The Galveston County was one of the first three counties to initiate the Master Gardener program. Dr. George Meador, County Extension Agent, started the first class in 1982 and served as Master Gardener Program Coordinator until his retirement in 1989. Dr. William M. Johnson has served as our Master Gardener Program Coordinator since then.
History & Background of the Association
In 1986, Sam Scarcella approached Carolyn Goode Murphy and Helen Mabe (all members of the 1986 Master Gardener class) to enlist their help in organizing an association of the Master Gardeners in the county. In June 1986, they sent a letter to all the graduates of the program inviting them to a meeting in July at the Nessler Center in Texas City. These three people also served as the officers of the Association for 1986, 1987 & 1988.
Hundreds have had the exceptional experience of taking the Master Gardener Course in Galveston County. A dedicated group of volunteers has emerged to make significant contributions to our communities.
Master Gardeners have worked at Moody Gardens on Galveston Island, Armand Bayou in Houston, Heritage Park in Friendswood, Challenger 7 Community Vegetable Garden in Webster and H.I.S. Ministries Demonstration Vegetable Garden in Santa Fe. Multiple Master Gardeners have contributed columns on a regular basis to local newspapers and another designed and planted landscaping for the Police Officers' Memorial in Galveston. Another Master Gardener developed a garden for the Hitchcock Senior Citizen Center and secured the funding, materials and volunteers to assist with this project and the construction of a raised bed garden at the local nursing home. A group of Master Gardeners have been involved with Enabling Gardens at various sites, including Moody Gardens, Libbie's Place in Galveston, and Harbor View Nursing Home in League City as well as several hospitals.
We have conducted a variety of seminars, clinics and workshops at the Galveston County Extension Office. Master Gardener volunteers also staff information booths at a variety of public events such as the Kemah Home & Garden Show, various Earth Day programs and other horticultural programs.
And, we assist the Galveston County Extension faculty in addressing the thousands of telephone calls received annually from area clientele on horticulture and horticulture-related problems. Master Gardener volunteers also maintain a 4-acre Horticulture Demonstration Gardens at the County Extension Office.
The Association continues to grow as a vital volunteer-based organization. We serve not only the residents in the thirteen distinct communities of Galveston County, but also our clientele covers a much broader area encompassing southern Harris County, western Chambers County, and eastern Brazoria County. We are an integral part of the volunteer "muscle and face" of the County Extension Office through public speaking, plant clinics, classes for adults and children, horticulture shows, and individual gardening projects.
During the early years of the Association, membership ranged from 9 to 14 individuals. Since that time, the Association has significantly grown in membership with our highest number reaching 228 Master Gardeners. An inclusive philosophy and positive team-building efforts have dramatically enhanced our active membership and our esprit de corps. We diligently work hard at nourishing a real team spirit by appreciating our differences and combining our strengths and this has enhanced our ability to provide quality educational programs for the benefit of our communities. On a yearly basis the Galveston County Master Gardeners contribute 30,000+ hours of volunteer time to our communities. A motto of the Galveston County Master Gardener Association is "Knowledge not shared is knowledge lost" - it's more than an expression to us!
All digital photographs are the property of the Galveston County Master Gardener Association, Inc. (GCMGA) 2002-2018 GCMGA - All Rights Reserved.