FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 10, 2008

CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, (908) 527-4419
Tina Casey, (908) 527-4346

 

MASTER GARDENERS OF UNION COUNTY CELEBRATE 20 YEARS OF SERVICE
Volunteer group provides community with garden help

Union County Agricultural Agent Madeline F. DiNardo, Master Gardener T. J. Karns of Union, Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, and Rutgers Cooperative Extension Director Dr. Karen Ensle
The Master Gardeners of Union County celebrated 20 years of service at a recent gala. Supported by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension in cooperation with the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Master Gardeners provide free gardening advice, donations of fresh vegetables and cut flowers, and other community services to Union County residents. They were presented with a letter from Governor Jon S. Corzine and resolutions from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Legislature. Pictured from left to right are Union County Agricultural Agent Madeline F. DiNardo, Master Gardener T. J. Karns of Union, Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, and Rutgers Cooperative Extension Director Dr. Karen Ensle.

Elizabeth – The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. The milestone was recently marked with a gala dinner and the presentation of a letter from Governor Jon S. Corzine, and resolutions from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Legislature.

“The Master Gardeners are a valuable community resource for Union County, and their enthusiasm for sharing their knowledge is exemplary,” said Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski. “This recognition is well-deserved by volunteers who are helping to make our neighborhoods greener, healthier, and happier.”

The Master Gardeners are trained volunteers affiliated with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County, supported in part by the Freeholder Board. Among their community services are a free helpline for gardening advice, a public demonstration garden, community beautification projects, and classroom visits.

The Union County Master Gardener Helpline number is (908) 654-9852. Email inquiries are also welcome, at mastergardeners@ucnj.org.

Honorees at the gala included Master Gardeners with 500 or more hours of community service.

In addition, Master Gardener T.J. Karns of Union will receive statewide recognition for excellence from the Master Gardeners Association of New Jersey this fall. Grants secured by Ms. Karns were used to construct raised beds in the Sharing Garden, which donates fresh vegetables to local food pantries. The funds have also been earmarked to purchase a new greenhouse.

Statewide recognition will also be received this fall by the members of the Flower Cutting Garden Committee, founded and co-chaired by Sandra Schroeder of Berkeley Heights and Joann Gornowski of Scotch Plains. The Cutting Garden provides free flowers to cancer patients and their families.

The Sharing Garden and Cutting Garden are both part of the Master Gardeners’ public Demonstration Garden, located by the Trailside Nature and Science Center in Union County’s Watchung Reservation. Visitors are welcome.

For those interested in becoming certified as a Master Gardener volunteer, a training course is scheduled for October 2008 through May 2009. For more information, call (908) 654-9854 x2240, or visit www.mastergardeners-uc.org.