On Tuesday, June 4, nearly 300 people attended a garden party reception at the Toronto Botanical Garden to celebrate the Toronto Master Gardeners’ 25 years of service to the community.
The Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, commended the Toronto Master Gardener volunteers, saying, “Your knowledge has informed and inspired gardening enthusiasts across the city to create vibrant and environmentally sustainable gardens. Gardens are a vital element of healthy communities. They engage us in healthy activity, encourage us to put down roots in our towns and cities, and create liveable neighbourhoods that support a great quality of life.”
Mark Cullen, a well known leader in Canadian gardening circles, also acknowledged the group’s service to the community , “Every person that you have touched by answering their gardening questions or by your work as volunteers at not-for-profit gardens around the city has added value to the quality of life that we enjoy in our city.”
In 1988, twenty-five keen gardeners and committed community volunteers met to create the Toronto Master Gardeners, devoted to providing research-based horticultural knowledge to Toronto home gardeners.
Today, the group comprises 148 highly skilled volunteers, each of whom has achieved a standard certified horticultural education, and commits to complete specified education and volunteer hours yearly.
“We celebrate our 25th anniversary as a leader in volunteer community service related to horticulture,” said Tena van Andel, Executive Coordinator of the Toronto Master Gardeners. “Today, we are the ‘go-to’ source of expert, free, advice for Toronto gardeners and we are busy making plans for expanding our service delivery in the future.”
In 2012, 112 members of the Toronto Master Gardeners provided more than 8,200 volunteer hours of service to the community. Master Gardeners were scheduled over 800 times and met with more than 10,000 members of the public.