At a ceremony at the first Canadian National Master Gardeners Conference April 6, Liz Klose, Director of Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Botanical Garden presented the First Place Award for Workshops / Presentations to the Toronto Master Gardeners.
The winning endeavour was Getting Your Community Garden Project Off the Ground (While Staying Rooted), a training webinar developed by the Toronto Master Gardeners in cooperation with Greenest City with case study input from the Grey County Master Gardeners, for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division “Minding Our Bodies” project.
In 2012, there were 20 new Minding Our Bodies projects across Ontario managed by different groups, many of which were considering community gardening initiatives. CMHA wanted to provide a learning opportunity to help those projects getting started. To meet this need, the Toronto Master Gardeners and Greenest City proposed a webinar, which was master minded by Toronto Master Gardener Emma Rooney.
The goal was to provide community groups basic information and inspiration to kick-start their community gardening projects in an educational, enjoyable format that was easy to access without travel and other cost. The presentation suggested easily accessible garden resources, including local Master Gardener groups, shared tips for getting the gardens started, and provided inspirational project examples, including the Grey County Master Gardeners’ work with CMHA Owen Sound.
Webcast on April 12, 2012, the training session was well attended by community group representatives around the province.
The Awards of Excellence judges found this project to be an excellent example of how Master Gardeners can use technology to work with community organizations to educate, motivate and inspire gardeners with accurate horticultural information.