Jerri Beebe voted Outstanding Master Gardener of the Year

Club President Jerri Beebe was voted Outstanding Master Gardener of the Year when the Tri-State Master Gardeners Association held its annual harvest banquet on Aug. 25 at the Weirton Marina.

Approximately 20 members attended the banquet where the luncheon included side dishes members had prepared using the bounty from their own gardens.

The event also included a boat ride on the river courtesy of David and Joann Morrison.

The association’s next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Sept. 9 at the First Christian Church in Weirton.

The Master Gardener program is designed to train individuals in horticultural knowledge and to provide opportunities to share that knowledge with other county residents through Cooperative Extension programs on a volunteer basis. Master Gardeners are volunteers who have a strong interest in gardening techniques and a desire to help others.

Thirty hours of training are provided by Extension and other progression at a central location in Weirton. Subject area include plant and soil sciences, plant propagation, insects and diseases, vegetables, pruning, composting, small fruits and fruit trees and pesticide safety. There is no cost to attend the classes, but the cost of the training manual is $85.

In exchange for the training, participants agree to:

— Provide 30 hours of volunteer service within one year, through Extension, to the public; and

— After the first year, Master Gardeners provide 12 hours of community service and receive six hours of continuing education in order to maintain their certification.

Anyone interested in applying to become a Master Gardener can contact the WVU Extension, Hancock County, P.O. Box 457, New Cumberland, WV, 26047, or call (304) 564-3805.

The WVU Extension Service serves as the “front porch” of West Virginia University with offices in all 5 counties. WVU Extension agents and specialists provide citizens with current, research-based programs in areas such as 4-H and youth development, agriculture, family and consumer sciences, health, leadership development and community and economic development.