From Special Reports

Here in Georgia more than 3,000 active MGEVs (Master Gardener Extension Volunteer) volunteer their time across the state each year, contributing more than one hundred seventy-thousand hours of volunteer service.

This translates to almost $4 million dollars in service donated annually by volunteers. As of December 2017, 86 Coweta County MGEVs volunteered 6,964 hours and traveled nearly 37,000 miles serving Coweta residents last year. They also participated in 29 hours of advanced training and 143 hours of continuing education to improve their skills.

The 2018 Coweta County MGEV class graduated in April, and nineteen new volunteers have hit the ground running. These trainees are now working hard to complete their 50 hours of volunteer service this year in order to become certified Master Gardeners. After this year, they will be required to complete at least twenty-five hours of volunteer service to maintain their certification.

There are many ways for volunteers to complete their service hours. For instance, you may have spoken with one of our volunteers through the Master Gardener help desk at the Extension office or seen them at the fairgrounds if you attended the Master Gardener Plant Sale a few months ago. MGEVs support our community by providing research-based lawn and garden recommendations and by presenting workshops and presentations to local community groups like 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy and Girl Scouts, and church groups.

MGEV fundraisers like the plant sale provide resources to support scholarships, free monthly Backyard meetings for homeowners, Nature Trail improvements, the Fall Tree Festival, and online resources for you, the citizens of Coweta County!

The process to become a Master Gardener is competitive, so an interview and application are required.  After acceptance into the program, potential MGEVs being an extensive training program, which includes forty hours of class taught by exceptional subject matter experts and then is followed by an exam.  Once you complete the course and earn your volunteer hours, you have achieved your goal.

Do you have the desire to get dirt on your face and sit back looking at the beauty you have worked so hard to create? If so, then contact the UGA Cooperative Extension office in Coweta County to find out more about joining the happy family of Master Gardeners. You can stop by the office at 255 Pine Rd, Newnan, GA 30263 or call (770) 254-2620 and ask for Karen Mansour or a Master Gardener Extension Volunteer, and come play in the dirt with us!

Pictured (front row, l-r) Ed Atkinson, Melanie Atkinson, Doris Cook, Nancy Ballard, Judith Shelnutt, Rosyln Johnson; (middle row) C. R. Phillips, Shanna Campbell, Patty Ellis, Katrina Brown, Mark Hess, Kathy Olmstead, David Fowler; and (back row) Drew Brown, Michael Williams, Carol Kraft, Diane Cook, Beverly Yeager, and Audrey Harrelson.