Ruth Stafford named Master Gardener of the Year

October 27, 2020 10:15 a.m.

The Douglas County Master Gardeners program recently recognized a number of members for their efforts.

An awards event was held outdoors at the Horticultural Learning Center near River Forks Park, where 42 Master Gardeners received certificates. Some were recognized for special efforts.

Ruth Stafford was named Master Gardener of the Year. Stafford coordinates the Victory Garden and was recognized for creating an environment “where people are happy to be and want to come back to work each year”. A release said Stafford came up with ways to safely work in the garden, even during pandemic times.

The ”Behind the Scenes” award for 2020 went to a dedicated crew at the Discovery Garden consisting of Master Gardeners Ivor Chapman, Dave Clark, Ray Warren, Mark Schmoli and Ernie Amabisca. The release said their accomplishments included building sheds, building or improving plant tables, reinforcing irrigation systems, replacing the siding on greenhouses and repairing doors, fencing, and the Tea House in the Japanese Garden.

OSU Extension Agent Steve Renquist recognized Master Gardener Bonnie Durck with the 2020 OSU Extension Horticulture Agent’s Award for her creativeness in helping him achieve his goals that impact the Master Gardener program.

As the gardening year winds down, local Master Gardeners continue volunteering in the Plant Clinic from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Others are tending the Discovery Garden and Victory Garden. Some are planning for the annual spring plant sale.

The Master Gardeners program is operated by the Oregon State University Extension Service which is located on Southeast Douglas, next to the courthouse.