It’s been 10 years since a group of individuals throughout Colusa County first went through extensive training in order to offer budding green thumbs information about home horticulture and pest management.
Now, a decade later, the Colusa County Board of Supervisors have recognized the milestone by issuing a proclamation on Nov. 19, honoring the group’s 10th anniversary.
The Colusa County Master Gardener Program, a volunteer public service and outreach program under the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, was created in 2009 to promote gardening through researched-based information.
“The 10th anniversary is an appropriate time to offer a special tribute to a proud and dedicated community of volunteers,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman, Kent Boes.
The local master gardeners are administered locally by the Colusa County UC Cooperative Extension office.
Under the leadership of Colusa County Master Gardener Program Coordinator, Gerry Hernandez, the volunteers, who went through an extensive 16-week training course, have donated 6,475 hours and made 12,154 face-to-face contacts over the course of the past decade, officials said.
Former Colusa County UC Cooperative Extension Director Mike Murray and Colusa County Farm Bureau Manager Melodie Johnson started the local program. The group began with 15 members and has grown to 23, with most attending the anniversary recognition at the Colusa County Courthouse.
In addition to gardening advice, the group hosts special workshops, garden chats at the library, and provides a variety of printed material related to a variety of gardening topics.
As a result, Colusa County has seen an 85 percent increase in pollinator-friendly gardening, a 75 percent increase in proper plant selection, and a 65 percent increased in water conservation, officials said. ■