Linda Dougherty told the eight members of Great Bend Garden Club about the difficulty of achieving the designation of Master Gardener in the state of Kansas with the rigorous schooling and long hours of volunteering directed by instructors from Kansas State University Extension Service.
The designation requires an enrollment fee of $90 and the equivalency of a semester course at the university with once a week day-long sessions between February and April on 11 topics including basic botany, outdoor landscaping, trees and shrubs, Vegetable gardening, woody plants of Kansas, entomology, soils, growing fruit in Kansas, animal and pest control for gardens, basic turf grass, and plant diseases. This is followed with 40 volunteer hours during the following summer learning and working with a variety of community projects.
Projects included developing and maintaining the Butterfly House in Britt Spaugh Park, a vegetable garden at Washington School, a booth at the Farmer’s Market to distribute information, planting wildflowers at the Wetlands and Wildlife Center, participating in the Butterfly Festival and doing a compost demonstration at the Wetlands, an exhibit at the 4-H Fair, and helping the Beautification Committee with the flowers at the Great Bend Public Library.
Once receiving the Master Gardner designation, to maintain it they must take eight hours of class each year and do 20 hours of educational work. This year they will be maintaining the butterfly house, planting an heirloom herb garden at the Wildlife Center, and sponsoring the Spring Garden Tour where the Master Gardeners will be holding educational demonstrations.
During the business Meeting of the club, Michelle Davis representing the City Cemetery and Tammi Wagner who is now employed by the city to maintain the Memorial Rose Garden, presented a proposal to remodel the existing Rose Garden over a multi-year period. After discussion of several possible ideas, a motion was made by Jeannine Girton and seconded by Alice Young and passed that the Garden Club give permission for them to proceed with initial stages of the remodel this summer and that a plan for rebuilding will be presented by the cemetery for consideration and input from the Garden Club.
One name has been submitted to be engraved on the memorial plaques in the Rose Garden.
The next Garden Club meeting will be on May 16 at 10 a.m. in the Cottonwood Extension Service meeting room. The program will be given by the Yours Truly Gift and Flower Shoppe with suggestions for Memorial Day floral arrangements around and on grave stones. Hostess will be Nancy Williams. Guests and anyone interested are welcome to attend.