Traverse City Record-Eagle


December 15, 2012

Master gardener volunteers honored

122 gardeners contributed 2,400 hours of service

TRAVERSE CITY — Michigan State University Extension master gardener volunteers in Leelanau, Grand Traverse and Benzie counties were recently recognized for their achievements for 2012.

In the past year, 122 master gardeners contributed more than 2,400 hours of volunteer service in the three-county region. Volunteers assisted and provided leadership to a wide variety of not-for-profit projects, such as working with area garden clubs, schools, land conservancies, conservation districts and community gardens.

Three volunteers, Kirsten Gerbatsch, Martha Dively and Cheryl Gross, were honored as 2012 Master Gardeners of the Year for demonstrating outstanding commitment and leadership to the Master Gardener Volunteer Program. This award is presented annually to individuals in Leelanau, Grand Traverse and Benzie counties.

Fifteen volunteers earned their master gardener "basic" certification, having successfully completed volunteer training and 40 hours of volunteer service. They include: Matthew Bertrand, Nancy Denison, Betsy Fisher, Cheryl Gross, Nancy Larson, Kathleen Lewis, Debbie Marsh, Chris McKellar, Kathryn Rood, Cynthia Sack, Luc Serriere, Misty Sheehan, Jennifer Swan, Christina Trogan and Erik Zehender.

Five volunteers earned their "advanced" Master Gardener Volunteer certification, having completed 25 hours of additional education and a minimum of 90 hours' volunteer service. They include: Michele Buday, Delorus Burton, Barbara Fasulo-Emmott, Anne Kline and Ruth Richards.

Seven volunteers were honored with achievement pins for having accumulated either 250 or 500 hours of volunteer service. Kristine Drake, Judy Hoeffler, Karl Marsh and Joe Sarafa received pins for 250 hours. Mike Davis, Terry Harding and Michele Worden received pins for 500 hours.

In addition, 39 volunteers recertified as master gardener volunteers for 2013. To maintain certification, volunteers complete 15 hours of volunteer service and five hours of continuing education annually. They are: Elaine Armstrong, Trina Ball, Michele Buday, Liz Clous, Mary Jo Cullen, Mike Davis, Martha Dively, Kristine Drake, Lin Emmert, Barbara Fasulo-Emmott, Candy Gardner, Rick George, Theresa Harding, Judy Hoeffler, Kathleen Johnson, Mike Kiessel, Ann Kline, Julie Krist, Ellen Lapekas, Nancy Larson, Gladys Maguire, Lillian Mahaney, Rebecca Mang, Karl Marsh, Lois Matteson, Lynn McAndrews, Karen McClatchey, Gary Michalek, Lori Oberson, Kathy Pilon, Joe Sarafa, Sara Sokolnicki, Sue Soderberg, Ruth Steele Walker, Suzanne Waring, Cheryl Windle, Larry Winegar, Michele Worden and Dale Wright.

The 22 members of the 2012 44-hour volunteer training program include: Dorothy Batzer, Julie Bernstein, Dotty Brown, Sonia Clem, Marie Connors-Gilmore, Kirsten Gerbatsch, JoAnne Gerben, George Gilmore, Elizabeth Graves, Matthew Hall, Kristy Holso, Mike Holso, Marian Kromkowski, Jill Rafos, Kimberly Reynolds,Katherine Ross, Pam Schneider, Sue Sensenbaugh-Padgett, Karen Sinclair, Randy Trumbull, Valerie Trumbull and Doreen Tyrrell.

Anyone interested in learning more about the master gardener volunteer program can visit or call 256-8323. In 2013, the 44-hour training program will be offered from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, Feb. 27 through May 22, at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center. Applications are due by Feb. 13 and can be downloaded from

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