Extension Master Gardeners, an exciting new opportunity is now available for your use! The National Consumer Horticulture/Master Gardener State Coordinators Committee in cooperation with eXtension has released this Master Gardener Blog.
Yes! This blog is for Master Gardeners across the USA and Canada to share information and engage with each other.
The official launch date is May 1, 2010, and Master Gardener Coordinators from across the country will be sharing blog posts on project ideas or a topic of interest with the national Extension Master Gardener community. Through the blog, Extension Master Gardeners will be able to comment and share surrounding these blog topics. Once the Master Gardener Coordinators get accustomed to sharing via the Extension Master Gardener blog, we hope to provide opportunities for Master Gardeners to submit blog posts in conjunction with their State Master Gardener Coordinator.
Master Gardener Can Talk ‘Shop’ Nationwide
So why is this blog such a great new opportunity? Well- many of you already blog about gardening and plants. You share your favorite plant sources, what grows well in your area and how your garden is doing. This new blog has a different but equally appealing focus: Master Gardener projects. You can cross talk with other volunteers from as far away as Toronto, Canada or Anchorage, Alaska or Miami, Florida.
With close to 100,000 Master Gardeners in this country (see the EMG Survey) – wouldn’t it be nice to talk “shop” with other volunteers just like you?
Master Gardeners will be able to share:
- Project successes and learning points
- Resources you have used for your projects (helpful partners or sponsors)
- Curriculum you used or developed
- How you funded or marketed your programs.
Other volunteers are anxious to hear what really worked and what did not. Wouldn’t it be cool to learn from your peers and not have to “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to good ideas and their implementation?
We Can Announce Events and Educational Opportunities
Besides being a great tool for networking- we can use this site to announce educational information for Master Gardeners- such as national webinars or state or regional events.
Sharing Master Gardener Program Value
The advantages of this new blog are tremendous! The blog will allow you to form friendships based on your common Master Gardener interests and allows for communication regardless of distance. It will demonstrate different viewpoints and allow users to get feedback from others who do the same type of volunteer work.
This collaboration will not only strengthen your local projects –it could…
- Lead to cross-state and regional cooperation on projects.
- Become a great personal learning tool and will highlight projects that emphasize the research done by our different land grant universities.
- Help us market Master Gardeners as the general public finds our blog and realizes just what kind of volunteer work Master Gardeners are really doing.
- Show others the impact our projects are making on our local communities.
- Reach audiences who may not attend our current programs or read our newspaper articles- but who may enjoy the internet and blogging.
What a great way to “strut our stuff” and receive publicity for what we do!
So, are you ready to blog? Other Master Gardeners are just waiting to learn about what volunteers are doing in your state!
University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Coordinator
Chair, Consumer Hort National Committee