About Baxter County Master Gardeners
The Master Gardener program is a volunteer program in which individuals are trained specifically to represent the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service to help with providing approved information on gardening and to develop community programs related to horticulture. Master Gardener training includes 40 hours of classroom instruction and many hours of ongoing education in botany, soil science, plant propagation, pest management, pesticide and herbicide usage, vegetable and ornamental plant gardening, plant and weed identification, pruning, and other horticulture related subjects.
Once trained, Master Gardeners aid the Extension Service and give back to their local communities by doing work related to horticulture, such as designing and implementing community improvement projects, working with special groups in the community, disseminating approved horticultural information, answering questions, researching specific problems, planting educational and therapeutic gardens, providing public speakers and much more.
Find out how the Master Gardener program began by visiting the BCMG History page. Explore our many community projects on the Projects & Events page, and be sure to visit the Awards page where we get a chance to brag about the kudos we’ve received as a result of our labors and calloused green thumbs!
Photo by Mike Kuenzli
The Baxter County Master Gardeners organization is affiliated with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. The Arkansas State Master Gardener Program is offered by the U of A Cooperative Extension Service and is designed to increase the availability of horticultural information and improve quality of life with horticultural projects.
During their monthly meetings, we have an interesting and educational program related to some aspect of horticulture or gardening. Some time is spent examining and discussing horticultural specimens brought in by members and frequently sharing gardening problems and solutions. A short business meeting is also conducted and, of course, refreshments are served!
In addition to monthly meetings, Special Interest Groups (SIGs) meet from time to time. SIGs are an educational program designed for BCMG members with common interest to expand their knowledge in various topics, such as garden plants, wildflowers, herbs, vegetables, composting, pruning, propagation, pest control, irrigation systems etc. Members will be notified when a SIG is scheduled.
Photo by Lucinda Reynolds
Project involvement is a very important part of the group. All members contribute a minimum or 10 hours annually (20 hrs for first year new MGs) to sanctioned projects. A complete description of each project, along with photos, contact information, and locations can be found on the Projects & Events page. Most of these involve gardening projects in the community around public buildings or parks. Members select which projects they wish to work on, but are welcome to work on any project on a scheduled work day. Project work can involve planting, weeding, garden layout and design, pruning, mulching, propagation, etc.
Other sanctioned projects include propagation of plants for the annual plant sale, working in the Horticulture room at the Baxter County Fair, answering questions and providing information to the public at the KTLO Home and Garden Show, and being a mentor to new Master Gardeners.
The largest and perhaps most notable sanctioned project is our annual Gardening Seminar. While other groups may put on partial day seminars, our group puts on an all day seminar for the public which includes knowledgeable speakers on various gardening topics. Extensive gardening information is provided, and members provide horticultural specimens from their gardens for display. Specimens are identified where possible. Gardening crafts and books are provided by members for drawings, and of course, copious refreshments are served!