WSU Whatcom County Extension

Community Horticulture

WSU Whatcom County Extension        

Established Projects

Master Gardener Projects
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CJC GARDENS:

CJC Gardens

Need: mentoring, leadership & community service opportunities needed by youth
Approach: Mgs worked with juveniles twice weekly growing produce in a community garden setting. Education was given on numerous subjects including IPM and entomology. Produce was donated to the food bank

 

RAIN GARDEN PROJECT:

Rain Garden

Need: property owners in the watershed region needed education and demonstration of how to develop a rain garden, and its purpose.
Approach: Mgs surveyed the community to find an appropriate site and built a rain garden. The process was videotaped and the resulting tape has been presented at various neighborhood meetings and other venues. The garden is on a list of waterwise gardens open to the public.

 

NO-TILL/LOW-TILL RESEARCH PROJECT:

Need: increase awareness of this practice among home gardeners
Approach: MGs conducted extensive research of existing information and experimented with NT/LT techniques in their own gardens. A handout and workshop were developed and presented to the public. This workshop will be replicated in the future and the research will be ongoing in other venues.

 

BUG BUDDIES

Need: Introduce school aged children to beneficial insects
Approach: an educational unit was developed including a power point presentation, and insect samples. The presentation was made to classes in 4 elementary schools and the Boys and Girls Club. Both children and teachers were very enthusiastic. A short quiz following the presentation measured knowledge increases and improved attitudes towards insects.

 

KENDALL SCHOOL GARDEN:

Kendall Garden

Need: Support to the Kendall School system &families trying to educate children about sustainable gardening
Approach: MGs worked with teachers, students, parents and community members to develop vegetable growing plots and acquire donations of materials. MGs worked with students and teachers to plant and tend the garden and will continue in 2009 to enlarge the program.

 

NATIVE PLANT APPRECIATION WALKS:

Native Plant Walk

Need: to increase public awareness of the diversity of native plants and how & why they can be used to the home landscape
Approach: MGs lead docented walks through 3 natural areas in Whatcom County: Stimpson Preserve, Semiahmoo Spit, and Birch Bay State Park. Native plants, noxious weeds and escaped ornamentals were identified and discussed with participants. All participants who were later quarried felt more inclined to use native plants in their own gardens and had greater understanding of the noxious weed designation. The program in Birch Bay drew the largest attendance of any scheduled program of the year and has led to the development of a new MG project: seasonal Greener Garden Parties in Birch Bay.

 

MENTORING STUDENTS AT WINDWARD SCHOOL:

Need: students needed advice and leadership to purchase and construct a greenhouse on school property
Approach: MGs worked with a committee of high school students who had received a grant to purchase and construct a greenhouse.  Meetings were conducted bi-weekly to lead the students through the process until the project was complete.

 

HORTICULTURAL THERAPY:

Need: better health and wellness through gardening
Approach: MGs visited elderly and disabled residents of nursing homes regularly assisting them with horticultural projects. This is an ongoing activity which is greatly looked forward to by these individuals and their caretakers.

 

FIREWISE LANDSCAPING PRESENTATION:

Need: instruct homeowners in proper landscaping practices to reduce the danger in forest fire
Approach: MGs prepared a presentation on the subject and distributed materials from the Skagit Conservation District. Later several home visits were made.

 

4-H SUPER SATURDAY:

Need: engage children in healthy, fun activities
Approach: workshops were held for children on subjects such as container planting and seed starting

 

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB AT THE FERNDALEFRIENDSHIP GARDEN:

Need: involve children in healthy afterschool activities, introduce them to gardening
Approach: MGs met with children at the Friendship garden weekly where they planted their own vegetable plot and tended it. Other fun activities were introduced. 6-8 children attended per week.


Master Gardener Projects

CORDATA COMMUNITY GARDEN:

Cordata Community Garden

Need: Neighbors living in multi-family housing in the Cordata neighborhood need space for growing produce and to come together as a neighborhood
Approach: Master gardeners, the Cordata Neighborhood association, the Mary Redman Foundation and Community First! Gardens have partnered to develop a community garden at the north end of Cordata parkway containing 50 garden plots
Update: The garden will be opening the first weekend in May.

