On November 13, 2012 the UConn Master Gardener Program was awarded the Provost’s Awards for Excellence in Public Engagement at a ceremony and reception held at the in the Great Hall of the Alumni Center in Storrs. The awards and congratulations were presented to the 2012 winners by Interim Provost Mun Choi and Dean and Vice Provost Robert McCarthy.
The awards were created to recognize and emphasize the critical role of outreach and public engagement in the land grant mission, and to foster engagement across the entire University community.
The criteria the award committee consider include: sustained leadership in working with the public and/or with external organizations; innovative ways of working for the well being of citizens and communities; documented excellence in extending University knowledge; evidence of the impact on a target audience; demonstrated intellectual, professional, and/or career growth as a result of the experience.
The UConn Extension Master Gardener Program is entering its 35th year of educating Connecticut citizens, forming a network of trained “citizen horticulturists” whose outreach efforts instruct and promote research-based horticultural and environmental education to Connecticut communities.
As part of the program Master Gardeners volunteer in an extensive variety of community outreach projects, contributing over 35,000 volunteer hours annually working with municipalities, museums, schools, hospitals, environmental groups, community gardens and garden clubs.
Photos- Ellen Bender Master Gardener