Helping Neighbors Grow and Thrive
Extension Master Gardener℠ Volunteers in Chatham County Show Us How
Chatham County is a rapidly growing community. Over the past decade, the population has increased by 22%, a rate that is 10% higher than the state’s average. Newcomers to Chatham County are eager to cultivate productive food gardens and eco-friendly home landscapes. But for many, moving to Chatham County brings new challenges including a warm, humid climate and clay soil.
As the Chatham County population grows, Extension Master Gardener℠ (EMG) volunteers have seen an increase in calls and emails from local residents seeking gardening information. To help both newcomers and existing residents garden successfully, EMG volunteers recently launched a new online resource, Gardening in Chatham County: A Newcomer’s Guide.
This easy-to-use website features information specific to gardening in Chatham County. It includes a guide to understanding local soils, recommended plant lists, a garden center directory and a calendar of upcoming classes and workshops. It also features links to NC State Extension resources on a variety of gardening topics, from fruits and vegetables to native plants, composting and pruning.
To promote the website, EMG volunteers designed a brochure and distributed it to area garden centers, libraries, farmers’ markets, and other local venues. Since its launch, website hits have steadily increased and feedback has been enthusiastic and positive. With this project, EMG volunteers have helped build awareness of the gardening resources and services offered by N.C.Cooperative Extension. What a warm welcome for their new neighbors!
To recognize this important outreach work, the Extension Master Gardener program in Chatham County received NC State Extension’s 2019 Search for Excellence Award. This award recognizes outstanding Extension Master Gardener volunteer-led educational, group projects that result in significant learning. Congratulations to Extension Master Gardener volunteer project leaders Bruce Birbeck, George Chescheir, Laurie Cousart, Karen Greager, Anne McKee, Catherine Morehead, Susan Pflum, Patricia Reitz, Patricia Stucke, Paul Szulewski, and Donna Worcester.
To learn more about the Extension Master Gardener program in Chatham County, contact Matt Jones, N.C. Cooperative Extension horticulture agent, 919.542.8243. For gardening advice, Chatham County residents may contact Extension Master Gardener volunteers in their community.
ABOUT the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Program
Master Gardener volunteers support the NC State Extension mission by educating residents about safe, effective, and sustainable gardening practices that grow healthy people, gardens, landscapes, and communities. Their vision is a healthier world through environmental stewardship.