 

HOPE HOUSE GARDEN:

Need: Residents of Hope House, a facility for women and children in Lynden, need a produce garden to raise food for their own use, for donation to the food bank, and to learn horticultural and cooking skills
Update: Thanks to donations from the following businesses and individuals, our garden is getting underway! Our appreciation to : New Way Ministries, the Smit family of Smit Dairy Compost, Westside Building Supply, Dena Fishbourne, George Van Achte and Dean from the Fairground.

 

GROW YOUR OWN GROCERIES PROJECT:

Master Gardener Teaching

Need: Local residents need instruction and advice on how to grow vegetables.
Update: Master gardeners have met with gardeners at 5 local community gardens to give them information needed to get started. They will continue to visit these gardens on a regular basis throughout the summer.

 

CHILDREN'S STORY GARDEN:

Children's Story Garden

Web site: http://whatcom.wsu.edu/mastergardener/csg

Need: To offer fun and educational activities about sustainable gardening to are children and their families
Approach: development of the Paul Bunyon themed Children’s Story Garden at Hovander Park in Ferndale which will offer regularly scheduled events through out the summer
Update: Thanks to generous community support, the garden is well under way!

 

HERITAGE SEED SAVING PROJECT:

Need: promote the preservation of heirloom vegetable seeds, educate the public about the vulnerability of our current system of seed production and loss of genetic diversity and to encourage local response to the issue; to provide a source of low cost or free seeds to home gardeners.
Approach: master gardeners will organize and participate in a series of 3 monthly presentations educating the public on these issues and allowing them to network with fellow gardeners. Local experts will be included.
Outcomes: Approximately 150 people attended two workshops. Dr. Richard Hard gave a presentation on Sustainable Culture and more than 300 packets of seeds were swapped among participants. Discussions were held on the culture and care of the varieties, seed saving, and open pollinated vs. hybrid seeds. Two different types of locally maintained heirloom seeds were distributed by elderly gardeners who wanted to ensure their protection. Another seed distributed had originally been brought to the U.S. by an Italian immigrant who carried them in her coat pocket.

 

WETLAND WEED CONTROL PROJECT:

Need: To educate property owners about invasive and/or noxious weeds and best practices for their control.
Approach: a survey will be conducted of existing weeds and a strategic plan for their control will developed and presented.
Outcomes: pending

 

HANDS ON WATERSHED FRIENDLY GARDEING PROJECT:

Need: homeowners in the watershed areas need motivation, encouragement and guidance to change landscape design and gardening practices which will promote water quality.
Approach: a master gardener will meet with a group of 5-8 watershed residents for 5 scheduled sessions which will include presentations on water conservation, gardening with native plants and soil improvement. Work days will be held at participants’ homes and specific plans and schedules will be drawn up for landscaping changes. Each participant will be required to ‘pay back’ by volunteering further, using the master gardener program model.
Outcomes: pending

 

FERNDALE BOYS&GIRLS CLUB PROJECT:

Congratulations - Gloria Perez!
Boys and Girls Club Volunteer of the Year!

Ferndale Friendship Garden

Need: Children of working parents need healthy after school activities
Approach: MG volunteers meet with the children weekly introducing them to the   principles of sustainable gardening at their plot at the Ferndale Friendship Community Garden
Outcomes: pending

 

BIG ROCK PARK PROJECT:

Need: Park personnel and volunteers need horticultural advice
Approach: MG volunteers teach propagation of native plants, supervise work parties, perform plant diagnostics, lead native plant walks and advise on sustainable design and maintenance
Outcomes: pending

 

KENDALL SCHOOL GARDENS:

Need: to introduce school children to vegetable gardening and to allow them to provide fresh, organically grown produce to their school lunch program
Approach: MG volunteers work with students, teachers, parents and community members to create and maintain school yard gardens
Outcomes: pending

 

SUDDEN VALLEY NEWSLETTER:

Need: to provide scientifically accurate topical horticultural information to the residents of this outlying area
Approach: A MG volunteer writes monthly articles on a variety of seasonal subjects
Outcomes: copies of all articles made available to our office; readership is estimated at 6,500 monthly.

 

 

 

 

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WSU Whatcom County Extension • 1000 N. Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225 • (360) 778-5800 • whatcom@wsu.edu