The purpose of the James City County/ Williamsburg Master Gardeners is to learn, educate and communicate environmentally sound horticultural practices to the community. Trained by the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Master Gardener volunteers are committed to offering information to the public through sustainable landscape management educational programs.
We meet each month on the first Thursday, 9:00 am-12:00 noon, for a business meeting and a lecture on a topic of general interest–usually continuing education on a garden-related subject.
The Master Gardener Program was created to meet an enormous increase in requests from home gardeners for horticultural information. This increase is primarily derived from the urban and transient nature of modern American life.
Thirty years ago, an Extension agent dealt with the questions of a few hundred farm families. In many regions, however, land that once constituted a single farm now encompasses several subdivisions, increasing by the hundreds the number of families an Extension Office must serve.
In addition, many of these new families are recent arrivals, and are unfamiliar with the grasses, shrubs, trees and diseases which comprise the micro-environment of their new urban or suburban home. They often call their local Extension Office for advice on what to plant and how to care for it.
Consequently, the Master Gardener Program was created in 1972 in the state of Washington. Since then it has spread to all 50 states and four Canadian provinces.
Master Gardeners have become a vital part of the Extension’s ability to provide consumers with up-to-date, reliable knowledge so they can enjoy and protect the value of horticulture around their homes. Master Gardening has also become a fun and useful volunteer activity.