On October 27, horticulture agents, commissioners, CSU staff, as well as Master Gardeners and their guests gathered to celebrate the 1,121 citizens of Jefferson County who have been through the intense Master Gardener program by Colorado State University over the past 40 years. Training to become educators, these folks have utilized different platforms to educate the community on how to become better gardeners and how to create gardens that are sustainable and promote physical and mental wellbeing. This represents thousands of dollars of volunteer time in services to Jeffco citizens over the course of the years, not to mention the education they provide that is reflected in healthy kids, healthy families, healthy communities, and overall public health. This year alone the 127 active Master Gardeners gave 4990 hours of their time to volunteer in various capacities around the community. This really adds up when you stop to think about the total impact over the last 40 years.
Words of esteem and gratitude were conveyed by Jefferson County Commissioner Don Rosier and a formal proclamation for the Jefferson County Master Gardener program was presented by Commissioner Libby Szabo. Open Space Director Tom Hoby, and Master Gardener State Coordinator Mary Small were also on hand to talk about the county impact and show their support during the milestone celebration. Special personal thanks and recognition were offered by Patti O’Neal and Curtis Utley form the Horticulture Division of CSU Extension, who work hand-in-hand with the Master Gardener volunteers on a daily basis.
The celebration continued on with recognition of the 17 new Master Gardeners who attended the extensive Master Gardener training sessions and provided 50 hours of volunteer time as apprentices before graduating and donning the well-deserved title of Colorado Master Gardener.
A delicious breakfast was served while the group enjoyed photos of fellow volunteers in action over the past year. As guests left they were energized by the comments from the dignitaries and from the new ideas that were generated among their fellow peers.