Master Gardeners working to beautify the county

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The Master Gardeners of Roane County are trained volunteers who help University of Tennessee Extension of Roane County educate and serve the community.

Tennessee Master Gardeners receive 40 hours of horticultural training through UT Extension and return 40 hours of volunteer community service to become certified.

They maintain certification with 25 service hours and eight hours of continuing education annually.

The Master Gardeners of Roane County strive to be community educators, advisers and helpers by providing researched-based horticultural education.

Community workshops offered throughout the year include edible landscaping/orchard management, sustainable food landscaping/apple tree grafting and one which demonstrates how participants can grow their own groceries.

The Roane County Habitat Urban Garden Program adds to the Habitat for Humanity program and provides landscaping and education for families who have received a Habitat.

Participating homeowners are required to attend garden basics training session, sign an agreement of understanding and help plan and plant their landscape. Two Roane County families are participating in the HUG program.

The Master Gardeners have also established a children’s garden in Rockwood’s Evans Heights area. Master Gardeners have installed raised beds and meet each week at the garden to teach neighborhood children how to grow vegetables and healthy eating habits. About 20 children are participating in this program.

The group has partnered with Roane County Park to plan, plant and maintain a garden that includes a water feature.

Master Gardeners support the Keep Roane Litter Free program by picking up litter on a 2-mile stretch of Hwy. 70 in Midtown.

They, along with Roane County Extension and Farm Bureau, host Farm Day at Roane State Community College each May to provide an educational experience in the agricultural field to all Roane County third-graders.

Master Gardeners are working with Kingston Parks Director Rick Ross to plan a rain water conservation garden at Kingston Community Center.

The Master Gardeners of Roane County will have their annual spring plant sale on May 4 at Ladd Landing Shopping Center, Kingston.

They will have an “Ask-a-Master-Gardener” booth and give demonstrations at the Home and Garden Show on May 11.

Master Gardeners are also available to answer gardening questions one-on-one.

For information on current upcoming activities, visit www.mgroanecounty.org.