Article by UF/IFAS Extension Broward County CED Lorna Bravo
UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Master Gardener Volunteer program launches the first Broward County Master Gardener Volunteer Scholarship program! Applications are available for the 2021 UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) training scheduled to begin in February 2021. For the second year in a row, the program will be conducted virtually with two classes a week for 16 weeks. Hands-on projects, reading assignments, and demonstrations are held online. The deadline to apply is Friday, December 18, 2020.
Broward County Master Gardener Volunteer Scholarship Program
For the first time, the UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Master Gardener program will be honoring two program scholarships. The Broward County Master Gardener program created the scholarship opportunity for interested participants who might not otherwise be able to pay the training fee’s full cost financially.
Who are the Master Gardener Volunteers?
Master Gardener Volunteers are educators of the horticultural arts and sciences. With training from UF/IFAS Extension, Master Gardener Volunteers are active in their communities, offering leadership and guidance in gardening projects of all types and sizes.
What is the mission of the Master Gardener Volunteer program?
The mission of the Master Gardener Volunteer program is to assist Extension agents in providing research-based horticultural education to Florida residents. The Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Program has been around since 1979. Each year, approximately 4,700 Master gardener Volunteers contribute a total of 365,000 hours of service, helping to make their communities better informed, more sustainable, and beautiful.
UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Master Gardener Program
The Broward County Master Gardener program (MGV) was launched in 1982 and trained 15 MGV in the first year and 25 MGVs in 1983. The program continued annual training and currently has 225 Active Master Gardener Volunteers. The Broward County Master Gardener Volunteer program serves the second most populous County in Florida, with a population estimate of 1.9 million people.
Master Gardener Legacy Grant Award Recipient
In 2019, Our Broward County Master Gardener Volunteer Program received the Master Gardener Legacy Grant award. This award recognizes the importance of our new Broward County program initiatives on urban Horticulture education. You can read more about the grant https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/browardco/2019/11/29/uf-ifas-extension-master-gardener-legacy-award-grant-winners/.
Food security is becoming a significant concern in Broward County, with 326 identified “food deserts” where residents have difficulty accessing affordable, fresh, and nutritious food. According to Feeding Florida, 3.3 million Floridians are food insecure, including 1.1 million children.
Our Master Gardener Volunteers are now growing fruit trees, herbs, and vegetables in community gardens, schools, and edible landscapes to combat food insecurities, teach Broward residents, and our future generation how to grow food in urban environments. Our Broward County Master Gardener Volunteer program is now training Master Gardener Volunteers with basic Hydroponic classes to engage with research and evaluate new UF/IFAS Lettuce Lines Grown Hydroponically indoors.
Read our new blog about this exciting project.https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/browardco/2020/05/26/broward-county-master-gardener-volunteers-evaluate-uf-ifas-lettuce-lines-grown-hydroponically/.
Farm to School Proclamation-CRUNCH
Our Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth-largest school district and the second-largest in Florida. The Board of County Commissioners in Broward County presented UF/ IFAS Extension a Farm to School Proclamation on October 15, 2019, dedicating October as National Farm to School month in Broward County. We are collaborating with our UF/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Programs ( FNP) and our Master Gardener Volunteers to bring CRUNCH to Broward Schools to teach our future generation about nutrition and how food is grown in Florida. The Florida CRUNCH is a one-day event organized by schools across the state to celebrate National Farm to School Month. In 2020, our Broward County Master Gardener Volunteers engaged and educated 1,240 elementary students. They taught students how to grow celery and Cucumber during CRUNCH.
You can read this blog about our CRUNCH project. https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/browardco/2020/01/03/national-farm-to-school-month-in-broward-county/.
Be a Citizen Scientist-Supporting Biodiversity
Broward County Master Gardener Volunteers are conducting Citizen science Bioblitz projects in our Broward County Parks. Our Master Gardener Volunteers participate in invasive plant removals, documenting species occurrence, butterfly counts, and tagging, supporting biodiversity. Please read about our latest initiative to help bring back native orchids in Broward County Yards.
You can read more about our Bioblitz Projects in our blog. ttp://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/browardco/2019/09/03/benefits-of-conductingbioblitz/.
Please read about our new Native Orchid project in our latest blog.
Meeting future water demands in Florida can only happen one of two ways: increasing our water supply or decreasing the demand for it (SFWMD 2008).
As Florida’s population growth increases and the water demands increase, the Florida landscape will play a vital role in future water demands. Our Master Gardener Volunteers are becoming Water Ambassadors in Broward County to assist Homeowners with their Florida-Friendly Landscaping efforts and educate how their landscape maintenance decisions can profoundly impact Florida’s Environment. Our yard is the first line of defense in preserving Florida’s fragile environment.
Are you interested in becoming the next UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Master Gardener Volunteer?
Please visit our Broward County Master Gardener Volunteer Program website and apply for the program at this website for class information and fee http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/broward/urban-horticulture/broward-master-gardener/.
Apply to our Broward County Master Gardener Volunteer Scholarship Program
The scholarship program was created for interested participants who might not financially pay the training fee’s full cost. We will be honoring two scholarships for class 2021. You can apply by filling out the following scholarship application http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/media/sfylifasufledu/broward/docs/pdfs/urban-hort/gardening/MGV-Scholarship-Application-2020.pdf.
Want to stay connected and receive weekly program updates?
You can visit our New Social Media Channels
Visit our Website: http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/broward/
Follow our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/urbanhort.broward.3
Visit our Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/HortUrban
Please visit our new Instagram Page: @urbanhortbroward
Do you have any questions?