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Participants become certified Master Gardeners after they have completed the training course and fulfilled their volunteer commitment.
In exchange for training, participants are obligated to volunteer time to their County AgriLife Extension program. At least 50 hours of volunteer service within one year following the training is required to earn the title of “Texas Master Gardener”. The type of service done by Master Gardeners varies according to community needs, and the abilities and interests of the Master Gardeners. Current Travis County Master Gardener Community Outreach projects include:
- Phone support at the Extension Office
- Plant clinics at nurseries and Zilker Botanical Garden
- Speaker’s Bureau
- Docent Program at Zilker Botanical Garden
- School Garden Projects
- Web site with information for local gardeners: www.tcmastergardeners.org
- Publications like the Garden Guide for Austin & Vicinity
- Greenhouse projects including growing plants for Zilker Botanical Garden, Herb Fest, Zilker Fest and School Gardens
- Design, install & maintain Demonstration Garden at the Extension Office
Master Gardeners are representatives of the Texas AgriLife Extension. In all volunteer work related to the program, Master Gardeners follow the research-based recommendations of the Texas AgriLife Extension. The title “Texas Master Gardener” can be used by volunteers only when engaged in AgriLife Extension-sponsored activities.
For additional information about the training programs and activities of the Travis County Master Gardeners, contact Daphne Richards, Travis County Horticulturist at the Extension Office.
Forms for Reporting Hours
Thank you to everyone who is using the forms and getting us their hours on time! Most of you are doing so. But some of you are still not reporting correctly. Please report all of your hours on these forms. Please DO NOT send your hours in an email message, or on a piece of paper. Your reports must be on these forms. We will no longer accept any reports that are not on the proper forms. If you send us information and it is not on the form, we will return it to you and ask you to put it on the form.
Some of you, I believe mostly those of you with Apple computers, are having some issues with the forms. Although you have filled out the form properly, when we receive it, it appears to be blank. If this has happened to you, try this: Instead of saving the file once you’ve filled it in, try “printing” it as a pdf file and then emailing us that file. You will only be able to do this if you have the Adobe software that allows you to do so. Unfortunately, if you don’t have the capacity to create pdf files, you’ll need to print your filled-in form and mail it to us.
Also, quite a few people are not filling out the volunteer hours reporting form correctly. Many of you are simply writing in whatever you think you should, which you should not be doing. You must read page two of the form and pick an activity and a description that is listed. Below you will find the exact headings for each column on the report:
- Must be listed on this form
- Please use exact project name
- Specific approved tasks are listed with the approved project
- If task is not listed, it is not be approved at this time (contact CEA)
So here’s an example:
Let’s say you are on the committee for the Demo Garden at the Extension office. You spent two hours at a committee meeting, an hour working on the landscape plan, and three hours at a workday. Here is what you would report:
When we move to online reporting, all of our projects and tasks will be pull-down choices, so in a sense, it will be easier then. But until then, choosing the correct project and task should help you to learn where you hours fit. That will be helpful once you start having to make choices on the online system. And if you put your hours in the wrong project or task, we’ll be able to give you feedback to correct that.
Sue and I have been looking at the reports carefully, so that we can provide feedback. So we may be contacting you soon, or after your April reports, to let you know if we need you to change something.
I know that there is a very steep learning curve here, so I appreciate your patience. And if I can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me!