Putnam County Master Gardeners assist local community

Saturday, December 26, 2020
Jason Keeney (left), Beth Connel and John Craney received their new Purdue Master Gardener certifications in 2020.
Courtesy photo

Purdue Master Gardener volunteers contribute significantly to the lives of Indiana residents and local communities each year.

In 2020, the Putnam County Master Gardeners volunteered more than 274 hours in Putnam County, despite having to cancel a few events due to COVID-19.

They were able to work with local schools to help youth continue their horticulture education at a post-secondary school, track the weather and rainfall for CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network), turn Harris Hall events virtual during the 2020 Putnam County Fair, make educational videos and teach during their virtual monthly meetings.

There were some who volunteered to help at the newly established garden at Ridpath Elementary. Those volunteer hours are estimated to be valued at $7,471.84 (based on Independent Sector value of $27.20/hour).

During the December Putnam County Master Gardener Association meeting, a few local residents received a new Master Gardener certification.

To earn Purdue Master Gardener certifications, volunteers must complete horticultural training conducted by Purdue Extension county offices and engage in volunteer service that has been approved by Master Gardener county coordinators and performed in Indiana communities.

John Craney received his Master Gardener certification (35 cumulative volunteer hours and 45 cumulative education hours).

Those receiving their Advanced Bronze Master Gardener certification (200 cumulative volunteer hours and 60 cumulative education hours) were Beth Connell and Jason Keeney.

Additionally, nine individuals took part in the first-ever Purdue Extension Master Gardener virtual training course. Those individuals completed a 14-week educational course and passed their final exam. They are now considered Master Gardener interns and can volunteer on behalf of the Purdue Master Gardener Program.

Earning the Master Gardener intern honor were Brian Dickerson, Kimberly Dickerson, John Hawthorne, Linda Hunter, John Mace, Leia Vires, Dude Wanderlust, Indi Wanderlust and Ashley Wegner.

To learn more about the Purdue Master Gardener program, persons may contact the Putnam County Extension office at 653-8411.

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