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Master Gardener programs garner awards

Published: Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

Several Master Gardeners from University of Illinois Extension – Boone/DeKalb/Ogle earned awards in three major categories during the 2012 Illinois Master Gardener Awards ceremony Sept. 7 in Crystal Lake.

DeKalb County had three volunteers honored with an Outstanding Master Gardener Award. This award recognizes the strong individual effort of each Master Gardener. The Master Gardeners are nominated by their peers and local coordinators for the leadership and service they provide to the community.

Carole Cook-John of Sycamore received the award in recognition of her leadership in the Garden Walk Plant Sale as volunteer coordinator, as well as a writer and speaker educating DeKalb County community members on how to care for perennials and other topics.

Linda Vitello of Elburn applies a scientific approach to solving plant questions at the Horticulture Help Desk. She also has delivered many talks on a wide range of topics throughout the community.

Randy Moseley of DeKalb received the honor for his service to the DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center Country View Square Alzheimer’s Garden, leading the efforts of organizing plantings around the city of DeKalb, as well as educating the public through news articles and public speaking events.

Boone County’s Nancy Stetter and Ogle County’s Phillip Bratta also received the award.

Bernadette Bird, Oregon, brought home the Sustained Excellence Award for her continued work with the Master Gardener program in Ogle County. Bird previously earned the Outstanding Master Gardener Award and has continued to contribute to the mission of Ogle County Master Gardeners by coordinating the Horticulture Hotline, recruiting and mentoring new Master Gardeners, and serving on the “Ready, Set, Grow!” workshop committee.

DeKalb County Master Gardeners worked together to earn a Teamwork Award. Moseley, Vitello, Ron Johnson, Joy Gulotta, Christine Scholl, Barbara Pence, Ron Peabody, Rod McQueen, Hugh McDermott, Barb Lindholm, Cheryl Larson, Barbara DalleMolle and Nita Challgren earned the award for their work at the Country View Square Alzheimer’s Garden at the DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center. The garden offers residents an opportunity to explore nature, activate senses and experience some normalcy in a therapeutic setting. Residents, families and staff cook, play and browse the plantings together. One therapeutic feature of the garden is special planting tables that residents can use to continue to maintain their practice of gardening.

Boone County Master Gardeners also were recognized at the dinner for taking first place in the 2011 International Search for Excellence Awards for their emerald ash borer and ash tree inventory.

To learn more about the Master Gardener program or any of the programs Extension offers, visit the website at web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo/.

County office phone numbers are: Boone, 815-544-3710; DeKalb, 815-758-8194; and Ogle, 815-732-2191.

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