Thursday, April 18, 2024

New coordinator tabbed for Chelan-Douglas Master Gardener program

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WENATCHEE — Marco Martinez has been hired as the new coordinator of the Washington State University Master Gardener Program for Chelan and Douglas counties.

Margaret Viebrock, director of WSU Extension in Chelan and Douglas counties, had most recently taken on the role of local Master Gardener program coordinator on an interim basis.

“We are very fortunate that Marco accepted our job offer. He brings a strong background in public relations and working with people. At the annual Master Gardener Foundation meeting he was welcomed with enthusiasm,” Viebrock said.

Martinez previously worked at The Wenatchee World, first as a reporter and most recently as features editor. He was also editor of Foothills, a monthly lifestyle magazine published by The World.

“I’m excited to be part of a program with a strong reputation for doing good things in our communities,” Martinez said. “I am impressed with the breadth of knowledge represented by the Master Gardener volunteers, who are the heart of the program.”

The Master Gardener program promotes environmentally responsible gardening practices and healthy living through gardening.

Locally, 100 active volunteers have completed WSU-approved training on topics that include botany, soils, lawn care, weed identification, pesticides and insect management, plant pathology, pruning and plant problem diagnosis. Volunteers are required to complete 35 hours of approved community education or service and 15 hours of continuing education annually to maintain active Master Gardener status.

Master Gardeners of Chelan and Douglas Counties volunteer in a variety of ways. Those include diagnosing plant problems in diagnosis clinics, developing and maintaining the Community Education Garden along Western Avenue, educational outreach at the NCW and Chelan County fairs, teaching classes, and maintaining several demonstration gardens in public spaces in both counties.

In January, a new class of candidates will begin training to become Master Gardener interns. Upon successfully completing training, candidates must fulfill a 55-hour internship requirement before becoming a certified Master Gardener.

A late registration period for the upcoming Master Gardener training remains open through Dec. 22. To learn more, visit bit.ly/trainingMG or email marco.martinez@wsu.edu. For more information about the Master Gardener Program for Chelan and Douglas counties, visit bit.ly/MGchelandouglas. Mary Ellen Gormley is the office manager for WSU Chelan County Extension.

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