Gardener grows legacy of generosity with special donation
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Gardeners seek out the University of Florida IFAS Extension Master Gardener program to expand their love of gardening with a commitment to serve their community. But when the time spent fundraising for the program crowded out time spent in community garden projects, one volunteer looked at the root of the problem to find a solution.
The Florida resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, established the Master Gardener Legacy Fund to help counties reach more potential gardeners who want to make a difference in their communities.
The fund, which will become an endowment once it reaches $30,000, was announced at the recently held 2017 Master Gardener State Conference in St. Augustine. The Master Gardener Legacy Fund is currently at $15,000, but Florida Master Gardeners hope to grow the fund to support more projects, said Wendy Wilber, the UF/IFAS state Master Gardener coordinator.
“We hear great ideas from the Master Gardeners for projects, but they end up spending valuable time trying to raise money to launch or continue these projects,” Wilber said. “But this endowment will help other members of the community learn the art of gardening and spread awareness of the benefits of being a Master Gardener.”
Counties can apply annually to receive grants for new or continuing education projects, Wilber said.
The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.