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Congratulations 2019 Search for Excellence Recipients!

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Watch the Search for Excellence Celebration to learn more about this year’s recipients!

Download the 2019 Search for Excellence Summary for an overview of each 2019 Search for Excellence project

Search for Excellence recognizes outstanding Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteer group projects that result in significant learning. We received 15 excellent applications this year, all of which represent exceptional examples of Master Gardener volunteers making a difference in their community.

Applications were judged by a team of Master Gardener volunteers based on the following criteria: Simplicity (10 points), Relevance (10 points), Creativity (10 points), Compatibility with Extension’s Mission (20 points), Completeness of the Application (20 points), Significant Learning (20 points), and Number Impacted (10 points). The project with the highest score in each category was selected as the recipient for that category. There was a tie for the demonstration garden category, and no entries were received for the research category, giving us the following seven 2019 Search for Excellence projects:

Community Service Category

  • Cabarrus County – County Fair Booth, “Digging in the Dirt”

Demonstration Garden Category

Students look at plants

Students explore science at the Wilson Botanical Gardens STEM Garden.

  • Caldwell County – Unity Park Community Garden and Demonstration Beds
  • Wilson County – Wilson Botanical Garden, STEM Garden

Innovative Project Category

Special Needs Audience

  • Cabarrus County – Stonewall Jackson Horticulture Project

Workshop/Presentation Category

  • Watauga County – Landscape Design Advanced Training Classes for MGVs

Youth Category

  • Buncombe County – Recreation Center Day Camp, Garden Week

Research Category – no entries

Applause and appreciation go to each of these Extension Master Gardener volunteer groups for their efforts to address local issues, find solutions for gardening problems, and share sustainable, research-based gardening information in their communities!

Winning projects receive $200 to support their local EMGV projects and outreach.

Extension Master Gardener Endowment icon

Search for Excellence awards are funded by interest income from the NCEMG Endowment, which is supported by the purchase and renewal of the Extension Master Gardener License Plate and donations by Master Gardener volunteers, county EMG groups and associations, and friends of the EMG program.

Support the NCEMG Endowment, give online:

Learn more about the 2019 Search for Excellence.