Master Gardeners earn top state honor

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Nassau County Master Gardeners Ann Reamy, Kathy Warner, Mary Chudzynski, Bea Walker and Claudie Speed, Horticulture Extension Agent Rebecca Jordi and Master Gardener Beverly Stormoen celebrate their 2008 Florida Master Gardener Awards of Excellence honor for Written Mass Communications Award. Meg McAlpine/For the News-Leader Walker, accepts the award on behalf of the Nassau County Master Gardener Program from Dr. Joan Dusky, assistant dean for extension at the University of Florida, in Coral Springs. Tyler Jones, University of Florida, IFAS Photography Department

The 28th Annual Florida Master Gardener Continued Training Conference was held in Coral Springs Oct. 20-22. The awards program recognized Master Gardener volunteers across the state for projects and programs in 13 categories. This year the Nassau County Master Gardener volunteers were awarded the top honor for Written Mass Communications, for their monthly Masterful Gardening series.

Eleven Nassau County Master Gardener volunteers have authored the columns: Shirley Fenton, Kathy Warner, Beverly Stormoen, Claudie Speed, Bea Walker, Mary Chudzynski, Ann Reamy, Bonnie Johnson, Kay McAllister, Paul Gosnell and Nelson Peterson. The Written Mass Communications award is given for program activities by Master Gardener volunteers that are reactive or responsive in nature, including news articles.

Entries were judged in four areas: 1) The educational message was clear, concise and easy to understand; 2) Educational implication of presentation and potential impact of articles; 3) Accuracy of information; and 4) Style (personality).

This marks the second consecutive year that Nassau County's Master Gardener program earned state honors.

"This has been a banner year for the program. It is wonderful what our volunteers are able to contribute to the county and its citizens. We're honored to compete among the 52 counties that have Master Gardener programs and be recognized for our program activities," said Rebecca Jordi, UF/IFAS Nassau County Horticulture agent, in a press release.

For more information about the Master Gardener volunteer program as well as other programs offered by the Nassau County Extension Service, visit, call 548-1116 or contact Jordi at