Master gardener activities
We’re proud to be Extension Master Gardeners, dedicated to serving the community through educational horticulture programs and outreach. You’ll see us around Newport News and the Peninsula at festivals, horticulture events, lectures, visiting homes, presenting programs at schools and libraries, park programs, club meetings, and more.
You’ll notice us in our Master Gardener attire, proudly identifying us as Cooperative Extension volunteers from Newport News. And, those who have reached Milestones of Service wear pins awarded them in recognition of varying levels of service.
Book study group
Master Gardeners meet over lunch each month to discuss a book related to horticulture. The books for the year are proposed and selected by members of the group. Topics have included trees, landscaping, pollinators, horticultural practices, environment, water, horticultural history, and much more. MGs earn continuing education hours for their time spent studying and discussing the books. It's a wonderful way to get to know other MGs.
Master Gardener College
MG College has been a popular event with Virginia MGs since 1987. MG college is a four-day event (with an extra day for those participating in Steward Training) traditionally held at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA that includes gardening seminars, tours, workshops and popular speakers from the horticulture and arboriculture fields. Each year, nearly 250 MGs from across the state attend this event. It is organized and administrated by staff in the EMG State Coordinators Office and by the MG College Advisory Team.
The goal of the NNMGA Marketing committee is to increase public awareness of who we are and the services we offer to the community. This goal is achieved by creating audiovisual materials used at community outreach events, promoting a social media presence, producing informational materials, and conducting publicity campaigns.
Our Master Gardeners gather monthly to host an educational program, earning participants Continuing Education hours, as well as conduct a brief business meeting. The Hospitality committee ensures we eat well! Home made goodies abound! We also have a fall picnic and holiday celebration. Members are recognized for milestone achievements for volunteer hours of service with certificates and pins.
New Member Committee
The New Member Committee supports the training of those new to our organization. They participate in activities that inform the community about Master Gardening, spread the word about how to become an Extension Master Gardener volunteer, conduct the selection and training of new members and support and nurture new members throughout their early years. Through these efforts we inform the public of all our volunteer services.
So what are members of the Newport News Master Gardeners up to every month? "The Gardeners’ Gazette", our monthly newsletter, gives our members the scoop with stories and pictures of our activities, a calendar of upcoming events, gardening tips, recipes, books, plant swaps and more. The newsletter is BY members and for members, but it is also distributed to some other units and to City officials. Our newsletter is a comprehensive record of what we
have done as well as a go-to source for what’s coming up.
The Publicity committee strives to educate the public through free and inexpensive marketing outlets to advertise the events, workshops and activities of the NNEMGs. Over the years this outreach has included TV, radio, online calendars, blogs, newspapers and extensive social media.
Advanced training in Tree, Water Quality and Land Care Stewardship is available to all Extension Master Gardeners. After successfully completing this additional training as well as a self-directed project, our Stewards then become valuable resources for the community, offering educational programming and outreach. Newport News has Stewards in all three specialty areas who are available to the public through the Help Desk link on this site.
TREX Plastic Recycling Project
NN Master Gardeners collect, save and recycle flexible plastic of all kinds as a part of a program created by the TREX Company, Inc. The goal of the company’s program is to keep thousands of pounds of waste out of landfills and to provide recycled materials for the creation of environmentally responsible outdoor products.
Our volunteers collect, weigh, and report collection totals throughout each month. By dropping the collected plastic at a participating store, our organization has qualified for benches that have been donated/placed at various locations throughout the city. Each bench represents 500 lbs. or 37,500 plastic bags that have been collected and saved by our members.
Trips & visits
MGs enjoy getting to know each other as well as expand their horticulture knowledge by participating in trips and visits. Past visits include trips to private gardens, Brent & Becky's, Sandy's Plants, Knotts Creek Nursery, ODU Orchid Conservatory, Hampton and NN Recycling Centers, the VA Flower and Garden Show in VB, Maymont Park, the nature walk at Endview Plantation, and a tree walk along the Noland trail. Some of our favorite visits are to fellow EMGs' gardens, where we enjoy seeing the efforts of our friends while learning from their successes and experiences.
Virginia Master Gardener Association
The VMGA is the professional society of VCE-Master Gardener volunteers. Just as some people join a professional society associated with a career field, MGs join VMGA, which shares the mission of professional societies, continuing education, networking, and communication.