Become an Extension Master Gardener to use your skills and passion for garden outreach
Jackie Manchester-Kempf presents gardening through her teaching and puppetry skills. Consider your interests and register by Aug. 15 for the Houghton Extension Master Gardener program.
Extension Master Gardeners enjoy gardening and are constantly learning more about growing great gardens! They are also dedicated volunteers reaching out in communities in various ways. From coordinating volunteers in beautification efforts, establishing children’s gardens, or educating the public about smart gardening practices, Extension Master Gardeners positively affect the lives of others. If you are interested in registering for an Extension Master Gardener program, one is currently being offered in Houghton. The online application and registration is due by August 15.
Many of our volunteers are creative. Meet Jackie Manchester-Kempf, an Extension Master Gardener since 2017. After completing the educational program that was offered in Houghton in 2016, Jackie used her talent of creativity and skill as a retired teacher to bring to life the importance of pollinators and other beneficial insects to children through puppetry. Jackie partnered with the Portage Lake District Library to offer a fun and engaging activity that introduced 60 parents and children to pollinators. Through homemade puppets, songs, and a bee hotel workshop, they learned about how they can help bees and other pollinators.
Jackie noted, “As a retired teacher, I caught on to the critical element of sharing what we had learned,” referring to the Extension Master Gardener’s mission of volunteering by teaching others the research-based gardening information and practices learned while completing the 14 week educational component.
Photo by Cindy Barth.
Jackie continues to share her gardening knowledge with local garden groups. More recently, she has completed the training to assist Michigan State University Extension with Smart Gardening outreach where she provides earth-friendly and sustainable practices that homeowners can use in their own backyards and gardens.
If you are interested in registering for an Extension Master Gardener program and are in the Houghton area, don’t delay. Programs are only offered every two to three years in the Houghton area. The online application and registration is due by August 15. Sign up now as partial scholarships are available and must be applied for online.
Visit the Michigan Master Gardener Program to learn more about the Extension Master Gardener Program.