Erie County Master Gardener Accomplishments
Erie County Master Gardeners
A self-sustaining 501(c)(3) 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. At these events we educate thousands of county residents.
- Our numerous community gardens give us opportunities to assist seniors and the disabled in planting accessible gardens, to participate in juvenile rehabilitation using horticulture, and to introduce children to the world of plants and healthy eating.
- Our involvement with the Waterford Fair, Erie Golf & Travel Expo and Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park Festivals includes learning activities for children and distribution of informative gardening literature. Civic beautification projects have also been completed in several sites throughout Erie County.
- 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 annual plant sale, and in-services at business locations.
- 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 EnvironmentErie and 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 Master Gardeners can also identify plants and insects. If it is impossible to arrive at a diagnosis or identification in the Erie Extension office, samples will be sent to the Pathology or Entomology labs at Penn State main campus.
Since the Master Gardener program began in Erie County, we have volunteered 18,000 hours of our time, with a financial value to the community worth approximately $324,000. 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.