooperatively funded by: the County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Rutgers University – New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
For more information about the Master Gardeners or any other Cooperative Extension program, call 732-398-5260.
If you have questions on backyard environmental issues, Middlesex County’s Extension Office can assist you with its free Master Gardener Helpline. Residents can call 732-398-5220 with their questions on plants, bugs, home conservation practices and other gardening-based questions. Trained Master Gardeners are available from 9 a.m. until noon Mondays through Fridays, or you can leave a detailed message, and volunteers will get back to you. You may also e-mail your questions and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County