Perspectives Online

New endowment bolsters Master Gardener Program

At its annual conference in October, the North Carolina Master Gardener Program announced the establishment of a new endowment that will enable friends of the program to provide financial support. The North Carolina Master Gardeners’ Endowment will help meet a number of program needs, including new print materials and training manuals, Web sites, presentations, lesson plans and pilot projects.

The North Carolina Master Gardener Program is an educational program of trained volunteers who work in partnership with their county Cooperative Extension offices to extend information in consumer horticulture. Started in North Carolina in 1979, the program now has more than 4,000 volunteers in 87 counties. Master Gardener volunteers conduct plant clinics, construct demonstration gardens and talk with community groups, among many other activities.

“It’s hard to imagine a more enthusiastic group that not only has a strong desire to learn, but also a strong desire to share what they have learned with others,” said Tony Avent, owner of Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh.

Erv Evans, a consumer horticulturist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Horticultural Science and director of the North Carolina Master Gardener program, said, “The support generated from this endowment will create much-needed opportunities for growth and continued excellence throughout the state. We’re excited about the possibilities.”

For more information about the North Carolina Master Gardeners’ Endowment, contact Sharon Rowland at 919.515.9267 or

—Suzanne Stanard