The Fairfax County Master Gardeners ushered in 21 new Master Gardener graduates and gave out milestone awards at the 2019 Fall Membership Meeting & Awards Ceremony on October 16. The awards included a special surprise Certificate of Appreciation recognizing Adria Bordas, Unit Coordinator and Senior Extension Agent - Horticulture, for her 18 years of service to the Fairfax County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension.
The Master Gardener program is funded by annual fees paid by its members and receives training materials and technical support from the Fairfax County VCE within the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. The new graduates join the 180 volunteers who are already certified Master Gardeners.
Master Gardeners are Fairfax County residents who provide horticultural advice to home gardeners in Fairfax County. This includes diagnosing plant diseases and insect damage, understanding basic botany, and describing how to plant a vegetable garden, prune a bush, plant a tree, maintain a lawn, and much more. New members receive 30 hours of training per year for three years, with classes taught by horticultural experts specializing in various fields. Master Gardener graduates must also serve a minimum of 24 volunteer hours per year, as well as ongoing continuing education.
At the ceremony, Supervisor Jeffrey C. McKay, who represents Lee District on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, made a surprise appearance to personally thank Ms. Bordas for her 18 years of service to the Fairfax County VCE. The Master Gardener Association also presented the Service Milestone Awards to volunteers logging hours of 250, 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000, as well as the President’s Pruner Award to one volunteer who has gone above and beyond the “call of duty.” That lucky Master Gardener received a pair of Felco pruners, a brand coveted by gardening enthusiasts.
The program included a potluck dinner, business meeting, and talk by Kathy Jentz of Washington Gardener Magazine.
For more information on becoming a Master Gardener, visit https://fairfaxgardening.org/.