The Waterloo Region Master Gardeners (previously Kitchener Master Gardeners) are volunteers dedicated to sharing their knowledge of horticulture with the local community. Each group is a member of a larger organization called the Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc. Click here for more information.
Formed in 1987, group has over 25 members willing to share their enthusiasm for gardening, and four members who have been with the group since it started. Members come from a variety of fields that include the horticultural business, entomology, anesthesiology, engineering and planning, actuarial mathematics, translation, teaching, health research and librarianship. Several have advanced degrees (Ph.D., MD etc.) and diplomas in their respective areas of study and all have dedicated a number of years to the study of horticulture.
What We Do
On average, Waterloo Region Master Gardeners volunteer 1500 hours annually. We raise funds for educational purposes by offering a series of annual public lectures at nominal cost and from donations received for help from various community and group events.
Master Gardeners offer their expertise to Communities in Bloom, Horticultural Societies, Neighborhood Associations, Church groups and special interest groups such as the Head Injury Association. They join in local community activities including Seedy Saturday, Earth Day, the Dandelion Festival, Herb Festivals and Home and Garden Shows (such as Canada Blooms).
A horticultural therapy program, developed and implemented at Rosemount School for developmentally-challenged adults is designed to build confidence and to give the young people marketable horticultural and craft skills. Vegetable and flower gardens were planned, planted and maintained by students and staff members and garden produce and other material was used in the preparation of crafts for sale. The same program, adapted for use by recreational therapists, operates at Freeport Hospital and at a Cambridge senior citizens home. Several Master Gardeners work on a weekly basis with the staff and residents of these homes.
In addition to partnering with the Kitchener Horticultural Society on plant exchanges and bulb sales, members work annually with up to 20 children (ages 7 to 14) at Kitchener's Steckle Heritage Homestead. The project begins in late April and runs through the growing season. The children learn gardening basics, organic practices, and identify beneficial insects. Special events that include flower arranging and craft workshops are available for the children.
Participation in community events is important to Master Gardeners as it provides the opportunity to interact with gardeners at all levels and to share and exchange gardening information.
For more information about the Master Gardeners or their programs, call the Hot Line (519) 745-4669 at Rockway Gardens or send an email message to Master Gardeners and someone will get back to you.