The Big Spring Master Gardener Association held their annual year-end Celebration on December 13, 2016 at the Moose Lodge in Greeneville. Master Gardeners were recognized for their individual and group achievements in 2016.
2016 was the culmination of seven years of service for the Big Spring Master Gardener Association in Greene County.
The following members were recognized for their dedication to the program for five consecutive years of service: Beth Hembree, Jerry Kische, Pat Moore, and Bev Walker
Those receiving recognition as VIP’s, which are those that have been active members for three years included: Martha Fluharty, Jeff Gilliland, Jeanie Jackson, and Wolf Spendel.
Jeanne Driese was recognized for her 10-year commitment to the Tennessee Master Gardener program, earning her 10-year pin and bronze member status at the state level. Jeanne has contributed 2060.5 hours during her seven year tenure with the BSMGA (after joining from another TN Master Gardener program), yielding an economic value in service of $48,545.38.
Many members received recognition in service awards for their annual commitment in volunteering.
Mary Anna Pirozzoli
BSMGA members that gave over 100 hours of volunteer service in 2016 were recognized for their dedication and commitment with a certificate and gold leaf pins to commemorate their accomplishments. These recipients were:
2016 Gold Leaf Club Members - Members with over 100 hours of service
18 MG’s contributed 4581.72 hours in 2016 totaling $107,945.32
The following members were recognized for outstanding service to BSMGA:
2016 Outstanding Educator – Virginia Williams
2016 Community Service Award Winner – Beth Hembree
2016 Greene Thumb Award Winner – Patricia Hayes
2015 Club Service Award Winner – Michele Bradley
2016 Excellence in Service Award Winner (for most hours) – Jeanie Jackson
Honorary Big Spring Master Gardener – Scott Bullington and Cathy Osborne
The following individuals were elected to serve on the 2017 Leadership Team:
President: Michele Bradley
Vice President: Jerry Kische
Secretary: Lydia Sweatt
Treasurer: Glenn Karuschkat
Parliamentarian: Lamar Neas
Reporter: Mary Goldman
As the value of a volunteer hour was worth $23.56 in 2016, according to the Department of Labor statistics, BSMGA contributed $128,169.22 in economic in Greene County through their annual cumulative total of 5440.12 hours.
Many other accomplishments were enjoyed by BSMGA members during 2016. Beth Hembree and Virginia Williams were named volunteers of the year at the Boys & Girls Club, as well as the BSMGA being named volunteer group of the year at the Boys & Girls Club. In regard to 2016 BSMGA project achievements, the Soup Kitchen hosted “Give, Grow, Eat” for approximately 100 individuals in appreciation of generosity given to the gardens and an abundance of vegetables was grown for use on Wednesdays at the Soup Kitchen, of which grafted tomatoes were provided by Dr. Bumgarner from UT Knoxville. The black oak tree at New Hope Cemetery was added to the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council (TUFC) website and was named the winner of a garden photo contest hosted by the Green Education Foundation (GEF) and Gardener’s Supply Company (member Randi Nott), in addition to New Hope’s Viney Brown and Rachel Kennedy’s life stories being included in a “slave stories” exhibit in the new museum in Nashville.
BSMGA took first place in the civic clubs’ category at the Greeneville Christmas Parade; nine members attended the state Master Gardener Conference in Knoxville; seven members entered and won ribbons for their exhibits at the Greene County Fair; seven members assisted with Kid’s Day on the Farm in which over 750 kids were attendance; and four members worked in the BSMGA Lab at the Extension office facilitating over 800 phone calls and visits between March and October.
BSMGA awarded two partial scholarships for 2017 Master Gardener training. Two dedicated BSMGA members, of which were also founding members of the Depot Street Market, aided in the huge success of the market during its 2016 inaugural season.
The BSMGA is looking forward to yet another year of exciting and worthwhile community gardening projects throughout Greene County. Projects include: directing weekly gardening seminars at the Boys & Girls Club; maintaining and facilitating educational seminars at the New Hope Cemetery landscape; designing, implementing, and maintaining the Soup Kitchen gardens; maintaining the landscape bed (Gate 1) at the Greene County Fairgrounds; and hosting a Plant Sale and educational exhibits on May 6th at the Greene County Fairgrounds; as well as participating in Greene County Fair events; participating in community events such as Kid’s Day on the Farm; the Greene County Christmas Parade; and being available to answer questions in the Master Gardener lab at the Greene County UT Extension Office every Monday through Thursday, March-October from 10 AM – 3PM.
For additional information on the BSMGA, please feel free to contact the Greene County UT Extension Office at 423-798-1710 or e-mail Melody Rose, Extension Agent and Master Gardener Coordinator at email@example.com. Also check out the BSMGA website at bsmga.com