Article by UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Urban Horticulture Agent Lorna Bravo
Are you interested in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer in Broward County?
Who are the Master Gardener Volunteers?
Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) are horticultural arts and sciences educators. UF/IFAS Extension training empowers Master Gardener Volunteers to be active in their communities, offering leadership and guidance in gardening and sustainability 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 its annual training and currently has 245 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.
Broward County Master Gardener Volunteer Scholarship Program
Did you know that the Broward County Master Gardener Volunteer program offers a Scholarship?
Applications are available for the UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) training. It starts in February 2022. The program will be blended courses( face-to-face and web-based online learning) with two classes a week for 16 weeks. The deadline to apply is January 7, 2022. The UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Master Gardener Volunteer Program will be honoring five 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 total cost financially.
Broward County MGV Program Impacts
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. This program impacts urban agriculture by growing 400 pounds of fresh vegetables annually in the demonstration garden, donating this produce to local food pantries, and providing vegetable education to Broward students and teachers.
Learn Urban Food Growing and Sustainable Urban food Systems
Broward County Master Gardener Volunteer program is now training Volunteers with basic Hydroponic classes to engage with research, evaluate new UF/IFAS Lettuce Lines Grown Hydroponically indoors, and teach the community.
Read our new blog about this exciting project.http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/browardco/2020/05/26/broward-county-master-gardener-volunteers-evaluate-uf-ifas-lettuce-lines-grown-hydroponically/.
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. 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 latest initiative to help bring back native orchids in Broward County Yards.http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/browardco/2020/10/18/broward-county-native-orchid-project/.
Become a Water Ambassador. Meeting future water demands in Florida can only happen in 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.
Broward County Water-Saving: 2.4 Million Gallons of Water Savings. (Based on Broward Extension clients’ reported behavior change 2019-2021)
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 2022-Master-Gardener-Volunteer-Application.pdf (ufl.edu)
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 five scholarships for class 2022. You can apply by filling out the following scholarship application MGV-Scholarship-Application.pdf (ufl.edu)
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