Erie County Master Gardener Accomplishments
Erie County Master Gardeners
A self-sustaining non-profit organization
We are part of a nationwide network of land grant university-trained volunteers who serve as educators in their communities. We furnish research-based horticultural information to individuals, schools, and businesses in Erie County.
Listed are some of our valuable community projects:
- In our annual participation at the Erie Home & Garden Expo and the Builders Association of Northwestern PA Home Show, we supply a variety of speakers, create a hands-on children’s area, and interact with the public as we answer a multitude of gardening questions. We also distribute informative gardening literature for a week in September at the Albion Fair. At these events we educate thousands of county residents.
- We present numerous workshops throughout the year on topics such as composting, pesticide safety, plant diseases, native/invasive plants and insects, and landscape design and care. We reach the public though school programs, garden club presentations, our yearly plant sale, in-services at business locations and our annual Pumpkin Walk.
- At Goodell Gardens in Edinboro, we are collecting research for Penn State University regarding various bees, butterflies, beetles and other pollinators that are essential to our food supply and the welfare of our entire ecosystem.
- In collaboration with Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park and the Erie County Conservation District, we teach students about the life cycle of trees, vermiculture, alternative energy, and small space gardening. We also assist students in planting rain gardens to ensure future soil and water health.
- Our Horticulture Hotline is a free service to local homeowners and gardeners providing advice and guidance on all things horticultural. We annually answer hundreds of calls, offering free, researched information on everything from houseplants to lawns, vegetable gardens, fruit, insects, weeds, mulch and more.
- Our numerous community gardens give us opportunities to assist seniors and the disabled in planting accessible gardens, and to introduce children to the world of plants and healthy eating. We created a “We Speak for the Trees” Scavenger Hunt this spring to encourage families to get out and discover some of the interesting trees growing in our county. The guidelines for our tree contest along with the clues can be found on our website: http://extension.psu.edu/erie/news.
- Since the Master Gardener program began in Erie County, we have volunteered 27,000 hours of our time, with a financial value to the community worth approximately $486,000. Master Gardeners are seeking to build and strengthen economic and social viability by partnering with local businesses and organizations to expand the beneficial programs we provide.