Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Loudoun Master Gardeners have been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for their Site Assessment Program. NACo awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
The Pond/Stream/Erosion Site Assessment Program provides assistance to Loudoun County resident and community properties in an effort to promote healthy ecosystems. Through this program, Master Gardener volunteers assess ponds, landscapes and stream sides that, through the years, have grown shady, stagnant and may threaten natural resource conservation during a weather event. At minimal cost to the county, the Site Assessment program offers Loudoun County residents without any service fee.
Expanding the county’s community outreach education, the Master Gardeners assist in best management practices that contribute to natural resource conservation. They provide property owners a detailed report, including options that can help them better maintain their own landscape. And in the end, this program contributes to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed improvement plan.
VCE Loudoun Director Stuart Vermaak shared, “Our department is honored to receive this significant award recognizing the innovative work of our Master Gardener volunteers and Community Engagement Coordinator, Barbara Bailey. This important program directly impacts the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed while simultaneously serving the residents of Loudoun County.”
VCE Loudoun Master Gardeners undergo a minimum of 60-hours in-class and lab training as well as a 75-hour internship to learn how to diagnose plant, soil, insect and disease problems and to provide information on safe, effective, and sustainable landscape management practices. Applications for the 2023 Master Gardener Training will open in August. – Information about how to become a Loudoun County Master Gardener is online here.
VCE Loudoun, in partnership with Virginia Tech & Virginia State University, shares knowledge, supports businesses, and implements research that advances of Loudoun County. Our agents, specialists, and volunteers work to assist farmers, empower youth, guide responsible resource management, and advance the wellbeing of all Virginians.