May 7 was a beautiful day at the Quarry Gardens for Piedmont Master Gardeners to celebrate the graduation of 26 newly minted Albemarle County EMG interns. The day’s program featured trail walks led by QGs’ owners, a buffet lunch with mentors in the picnic pavilion, and distribution of certificates, t-shirts, and gifts.

Over the past three months, these volunteers received 55 hours of expert horticultural and environmental   instruction on such topics as soils, botany, integrated pest management, and plant disease diagnosis, after which they completed a written examination. As new interns, they will be expected to complete 50 hours of volunteer project service within one year to become certified EMGs. This year’s online classes allowed nearly 40 volunteers from five surrounding counties to join the Albemarle County group.

Extension Master Gardeners bring science-based information and recommendations from Virginia Cooperative Extension to the public through a wide range of educational and service projects. The Quarry Gardens is one of those projects. Volunteers assist the Center for Urban Habitats in maintaining the gardens as well as guiding visitors. We are proud to be their partners.

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