Public Education Class Creates an Online Manual of Sustainable Gardening Resources

Public Education Class Creates an Online Manual of Sustainable Gardening Resources with 70 Tried-and-True Plant Fact Sheets

by Carol Rosen, Public Education Committee

“Designing a Sustainable, Maintainable Yard,” the half-day program offered by Master Gardeners at Fairlington on October 19, was the first offering in the Public Education Committee’s new Sustainable Gardening track of classes.

For this program on sustainability, handouts were provided in electronic form to reduce resource consumption. The resulting Digital Manual on Sustainable Gardening, described below, not only benefited the class but also created a continuing online resource that can grow and support other classes and uses. The Tried-and-True Plant Fact Sheets for more than 70 trees, shrubs, perennials, ground covers, ferns, grasses, and vines are a remarkable resource in themselves. In all about 100 digital pages of plant fact sheets, best management practice summaries, and other handouts on sustainable gardening were developed. You can see several pages as examples here: SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE SHEET. The complete Digital Manual on Sustainable Gardening can be found HERE. This event was planned and delivered entirely by MGNV members–no outside speakers, no visiting experts, no catering, no borrowed materials. This was the largest MGNV public education activity in 2013.


More than a dozen MGs contributed. Alex Dickman, Jane Longan, Kimberly Marsho, Elaine Mills, Sarah Pak, and Carol Rosen all gave presentations on sustainable landscape design or local tried-and-true native plants. Sue McIver kept us on schedule. Margaret Hawkins and Elaine Mills prepared the fact sheets on the tried-and-true plants, based on Jane Longan’s template. They and Cindy Roscoe, Kay Morell, Anne Wilson, and Marty Yund helped us assemble agenda folders. Cindy Roscoe also provided refreshments, with help from Joan Lynch, Alyssa Ford Morel, Kay Morell, Jane Wickens, and Anne Wilson, among others. Claudia Gerwin and Henry Staples arranged floral displays from their garden, and Henry also provided last-minute technical support. Margaret Hawkins, Elaine Mills, and Kathleen Wainio served as proctors. Our Publicity Committee effectively promoted the event. The Help Desk fielded inquiries. The budgetary support and encouragement of the MGNV Board prompted high quality and broad participation in every aspect of the program. Thank you!

The event drew more than 93 registrants, including 32 local households (who paid $20 each), including 49 Master Gardeners, 9 Master Naturalists, and 3 Tree Stewards (who were all invited to register at no charge).

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