Penn State Master Gardeners of Berks County were honored for accumulated hours and years of volunteer service at a banquet on November 13 at the Crowne Plaza.
Notable for outstanding achievement are Billie Beadle, Sherry Heim, Joanne Malys and David Schaeffer who are marking 25 years as Master Gardeners, having completed their training in 1993. Remarkable totals of volunteer hours were achieved by Martey Costello, Heather Ehrlich and Jan Weaver, each with 2000 accumulated hours. Sandie Baker was honored for reaching the 2500-hour mark, while Helena Bunker and Carol Grebe were honored for their 3000-hour totals. The high award for the evening went to Dee Dee Kerscher, who has contributed 4500 hours in her Master Gardener career.
Nineteen Master Gardeners who have recently completed their training requirements were awarded full certification as Penn State Master Gardeners and were presented with graduation certificates and permanent name badges.
Penn State Master Gardener is a job title, describing a volunteer who has been trained to educate the public about horticulture and gardening. To achieve Master Gardener Certification, candidates complete 40 hours of classroom work and donate 50 hours of volunteer time in their inaugural year. In ensuing years, a Master Gardener must complete 20 hours of volunteer time plus ten hours of approved advanced training, to maintain their certification.
Persons interested in the Master Gardener Program can learn more by contacting the Penn State Extension office at 610-378-1327 or by viewing the website, https://extension.psu.edu/programs/master-gardener